Self Leadership – Try on New Hats

Try on Career HatsTwo stepping stones of self leadership are getting crystal clarity about the path you will travel and then on who you will be as you travel it. Using play as both a clarity and creativity tool is a great way to explore different possible career paths.

In the book the Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, as part of an exercise called “Name Your Dream,” Julia asks you to complete these sentences for yourself:
1. “I would secretly love to be a ______” and,
2. “______ is what I would do for a career if I was being very selfish.”

Questions such as these are crafted to call forth your quiet authentic voice. They are questions to aid you in giving yourself permission to begin to explore what you would do, if you were being a little more “self-full.”

When you begin to give yourself permission to explore what you would do, if you better followed your authentic voice, you access more and more awareness of what would bring you fully alive in a career. Authentic voice exploration also opens you up to your dreams and thinking and acting bigger than you might have done if you hadn’t given yourself such permission.

How many people do you know that just landed in a career rather than crafting a specific A to Z career path? I know I am personally surprised to hear just how many people haven’t crafted a career – or even their ideal hobby for that matter.

I know my story of my earlier career was more of “landing in it”.  A summer job when I was 16 for an airline flight kitchen took me on a 25 year joyful journey in various roles in the travel industry. None of my journey was scripted.

I didn’t create a clear forward path in advance – I just lived my life and opportunities arose – and I just kept on making choices to move myself forward. Now, I got to see a lot of the world and met some absolutely wonderful people and somewhere I realized that life was “living-me” with regards to my career.

In the late 90’s, triggered by a pending organizational merger, I began to open my mind to the possibilities for what could be next for me. I did a few things in combination:  I took career aptitude assessments, picked up all the popular career books at the time, I worked with a coach on my own life’s self expression and meaning and most importantly, I played.

Using the book , the Artist’s Way for inspiration, I played in the sense that I used my dreams, my small little authentic voice and the joint learnings from multiple personal strength assessments to play out different scenarios  and try on different hats in answer to the question “I would secretly love to be a ____”.

My own personal different possible career hats were:

  1. A professional coach
  2. A minister
  3.  A Feldenkrais practitioner
  4. An organizational consultant
  5. A national trainer (skills)

I took one possible career hat each week and scripted out what both my ideal day and typical day would look like.  What kinds of things I would be doing and how I might be feeling.

I took on the mindset of each career, asking myself what I believe and what values I would have in each career.

I imagined the environments I would be working in. Who would be around me, who would I be in relationship with and what would be my deliverables in each of these relationships.

And most importantly I started to do activities that were in alignment with testing out moving forward with any of these careers. I attended workshops, I interviewed people, entertained new ideas and I continued to allow myself to play with the dream of what it would be like to do each of these career paths.

At the end of my five weeks of play, I remembered all my scenarios – and remembered where I felt most alive, most self full, and most in service.

I continue to know without a doubt that I am in a career that is aligned with my personal talents and aliveness. I know this because I tried on the hats and walked in the shoes of the other careers in play.

What have you secretively dreamed about being or doing?  Is it perhaps time to play and try on a few new hats?


3 Practical Spiritual Needs Hiding Underneath Your Clutter

and why it may occur without your knowing it

clearing clutter
If you can relate to having a fair bit of clutter in your life; here is an opportunity to look underneath it.

If you do not have clutter clearing as a habit or simplicity practice it just might be blocking your personal leadership vitality.  Look to the meaning or purpose behind your clutter as a way of expanding your awareness of why you might be “over-collecting“.

Have you been burying your spiritual awareness underneath your clutter?

There are many dimensions to clutter:

  1. There is the physical dimension (the actual stuff you are collecting),
  2. The mental dimension (being confused, non-clear or just too many thoughts),
  3. The emotional dimension ( all your feelings around collecting,  ignoring, having too much, or delaying releasing clutter) and then,
  4. there is the spiritual dimension of clutter.  When we talk about the meaning and purpose of your clutter – moves this type of clutter busting up into the spiritual dimension.  So today we’re talking about 3 practical spiritual needs that might be underneath your clutter.

Spiritual Need #1:  Awareness

Are you are hiding Something? (from yourself)

The opportunity here is to expand your awareness around your relationship with clutter.

Expanding your awareness of what clutter represents for you can be a real eye opener.  Once you find the meaning behind your clutter, you get to be in more choice about what to do next.

When we avoid shining a flashlight on the meaning of clutter – we avoid a major key to being able to shift behaviour.

My story with clutter evolved in my 20’s when first purchased a home, and then promptly began to fill it.    Then, right after my brother died, and my folks and grandmother moved to an island – I then experienced a period of collecting to the point of being cluttered.

I collected my folks remnants from their move,  the furniture from my grandparents early marriage and lots of ‘cluttery’ things to make my new home “comfy”.

It wasn’t until later after I began a path of personal development I realized what I was calling me being  “sentimental” was me – avoiding feeling the feeling of being “left”.

This “stuff” allowed me to feel connected – even thought I was separated by distance and death.  I was also resisting the natural changes that time brings too.

Now, over time – I more fully recognize how I was looking outside of myself for something that can only be found within.   The meaning.

Everyone’s story is different.  Are you holding on to too much?

Spiritual Need #2: Living Your Pure Potential

Who are you becoming?

Who are you in relation to your clutter? And What impact are you having on yourself and those around you?

It’s these ways of being that effect more than the tangible and intangible “clutter things”.  For example, pick one environment where you have a fair bit of clutter.

Just review it in your mind now.   You’ve perhaps not spent much time to think about how you behave relation to cluttered things.

So I’ll now invite you to imagine for just a moment that you are in an environment that nurtures and inspires you. A place where you have all your needs met, and you have all the feelings that go along with having all of your needs met.

Imagine you feel connected, loved, open, joyful and inspiring.

 If your inner critic is talking – keep he or she quiet for a moment and really give yourself the gift of just imagining your ideal environment.

Now ask yourself, has the way you have behaved in your environment  – have your behaviours been serving your soul?   Or your ego?

I find that this criteria question can help find your deepest desires for your best behaviours.  Once you find how you wish to behave and you habitually engage in behaviours in alignment with that – who you become is a byproduct.

Spiritual Need #3: Living Your Destiny.

Your legacy is how you lead yourself now. 

What is your personal legacy?  What legacy are you creating?  And when I am asking those questions – I am asking not for your perspective; but from a larger, meta perspective.    For example, sometimes when we collect physical thingy’s we have intentions for  “future use” .

I often find the details of that future use – hasn’t necessarily been grounded in a legacy framework that includes clear pictures of intentions and action steps of how they will be used and by whom specifically.

When you create crystal clarity about when, why and for whom  “things” exist in your environment – often the realization comes that “excess” isn’t really needed – because your resources have been planned to a T.