A lot of workplace unhappiness and conflict arises from being dishonest with ourselves.
We are frustrated because our work is not contributing to our Weekend Widget. Or because our Weekend Widget is unsatisfying. Or because we don't know what our Weekend Widget is.
We're unlikely to acknowledge this root cause, let alone take responsibility for it. To do so sounds selfish and stupid - because it is. Worse, it would confront us with our inertia, and the effort it takes to overcome it.
Can you imagine this admission: 'I'm really unhappy in my job because I want to be a professional photographer.'
It's too hard to be ourselves.
It's easier to blame our co-workers or our boss or our employer or the government or our family or someone else who is responsible.
But we can't tell this story to our fellow jaded employees over sandwiches: 'You all need to change so that I can feel more authentic in my workplace.' There has to be a nobler story where we are the hero or victim.
It's usually about Injustice or Unfairness. We hold the attention of our bored co-workers with regular updates about Our Fight for A Principle.
As Liz once said: ''Principle' is often code for feeling vulnerable about disclosing/being honest with yourself about underlying fears, motivations and needs.'
The struggle gives us meaning where we had none. The fight to bring a happy ending to our Story of Workplace Injustice becomes our Weekend and Weekday Widget combined. (The definition of a dream job.)
We may even win our battle. We get a captive audience over lunch. We get an apology from our boss or co-worker. We get a transfer. Or the worst outcome - a pay rise.
Now we've got alienated or new co-workers or boss, or a different desk, or more money in our bank to do - something - on the weekends.
And we're not travelling the world taking photographs for National Geographic.