Often we frame purpose as doing good in the world. But what if there was more to it - what if purpose was not just about doing good?
When I started working with humanitarian sector leaders on creating fulfilling work, I found something unexpected.
Up until then, I had mainly worked with corporate leaders. I found that they often lacked meaning and purpose in what they did. But when it came to for impact leaders, I believed they would be experts in meaning. They were doing good. Their work was having a clear positive impact. So I thought they would feel on purpose and be completely fulfilled in what they did.
But that wasn’t the case. In fact they complained about the same things as my corporate leaders did - which surprised me. Specifically they felt successful on the outside but that something was missing on the inside.
At first I didn’t understand why. After all their work was externally meaningful. So why...
Often we think that to reach the height of a meaningful career you need to become really good at something that you are recognised for and that has a positive impact. So did I for a long time. In 2014, I got another perspective. That there was something beyond that.
I had arrived in Switzerland in 2010 and started a new business from scratch. I had no network. I was told I was crazy and that the market was saturated in terms of coaches and consultants.
Within 18 months I was working with big multinationals and humanitarian organisations doing what I loved - focusing on energy management, meaningful work, emotional intelligence and leading change. And my business was doing well.
2014 was a turning point though in an unexpected way. By that time I was working with high potential leaders and actively supporting internal change agents in large organisations to bring meaningful change. I was leading transformation journeys and 5 day retreats so we could go deep.
At the end of that...
One of the things we don't talk a lot about is what it really takes to build a meaningful career over time.
When I first decided I wanted to do work that had meaning, I was totally focused on finding that perfect meaningful role or setting up the perfect meaningful business. I couldn’t see much beyond that. It was black or white, there were no shades of grey.
It was like this box that I was going to find and tick. And then that would be it. Everything would be alright. I would arrive in some kind of paradise and automatically be ecstatically happy all of the time.
I went on to realise there was a lot more to it than that ...
Initially, I put too much pressure on myself to find the perfect thing straight away. The one thing that would fulfil me completely immediately and totally. Instead of letting it be an ongoing work in progress. I was probably too ambitious initially in the jobs I applied to when...
Change of Energy
In the Northern hemisphere we have just passed the Autumn Equinox, when the days start getting shorter again. In nature it is the time of harvest and preparing for the new.
I decided a long time ago to attune my own process of evolution to mirror the cycles of nature. We all have innate potential that is seeded in us and wants to express itself. We are a part of nature and at some level are coded to its rhythms of transformation and transition.
Ending A Chapter And Beginning A New One
Traditionally, we celebrate January as the time of new beginnings with our new year resolutions. But we forget that in nature the process starts much earlier than that.
In nature, September/October/November are a time of harvest, endings and reorganising - when we collect the bounty of the last year, complete this chapter and move on to prepare the soil for the new crop.
So this is a time to harvest what you have...