On consequences

Cause and effect. Whatever you do, there will be consequences. Sorry if that is a bit of a turnoff, but it is how things are for adults that don’t have people constantly mopping up after them.

You are likely going to find once you start sticking your neck out, speaking up about values, culture, politics -whatever it is you care about, there will be reactions. Not all of them will be positive. And often, the reactions will say more about the people doing the reacting than they say about you. Still, they will land, and some of them might hurt.

Or, you might find you need to make changes in your surroundings. Leave that toxic relationship, that soulless job, that energy-sapping organizational culture. Again, not everyone will applaud. And that pay cut you took when changing industries is going to be real. Things will change. You might not “get your old life back”. And there are likely going to be things you won’t enjoy about that change. This is not a pick-and-mix.

And once the reshuffling slows down a bit and somewhat stabilizes in a new(ish) form, you might actually find you like it better, and that the trade-offs were worth it. Or that you will be successful beyond your wildest dreams with your new calling. Or that you don’t miss your former capitalist trappings one bit. Or some mix somewhere in between that feels a bit different each day depending on your general mood (this is how it plays out for most people).

Values and purpose can sustain you emotionally, making shifts, standing strong in something that feels more true, more like yourself. Life is a marathon, not a sprint, and there will be ups and downs. And while exploring your calling and making decisions that are true to your values might not automatically guarantee everlasting and ongoing happiness, NOT doing it is likely not going to lead to the same level of fulfillment. The struggle is worth it.

Also true: Everyone has that, whether they are doing this consciously or not. If you are not doing this consciously, taking those pauses to look inside yourself and then realign what needs realigning, you might find yourself slapped round the head with a formidable midlife crisis at some point. Don’t let people’s instagram feeds fool you. This is never smooth, this is never all roses and unicorns. This is your life. This is not a dress rehearsal. Live it like it matters. Because it does.


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Check out the values worksheet here. 
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Today’s value: Persistence

One of those values that sometimes gets overlooked. It is not a flashy, sexy, shouty one. It shows its face over time, and sometimes in comparison. You have to pay close attention to actually see it. Persistence is the will to keep going when everyone else has given up. That one more time of getting back up and trying again. The small gains, one by one, bit by bit. Trying to find a different way when the last one didn’t work out either. You can’t be an entrepreneur or innovator or change maker without persistence.

I am in no way trying to glorify persistence as an end in and of itself, it is what you are using it for, the goals you are looking to achieve with it. I am not advocating running yourself into the ground and disregarding your physical and mental health or your relationships – just to make that clear. Persistence means pushing past the comfort level, to where the pain starts. Where stopping would be so inviting and so easy, and you would probably get away with it too. But you don’t stop. It means doing stuff even when no one is watching or is going to congratulate you. It means doing it because it needs doing or because you have one more round in you – just about.

Sometimes the adrenaline will carry you forward, or the strength of your vision, or the curiosity of figuring out how to make something work. Sometimes you get a free round of “see I told you this was going to work” at the end and if you are lucky, some praise. But often nobody will see how hard you worked to be that overnight success they then get to envy from the comfort of their couches.

No matter how big the payoff might be at the end (and there are no guarantees, often there won’t be any) – on a day-to-day, the later stretches might feel like crawling on your eyebrows when you are no longer able to walk. (crawling on your eyebrows totally counts as moving forward. Beats moaning and doing nothing any day.)

How did persistence help you achieve a big goal or a next level? What were your strategies to keep going when you almost gave up?

Check out the values worksheet here.
Or
go deeper and get the book.
Or
ping me about how coaching might help. 

…but is it art? (and who cares)

Creativity might be part of your core values. As an activity in your own life, or in appreciating what others do. The question then might become “is it art”, and therefore possibly “is it worth it”. If you are not in that field as an “industry” and you can put your inner critic on pause (no mean feat), this question becomes less important over the magnificence of the act of creation itself, and the sheer number of possibilities this unlocks for yourself and, by extension, everyone around you.

If you didn’t like drawing at school, don’t worry. Creativity really is for everyone. In the broader sense has something to do with taking inspiration from the outside, linking it to something inside of you, and making this into something new that then comes alive on the outside again. Or, if you will, some form of putting spirit into matter. The outcome could be all sorts of things. A new recipe for a salad, a solved engineering problem, an insight translated into a conversation or vice versa, a beautiful framework to cut through a thought-mess, a vision becoming reality. Or, actually, nothing; aka something that isn’t quite done yet (and never fully might be), and that’s OK too.

It’s about not getting in the way of what wants to materialize, realizing none of this is linear (while still doing the work). On bad days it may feel like being in a chain gang with your-selves in endless painful grinding minuscule repetition with no end, outcome or goal in sight – in your least favorite weather while being ridiculed by the entire village. On good days it might feel not like doing, but more like bearing witness to an emerging miracle, so breathtakingly beautiful that tears replace words.

It doesn’t matter how big the outcome is, how visible, and if it is going to win any awards. As long as we know it is there. We are doing the work. We are sticking with it and eventually, we will have created something out there. It will then need to start walking by itself, make its own friends and find new creative ideas to mate with. And we have no idea what that might lead to, and that is the beauty of it.

What we create and put out there can change a day or a life for a person, and we might never see the longer-term implications this might have. Maybe that person then felt great as a result and had a really important conversation with their kid at home that will come to full fruition 10 or 20 years later. Or they muster the courage to embark on a journey of creation themselves. In all likelihood, we will never know. All we can do is keep the intention, do the work, get out of our own way, and create things. If we do enough of that, this will result in some next steps somewhere down the line that make a positive difference. Whether it’s art or not (that’s a picture of radishes).

Check out the values worksheet here.
Or
go deeper and get the book.
Or
ping me about how coaching might help.