Monday, 25 October 2010

Doing the work we love

I think most times we define ourselves by the thing that brings in the bacon. Even if we are doing it only to bring in the bacon! But how does one start to define themselves differently when so much effort (8 hours of the day to be exact is spent on a job/career)
Would it not be nice if we worked on things that interest us?
If I could be paid for:
• Reading and writing- Believe it or not I love to write and hope to write a novel but I am scared- which is why I’m reading Feel the fear and do it anyway by Susan Jeffers. My Lord, this little book has helped me so much in the past month that I am not in a hurry to finish it cause I want to implement its teaching. I’ll probably read it again. I love this book so much that I designed a course for the girls based on it. I think getting past our fears is the first step in building our self esteem.
• Talking- motivating others
• Planning development paths for others- assisting them grow. I noticed I do this a lot with boyfriends especially. Ever-so often, I meet and fall in-love with a guy who has these career aspirations but no education and I go about chatting a path for him. What is he going to study, where, how long etc.
• Helping others live their best lives through teaching/coaching
I have a long list of things I want to do, but when I rode the bicycle 1st time successfully, I became convinced that WE ALL CAN DO EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING WE WANT TO DO. I know, I know, you’re thinking but it’s easy to ride the bicycle anyway. Exactly my point, how many things are so easy that people-including I- are not doing out there. Being an entrepreneur for example, how many people have that great idea that has never seen the light of day only to be shocked when someone else has done it?
In case you think I’m joking, websites like this one would not exist to help people get over their fear. In fact we live in a society that embraces fears so much, we give each and everything fear a name. I’m sure there’s a name for fear of cockroaches. See
I also, as much as we can break down barriers and climb over stumbling blocks, sometimes we need a coach (read this for the benefits of coaching). Mentorship is not appreciated enough in our society, for me it was highlighted this week when we (me and some guys from the NGO where I volunteer) attended a networking breakfast. There was this woman who directs an NGO herself, when I spoke about my NGO was full of ideas and contacts for me. I chatted to her after the meeting and even invited her and her daughter to visit our workshop and address the girls. I mean I most probably would have called on her occasionally when stuck on something but I started thinking of her as a possible mentor when a guy who mentors young business people was talking about how much he enjoys coaching and how some things, you need someone who has been through them to tell you about, that it occurred to me to ask the lady to be my mentor. We now will have breakfast every month and chat. I come with questions and she can impart her knowledge.
This brings me to some of the reasons I never succeeded at my past job. When something was boggling me I never had a coach to assist. I mean I had colleagues but they’ve got their own work. Without that guidance- in my case would have been easier if I got it from a manager- it was a challenge to do certain things especially when motivation is low.
Some other forms of getting guidance for me could be reading on the topic I am battling with. For example Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) in my country is a complex subject. But because I am responsible for unlocking benefits for our clients using one of the benefits of BEE, Enterprise Development, I must learn about it. And the guy who hired me, because he wants me to succeed so much gave me a copy of “Make BEE work for you” by Vuyo Jack.
But all of it is simple really now that I think about it. Grow in an area you like and Hone in on your strengths. A friend of my mine is reading “Now discover your strengths” by Marcus Buckingham and Donald o Clifton, so I browsed through and they contend that two assumptions should guide a good leader (they said manager by I change it cause I would not like to think of myself as managing anyone in my NGO-maybe I can start with calling it the NGO instead of owning it so much) and that is:
• Each person’s talents are enduring and unique
• Each person’s greatest room for growth is in the areas of his or her greatest strength.
Now that’s the truth.

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