Last week wasn’t easy; it was a heavy week in more ways than one. It was extremely productive but it didn’t bear as much fruit as I had hoped. I was a bit disappointed in how it ended.
As always, there is a lesson to be learnt to keep propelling myself forward. Over the weekend I had a great catch up session with an old friend, Naomi. She is a phenomenal woman whose story I will soon share on this blog. She is a YALI fellow and a champion of the protection and inclusion of more women in the transport sector not just in Kenya but across the African continent.
What started as a long overdue catch up turned out to be a reflection session for both of us. And it was great. This past week I started reviewing my older diary entries, entries I wrote while I was reading ROADMAP, lessons I regurgitated articulately to my friend to my surprise.
Two powerful reminders came to mind:
- Live life in Beta
The beta version of any software is the version that is produced and modified before the final version is released for consumption. The beta version is revised, re-programmed and re-developed. Life is that, it’s all about revisions, tests and trials to improve – to yield a better version of yourself. There is no final version of you. Even former presidents need to figure out what to do with their lives once they have completed their terms (unless of course, you are a blinded by a dictatorship or greed or both or whatever Putin is). What happens then? DO they collapse or find a new purpose and explore new things now that they have the time and opportunity.
Life isn’t a fixed set of rules and a strict path. Life is about constant self-improvement which comes with challenging yourself to find what works for you, what intrigues you; how you are wired and aim to be the best you can be at that time.
- Understand your Foundation
I realized the hugest challenge of fulfilment I have faced is in the boredom I feel when I hit a certain peak in a career. It reaches a point where I stop and ask myself, “Is this it?” Reading ROADMAP points out that life fulfilment isn’t about a career; it’s about building an occupation – fusing your love for various fields of knowledge and creating your own space of fulfilment. But it starts with understanding your foundation.
A great way to figure out your foundation is to review all the different kinds of work you have ever done and find that singular thread that runs through it. Let me break it down a little further. I have worked in sales, marketing, as a copywriter, a journalist, Master of Ceremony, Public Relations, A college instructor, writing fiction etc. As I sat to review why I did those various jobs, and what I found most appealing I found out what drew me to them was people. Once I got to understand and practice in each of these fields, the novelty of it wore off and I got bored. Meeting, interacting with people of diverse cultures, listening to their points of view, observing how they behave, why they reason and don’t reason in certain ways; that was refreshing. I discovered however much people irritated me, they fascinated me in equal measure. It was all about exploration of people and cultures that drew me to each one of those conventional fields. By understanding that people are my core interest it explained why I didn’t like being in one place for too long.
People are not an object that stays in one place, people move, they think, they respond, they build, they destroy, they create, they innovate, they are diverse. Because people are not constant, there was a fascination to find out what else there is about people that other spaces didn’t offer. Knowing that this is my foundation, I then needed to find my core interests stemming from this foundation. That’s where exploration and storytelling comes in. I don’t just want to explore cultures, mindsets and careers; I want to share those stories with the world. That’s why a lot of the past careers I have explored revolve around these areas.
Now I need to build an occupation that constantly satisfies these core interests and my foundation. That is where my fulfilment lies.
My conversation with Naomi reminded me this. It put me back on track, and now I feel alive and reborn once again!