This year opened with a fair amount of global drama. Across the world in various ways high levels of distrust and anxiety have been expressed about what the future will bring and how we will meet it. Some would say it has not been the most optimistic kick off to 2018 and offers little inspiration to think big or give our best.
Or does it?
Step away from all the drama, that intense emotional speculation predicting doom and gloom and consider for a moment the broader human experience. You will quickly see there have been many significant moments in history where uncertainty caused by crisis has been the dominant operating environment.
Dig a little deeper and you will also discover that in these highly charged conditions, the world’s greatest heroes and villains have been born. That crisis and chaos act to bring out the very best and very worst of human power and that the world is inadvertently transformed by these actions.
Put simply within every great turmoil lives the opportunity to play big or to stay small. BUT how does this ‘truth’ relate to our work or business?
Our work is one of the most fundamental sources of personal power which feeds not only our own creative expansion but also the collective human expansion. Work is where we spend most of our time. It is what we give effort towards and it is where we are valued and compensated for the use of our energy, passion and mind-power. This makes work very much a soul matter.
Your professional path is often a lifelong journey. One in which you have the choice to meander along waiting for a lucky break or where you can choose to step up, own your creative power and have a real impact. A person who is inspired, passionate and engaged with their work becomes an ingenious and unstoppable tool that naturally creates positive changes and leads the world to a very different future.
Sadly, this is not how most people view their creativity and personal power at work.
I can’t tell you how often I’ve heard people say, “The world is going to shit, so I might as well give up and go travelling. Or I should just do what everyone else does, take what I can and not care anymore”. I get it! When you’re a visionary with a passionate heart who lives with integrity, it is disheartening to see how uninspiring and sometimes unethical our workplaces are or how poorly we treat each other and the planet in general.
However, what you rarely hear people say in the same situation is, “wow, the world is getting crazy, all the rules are breaking down and there is no strong leadership or inspired vision. This is absolutely the best time for me to disengage with the bullshit, to leap into the unknown, embrace the wildest possibilities and step up as the hero or heroine that will inspire, innovate and lead the world to come.
This is my time to be GREAT and have an impact.
One of the greatest universal truths is that every crisis signals an ending – the death of outdated ways of thinking, doing and being – and marks the opening of a new chapter of existence. A time when what no longer serves us individually and collectively is being shattered by global forces that are breaking us through to an undefined and open future. A future that is thirsting for courage, creativity and ingenuity.
This makes 2018 possibly the most exciting time to be alive, where your role, business and overall professional life holds so much power to transform and lead the changes that want to happen. That as everyday people, we can for the first time engage with our work as an opportunity to become the heroes and heroines of our own path crafted exactly the way we want. That our job can in fact answer the ‘call to Greatness’.
SO HOW DO YOU BEGIN TO ANSWER THE CALL?
A calling is simply a deep inner urge to have an impact in your own unique way. I call this your ‘Call to Greatness”. Greatness owns your talents and expresses these through your work in a powerful and meaningful way. What this looks like and how you choose to do it is the fun part. There are no limits, rules or ‘right and wrong’ approaches. It is a purely creative exercise. There are, however five core steps to get you on the right path.
SAY YES TO THE JOURNEY
Nothing truly inspiring happens when you go about your daily business with no sense of who you are beyond the ordinary or what your passions or vision might be. To say YES to the ‘hero’s journey’ is to engage your inner hero or heroine and to open the door to a larger and far more thrilling life story. One where you embrace your strengths, discover your gifts and learn through the trials of life to master them. Finally to apply these talents to serve not only your own expansion but that of the whole human race.
ENGAGE YOUR ‘CREATIVE GENIUS’
Every single person is born with a ‘creative self’ that exists beyond personality and life circumstances. Your ‘inner genius’ is a combination of virtues, talents, strengths and archetypal influences and it is what fuels your passion. This the SELF that wants to grow, expand and evolve and at its core to fulfil your life purpose. Creativity is not artistry, is is simply your ability to create an outcome – to imagine, invent, sense, interpret, intuit, envision, calculate, craft, make. It is to learn the process of taking an idea and transforming it into a reality.
ADOPT A POTENTIAL MINDSET
A potential mindset is expansive in that it views every situation as an opportunity to explore and expand rather than fix, solve, improve or better. A potential mindset never looks for the best way forward first. Instead it considers all the possible ways forward no matter how edgy, wacky or plain off the chart wild before taking action. It makes the space and gives time to engage with the big picture and all the interdependent elements that play a role before moving forward and is not to be led by obvious details, personal agendas or external pressures.
OWN YOUR CALL TO GREATNESS
A call to greatness is the vision for how your gifts will create in the world and for what purpose. Consider your strengths as tools and the vision as a blueprint for how these will be best applied and what they will service. The call to greatness is guided by archetypal influences, that is by forces greater than your personal self. Archetypes have lost their status in modern life, however they remain a powerful hidden driver and are your strongest allies. Owning your call asks you to re-engage with your archetypes and be led more by their intentions and agendas.
DO THE WORK
Greatness does not happen to you. It is the result of small (even tiny) daily steps in the right direction. Few people know what their ‘call to greatness’ is from the outset, it is something they discover on the journey. At the beginning there is just a sense of what’s possible and a small awareness of your gifts and passions. As you practise and grow stronger more of your purpose is revealed. It is logical to progress towards your vision one step at a time, so you can gather new learnings and insights as they occur and make any appropriate adjustments. Establishing a daily practice is a powerful way to commit to your dreams that is actually doable. It also allows you to connect with your hero/heroine on a daily basis and to be guided by their wisdom.
Ischa Ropert is a transformational coach who works with people to discover their true purpose in order to live a full and meaningful life.