Theory of 3

I was recently interviewed by a magazine on my occupation as a yoga teacher.

I was asked to focus on the occupation of teaching yoga rather than what yoga is or is not. And so my theory of 3 emerged. I’ve had this theory for quite a while now. All jobs can be categorised into 3 types. The enablers, the enrichers and the evolvers.

The evolves are the drivers.

They are responsible for 2015 being a vastly different landscape to 1915. Think scientists, researchers and financial planners. Think engineers, computer techs and creative marketers. They are not concerned with today, they exist for the future.

The enablers are the lifelines.

Nurses, doctors, firefighters; they all provide assistance to people who may be having the worst day of their life. Teachers, disability workers, aged carers; they give people the skills they need to make their way in life. Speech therapists, childcare workers and mums and dads are all lifelines for their clients.

The evolvers need the enablers. When a financial planners house is burning down he needs his firefighter lifeline. A childcare worker is the lifeline for the engineers baby between 9 and 5.

The enablers look to the evolvers to make sure 2070 is going to be a more colourful, more sustainable, more accepting and more prosperous world than today.

The enrichers sit in the middle.

They enrich our lives so we're a little more comfortable and more at ease. These are the jobs that often didn’t exist in years gone by. They are the retail assistants, petrol station attendants and baristas. The telco workers, hairdressers, butchers and builders. Truth…we don’t actually need them. The fact is we can do without a haircut but how amazing do we feel when we get one. We can do without petrol stations but we’ve outgrown bikes and become much more globalised. We can do without shop clerks but I don’t know how to grow a leek. We could actually do without builders, we used to live happily in caves but how can you compare a tent to a house. We can do without writers but how delightful is it to curl up in bed with a good book.

It’s going to be really challenging for an American scientist to connect with his Finnish counterpart without a telco worker. Not impossible but really difficult. A doctor doing a 12 hour night shift will happily hug her skinny flat white. She’d still make it through her shift but will be much nicer and more attentive. Two desirable qualities in a doctor.

Our positions all have a higher purpose, not just to cut hair or process a payment. It’s not just about putting out a fire, soothing a wound or creating a website. It’s really not about teaching ABC or how to play guitar. The purpose generally isn't listed on the position description, only the requirements, skill sets and pay grade.

The magazine article finished with my thoughts on the occupational highs and lows of being a yoga teacher. The things I didn't anticipate, wasn't trained for and the things I wouldn't trade for anything.

  • I wasn't trained but have had to learn the art of restraint. People share a lot and it takes restraint to only listen, not try to fix the problems of the world. Dr Phil is for that.
  • Also being trained as a counsellor would be super helpful most days.
  • Teaching body awareness is a feat that constantly needs finessing.
  • Being ok when people cry in class, show me their scars, look at me with daggers, come every day or don't come for a year. It's not about me.
  • Reading situations so I can respond appropriately when people speak ill of yoga. The 5000 year old system needs to be protected but it's not mine to own and finally...
  • Having skin under toes contributes greatly to overall foot comfort. I regularly have no skin under my big toes from 35 hours a week turning left and right to demonstrate postures. Just goes with the territory I guess.