What I was trying to get at in the last post was my effort to get my work to reflect, in a much stronger way, my values and my vision, to eliminate the dissonance between the two.
In other words, if you asked me why I am in the profession that I am in, what motivates me most deeply, I might have a certain set of answers. Then, if you asked me what I did in my research and teaching, I might have another set of answers. The overlap cannot be complete, of course, but I want to aim for an 80% overlap rather than a 30% overlap between the two.
So to eliminate this discrepancy, what would I have to do? Breaking this down, there are parts of the job that cannot be changed, that reflect institutional realities I cannot alter. For those portions of my work-week, the answer is to perform those duties responsibly and well. For example, if I have to do a peer-review of an article, I could see this as a negative because I am tired of being a gate-keeper. That function is one I perform very well, but it is antithetical in some ways to my core values. If I do it well enough, and make sure I help the scholar being reviewed, then I can recuperate some of my vision even while performing an institutional task.
The second category might be things that I can change. For example, I don't have to do certain things in the classroom whose only function is "academic" in the most formulaic sense. I don't have to do things a certain way because I have always done them that way.
A third category is things that I am not doing now that I can add to my practice as scholar and professor if I am more mindful of what I am doing.