Firstly, I must confess I am overwhelmed by the support and compassion shown by the readers thus far. In less than 24 hours I have had over 300 page views which I’m astounded at. I’ve always been very cautious to share my views and feelings publicly but I must say I’m really excited about sharing this journey and perhaps having it resonate with some of you. Thank you for your interest and the well-needed support you’ve offered me.
I have often had some really interesting discussions around the concept of a career passion. I’ve been amazed at how many people have revealed that their life passion is not what they are currently doing for a living. What surprises me is that it’s mostly people who I already perceive to be experts in their field. How many of us are walking around with hidden passions and incredible talents that are not being used? This blog is about my journey from where I am now to a future career that is designed on purpose to make the most of my talents and abilities. I’m hoping that it inspires some of you to take steps towards making your life more enjoyable too.
Medication is all good and well. But I don’t believe I’ll get a lot better by medication alone. The source of the problem needs to be uncovered and addressed in order to get fully well and avoid a relapse. So being the problem-solver that I am, I’ve spent a lot of time analysing what caused me to get so sick from stress. Why doesn’t this happen to other people? Am I not strong enough to withstand the stress when others can? And yes, I even drew a diagram. To protect the names of the not-so-innocent, I’ve sanitized it a bit.
There’s a lot in there to digest so I’ll just keep it high-level. My sources of stress are the following:
- Sense of obligation to deliver on my promises – to various life stakeholders
- Being behind in technology by about 20 years, the need to catch-up and meet with regulation, led to no opportunity to innovate. Life without innovation is boring to me.
- Without a modern system, I could not fulfill my vision for the company.
- I need to work with people who can be inspired, who want me as their leader and who want to improve.
- As an introvert, I spent the whole day meeting the needs of others. After work, the onslaught of little children and meeting their needs meant no respite for me to recover.
- As someone who is right brained, my day was filled with admin, accounting and compliance. No room to create the new, and have some fun.
If I had known myself better at the outset, I could have rearranged things to ensure my environment met my needs. Susan Cain’s book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, has helped me a great deal in knowing myself better and accepting myself. Introverts are not dysfunctional, they can be spectacular. Albert Einstein, Steve Wozniak, Gandhi, Dr Seuss are examples of famous introverts. But now I know. I must consciously design my future to meet my own needs, not only the needs of others.
And to think this is only the start of the journey – very exciting. Pity it took a serious illness to trigger it, but perhaps many of us are not listening to the cues around us or our own bodies telling us that it’s not sustainable. Hopefully some of you can learn from my mistake and change direction before you become ill.A quote from Petrus, the guide in Paulo Coelho’s The Pilgrimage “The person who does not know how to listen will never hear the advice that life offers us all the time.”