I don’t believe that it is exaggeration to suggest that most people feel trapped in some way. And certainly all of us have felt so at some stage in our lives. This week I witnessed being temporarily trapped as a commuter and I asked myself, ‘how many of my fellow commuters are likely to feel trapped in their jobs and careers too?

The heavy weight of mortgages, parenting, and adult responsibility is something that, luckily, us humans are pretty good at bearing. But for a project or change manager whose jobs it is to create a team and lift individuals into a spirit of cooperation and purpose, personal entrapment can be a real challenge.

Of course we can reduce the topic above down to a conversation about motivation. But in order to bring an individual to a higher level of performance, one needs first to release them from the boundaries that they feel are entrapping them. Sometimes it’s purely workload but much more often it is something much deeper within themselves and their lives. If one can be released for even just a moment, the tiny glimpse of something beyond where they are now can be more than enough to spark thoughts that they may have never had alone.

In our private lives un-entrapment often occurs after times of seismic change; be it the loss of a parent or sibling, the ending of a relationship or even something as mundane as a change of house of job. All these events can spark an involuntary new beginning or re-invention of oneself. However, I believe that we can also be released via other, more desirable channels too. For example, by experiencing great art in the forms of magnificent architectural spaces or paintings or most especially for me by music and the human voice.

With September almost here, I am reminded of Richard Strauss’ The four last songs. They are in many ways about release. The setting of Hermann Hesse’s words for the first three is not only sublime but it also prepares us for the fourth and the chance to finally loosen our grip on whatever we believe is holding us back.  Perhaps they are not for everyone. You need to be in the right place to start with and have some space of your own to allow yourself to become lost within them. But when you do…

Have a good week,