With many large Australian businesses undertaking big restructure programs (aka Telstra, CBA and I’m sure there will be many more to come), many people are facing the reality that their careers will be impacted and shortly they will have to make new life choices and face many new challenges, as they are thrown back into the “job market”; for many I know, this is a truly daunting experience.

 

On Saturday night, I was discussing with friends about how this type of change impacts people; and how at different times of your life, you are likely to respond in many different ways. Having faced redundancy 3 times already in my 20 year career, and currently going through another type of career transition myself, I started to reflect on how I now view these periods of change, as I focus more and more on how I want to feel each day, much more than what I want to be doing.

 

As I think about my own transition, I reflect on where I have been, what I have enjoyed and what I haven’t; and why. What makes me feel more me and what doesn’t. Undertaking this type of reflection takes me directly to the work of Danielle LaPorte who created a goal setting program called the Desire Map.

 

At the core of her work, is the idea that it is not what we do that’s important; but instead, it’s how, doing what we do, makes us FEEL, that is important. And, if we truly want to perceive ourselves as successful, then we will know that we are, when we are able to feel our true core desired feelings every day.

 

Turning the goal upside down, and letting our task fuel a feeling instead of the societal norm, of having more, being more or climbing higher; really does start to challenge the tasks that you set yourself. In the case of a career transition, you start to shift you thinking to – what would your “doing” look like, if your “being” was the centre target?

 

One of my current core desires that I am working with, is the feeling off freedom. I desire to work in a way that allows me to feel free. Free to be me, free to express myself, free to add value in areas, I know that I can; free to support those that need/want my support. Free to learn, and free to earn in ways that nurture my own personal growth agenda. Free to work, where, when and in ways that I choose to.

 

I wonder, can I work within the corporate world and still truly feel free?

Is it possible, to feel the support off a financial system without the restrictions on a sense of freedom?

Or is this just a pure fantasy, yet to manifest within the patriarchal corporate structures and cultures?

 

We have been corralled into thinking that we must be feeling like we are constantly “working hard” and “tied to the desk” to be valued within corporate community. To have our nose to the grind – painfully pushing through our working days to seek the sweet relief of drinks on Friday. It’s often a badge of honour for people to be on the constant treadmill of “being needed” or “in demanded”, of “being busy”, locked into commitment on top of commitment and as I have often joked with many leaders “holding up the walls”.

 

We can often suffer from short sightedness when we are blinded by the shot of hormones that comes when we receive a little recognition from the corporate recognition structure whether it be monetary or not; for that moment in time; we think ‘OK’, the grind was worth it. It’s ok for me to feel disconnected, exhausted, resentful, stressed, anxious; for the majority of my days, because today I got recognised. And that is enough.

 

But is it? Is it really enough? And what then happens, if and when that moment doesn’t come.  What happens if the conditions change and you don’t get your monthly/annual injection? And your booster gauge doesn’t get re-fuelled to go back into the race.

 

Well, if you take a second for yourself; you may start to reflect about your days.

 

And if you get quiet enough, you may recognise that you have spent the vast majority of your working life just going through the motions, no longer feeling much, even numbed to the negative feelings that over time you stopped bothering to listen too. You may even feel like you have no other choice, because making the change seems more challenging than just staying numb to it all.

 

You may even be lost to the concept that you could have been experiencing something or anything different. Lost in the grey world, in hope of the shot of colour that is now not available from an external source and now believed to be out of reach.

 

Now, I recognise this is not everyone’s truth.

 

I know there are some people who do feel some sense of their core desires within the corporate world. But I also know many do not,  and I think that we can see this in the mental health statistics that float though our ether daily – Like this one – 7.3 million (45 per cent) of Australians aged 16 to 85 will experience a common mental health disorder (such as depression, anxiety or a substance use disorder) in their lifetime. (Source: www.ama.com.au)

 

This article in the Age, published 19 Sept, 2018 by Kate Aubusson is also such a deep reflection of our current culture. The article shares that 64% of people going to their GP are going for psychological support. And that GP’s have 6 minutes to help them. 6 MINUTES! Before they have to charge extra money, of which not everyone seeking help can afford.

 

6 minutes, to unpack a psyche that has been developed over years and years of experiences, choices and beliefs. Ignoring the patients for a moment, just reflect on the Dr’s  quality of work life, working in this way and being able to provide a service of care.

 

I see these statistics, and I see the way that the culture has told us how to spend the vast majority of our time and how we can be valued and for many, it is to turn up, shut up and get on with it. What we think of work and how we want to feel about work, needs a focus shift.

 

Do you think that if the focus of work, was to feel your desired core feelings, that these statistics would be the same? I don’t.

 

As AI enters the workforce and change is our only consistent experience, our only edge will be the feelings and creativity we can offer to each moment.  Working “hard” does not equate to valuable contribution. And valuable contributions are more likely to come from people who have a sense of embodied satisfaction that their core desired feelings are being met.

 

When my KPI is a sense of freedom instead of finding “Enter Job Title and Remuneration Package here”, my ability and options to achieve the desired state all of a sudden become considerably more flexible, open and creative; and my ability to make choices becomes a lot more streamlined. It becomes easier to prioritise what I need to do, to get to where I want to be, it is easier for me to let go of tasks, that have little impact and focus on getting the most important things done.

 

I know that when I focus on my core feelings, my day is full of colour and I know I am the one that is controlling the speed of the rollercoaster ride of change; only I can be the creator of my own sense of freedom. It is an internal job. On the days, that I get it right, boy, are they good. Centred, relaxed, productive, and truly satisfying. I am turned on.

 

Rewarded by me for me. No hard work required.

 

I have the power to choose what core desires to live with each day, and so do you.

 

Going through change?  Give it a go.

 

  • Ask yourself how do you want to feel today?
  • What can you be doing that would make you feel that way, more often?
  • What would you do something differently?

I would love to hear the answers.

 

What-Would-You-Do-With-Your-Freedom

 

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