For the last few months, I’ve been busy creating a couple of new programs to share with you in 2016. You may have noticed I’ve been a bit more quieter on social media of late.
You haven’t? Well, never mind.
If anything, I feel as if I’ve been doing less tweeting of late and it’s because I’ve had these projects on my mind, as well as formulating ideas for how to become involved in a co-working space for our local community. (Stand by for more posts here – this is my new ‘sideline’ project).
It’s also been a time of reflection because it’s 18 months since leaving the corporate world and I’m taking stock of what I have achieved in that time. I’m not going to lie. There’s been ups and downs but thankfully, more ups. The downs can be considered more glitches and opportunities to learn from. However, one of the biggest lessons for me has been:
…I am the only one responsible for my success and my failure…
To some this is daunting but in all honesty, I’ve LOVED this journey because I have met SO many people who have TALENT and have UNIQUE skills and wonderful STORIES where everyone is trying to create a better life for themselves in some way.
I’ve also been thinking a lot about my past especially my Navy days and I wonder why this is so. I’m not usually one to reflect on the past as I prefer to look forward as it’s much more exciting. However, there has to be a reason why I keep thinking back to this point in my life and I think I found it.
In a way, this whole journey so far, reminds me of my old Navy days. It was my first job outside of school and university, I was young and excited to be starting a new career with my life ahead of me. Back then, the people who had joined the service came from a variety of backgrounds and situations. All had their own stories and everyone was aspiring to achieve personal growth in some way. They also believed in something higher than themselves – there was an element of ‘service above self’. (This also happens to be Rotary’s mission). There was a strong team bond between us because we all innately understood each other because we were going through the same journey. Sometimes I wonder if the reason why I stayed in the military for as long as I did was more about this ethos – and its people – and less about its hierarchy, structure and organisation. Certainly, my service in the Reserves and then many years in Rotary, also continued this desire for everything I do to have a connection back to community.
In some way I felt the same way when I left my corporate role 18 months ago. Going out on my own meant a whole world of possibilities. The people I’ve since met through my local community as part of my business coaching program, members of our social networking group Third Place and various other meet ups around Melbourne as well as conferences were all going on that same journey. Everyone comes from a different background, everyone has a story and everyone is looking for something more than to be defined by their 9 to 5 job. There’s a community and a buzzing excitement of people all on their own personal journeys to find their ‘thing’.
Last night, we had some quiet after work drinks with members of the Meet-up group I created Third Place (Our first place is our home, our second our work and the third, a community of friends). It was a fascinating discussion because the people who attended came from different backgrounds who were now in the Learning field. There were people who in some way, created their own niches and set about to ‘disrupt’ or challenge the thinking of their workplaces and now setting their own path.
Once again, my desire to listen and learn from other people’s stories and see the relationships and connections of people I know to introduce them to help them achieve their goal came out. This is what being in a network and a community is about.
I walked away at the end of the night once again, energised, uplifted and convinced that ‘service above self’ is a principle, an ethos, a behaviour that is critical for living and working in a networked world.
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