Productive Frustration

A few months ago I was working a job I did not enjoy.

The pay was good and the view onto the ocean was definitely soothing, but it was lonely and it lacked meaning. 

My cubicle was grey other than the pink orchid I struggled to maintain alive, and despite my best efforts to be friendly and to reach out to my coworkers, the culture was already ingrained. No one talked to me, no one came over. The little communication we had occurred via three-sentence emails.

I saw no purpose in my job. I was given very few tasks and was never told what our vision was. This environment was starting to weigh on me. I am a naturally curious and driven person, but I could feel that slipping away as I sat, every day, in front of my screen. I felt disconnected from my coworkers, from my own sense of self and from a community that I so deeply wanted to support.

Every morning at this job, I would read the news. And every morning, I saw stories ranging from bad to worse. War, murder, discrimination, crime, slander. You know what I'm talking about. This wasn't helping my emotional and mental state. It was incredibly frustrating. 

Eventually, I'd had enough. I turned away from my screen, picked up a pen and paper, and started brainstorming: What do these stories share in common? Why do such horrible things keep happening? Why is there seemingly no end to bad news? Why are we behaving in these ways, hurting each other and defacing the planet? Why do I feel unhappy here? 

From that brainstorm came one simple conclusion: Human beings need connection to thrive.

Without genuine connection, we experience loneliness, isolation, anger, depression, anxiety. This results in severe consequences on mental, sociological and environmental health.

And, in our digital, materialistic societies, we are struggling to form meaningful connections with each other. We are struggling to understand even ourselves. We are trapped in a vicious cycle whereby we can't connect, so we distract ourselves and we consume instead. 

And from that seemingly simple conclusion, came Connexion.