As I approach that space where leaving the formal workplace opens up upon the horizon, I come back to the question that sparked the creation of this blog six years ago.
Originally called, A Year of Making a Difference, this blog was my space to dive into the question, “Who am I when I don’t have a job that makes it easy for me to feel like I’m making a difference every day?”
At the time I had just resigned from my role as Director Public Relations and Volunteer Services at a large adult-single homeless shelter. I’d been there for six years. It was work that inspired me and filled my heart. I loved the place and people but the politics combined with my lack of enthusiasm for the values and direction of the leadership provided the impetus to make the decision to leave.
I was scared.
Everyday I walked into that place and knew, I was making a difference.
Without my title, position, profile in community, who was I? Would I have value?
Six years ago, I wrestled with the question of how to make a difference just by being present in this world. It was a year long adventure of finding value in all things, and acknowledging ‘my connection to you and your connection to me’ creates a world of difference’ — the kind of difference we make is dependent upon our intention, our willingness to be present, no matter the circumstances, with loving-kindness in our hearts and harmony in our being.
At the end of the first year of writing in this space, I changed its name to Dare Boldly; a reminder to myself to always take the bold step, no matter my fear, trepidation or insecurities.
Daring boldly isn’t easy. I want to play it safe. Stay the course. Not make waves. Keep on keeping on.
Daring boldly isn’t hard either. It just requires the courage of knowing what I want create in this world, and then, taking action to create it.
For me, creating a world of harmony, a world where we dance, laugh, play and create without fearing one another is a ‘BHAG’.
According to its originator, Jim Collins, a BHAG (pronounced Bee-Hag), is a powerful way to stimulate progress.
Which got me to thinkin’ and a’wonderin’ — I get that organizations can have Bee-Hags, but individuals?
Life itself is a journey of progressing moment to moment, each moment building upon the last, each moment informing the next. When I seek value in all things, every moment is filled with opportunity to create better.
Life is a BHAG! I don’t have to stimulate progress. Progress is inevitable.
Knowing and naming my personal BHAG within life’s big hairy audacious presence and taking action on progressing towards a goal, or perhaps an idea, or ideal way of being in this world, big, hairy and audacious, or not, is necessary for me to feel engaged, vital and content in my life.
Six years ago, I started this blog with the idea of creating a space where, every day, I sought difference making in our world.
Today, as I begin to contemplate ‘life after formal work’, there is little difference in my focus. No matter what I do, I want to be conscious of, and engaged in, difference-making.
Yes, I know that just being present on this earth makes a difference.
Yes, I know that one person cannot change the world (but it sure is good if each of us tries because that adds up to a whole lot of people trying to make the world a better place. In our collective efforts we create a tsunami of better!)
And yes, I know that my job is not so much to change THE world, it’s to create a world of difference in MY world.
Ultimately, to feel content, to feel engaged in and activated by life, my job is to change my world so that no matter what I do, the difference I make is one of creating more harmony, more joy, more love. And more opportunities to dance, laugh, play and create.