Beware The Best Practice

By Patrick McNerthney 

Recently, I was talking to a colleague and she asked me about my “career.” I laughed and said “career” is one of those words I really don’t understand, thus I’ve never said, “I’m a career [insert some sort of career name/title here].”

Said colleague just looked at me stone-faced, and a little hurt, as if I was implying her question was stupid. Realizing I wasn’t going to be able to dance my way out of this conversation, I said, “How about I just tell you what I’ve done since college, and then you can come to your own conclusions?”  Which piqued her interest enough for her to reply, “Sure!”  Here’s the list I gave her:

  • Account Executive for a PR firm
  • Start-up business selling Christmas Trees online
  • Maritime Courier
  • Small promotions business start-up
  • Barista
  • Emergency Room Tech
  • Coffee shop–opened and managed
  • Yogurt beverage startup
  • Hemp beverage (CBD) startup
  • Freelance Marketing Guru
  • Software company Team Player, where I currently write marketing stuff

(That kind of marketing stuff, but with more words.)

To which she responded, “Oh, I see.  Excuse me, but that’s the longest job list ever. Still crazy all right!” And she shook her head so her hair nearly smacked me in the face–and waltzed away.   

Of course I felt the same way about her (minus the hair thing), and you can surely agree that I don’t understand the word “career.” Keep in mind, I left some of these jobs because I hated them, others because they failed miserably and I had no choice (or so I thought), and still others were quite rewarding. And to be honest, I don’t think the list is long enough. How else do people learn, other than by trying a bunch of different things?  

Yet, I get it: people with decades-long “careers” are also learning, just in a different way, (even though it doesn’t make sense to me). Which brings up my point: What would happen if we all embraced the reality that everyone learns differently? 

Suddenly, dreaded buzzwords like, “best practices,” “industry standard,” and (my personal favorite) “the right way to do it” would be exposed as the (well-intentioned) frauds they are: oversimplifications that sound great, but don’t mean a thing. And we’d judge each other less … and we’d probably realize the best way to do our thing (job, career, whatever it is) is to creatively pursue every possible option, when we look for ways to overcome our professional challenges.

(Or maybe there are helpful “best practices, like this.)

Over to you: as you seek to help your residents or loved ones overcome anxiety and depression, do you ever consider there may be more than one solution to this daunting challenge? Do you BELIEVE that everyone learns differently? 

If the answer is yes, Fine Art Miracles (FAM) can help. FAM believes that every person responds to his or her challenges differently and our job as caregivers is to find out how to help them enjoy their lives, conquer their fears, eat better, sleep better and have some fun! FAM champions creative expression as a uniquely magical tool you can use to reignite what the elderly, children with challenges, or anyone needing help with life’s daily tasks need most: a deep belief that they matter.

Art Therapy, Music Therapy, Drama Therapy, Multi-Sensory Sessions, Dance & Movement Therapy (and so much more) literally activate parts of the brain tied to confidence, self-worth, mastery, joy, and IMPORTANCE to the world. These feelings and emotions are the perfect – if not only – cure for the ravages of social isolation.

So what are you waiting for? Give FAM a call or drop them a note, they’re happy to explain how the magic of creative expression works in detail, and get you started. Remember— how else do people learn, other than by trying a bunch of different things?   

Well, I’m going to go update my resume. I’ve realized there’s more to add to the list (which is a good thing). Don’t worry, I won’t ask you to read it before I send it out!


Skip to content