Friday, March 1, 2013

why we do what we do

I was sitting in one of The Concordia MBA classes last night and the guest speaker asked our students (who are getting ready to graduate in May from the program), "What is it that makes you fully alive?"  It was interesting watching the students ponder that thought as they were challenged to consider what they would do with themselves now that they were getting ready to graduate.  As I pondered the thought myself, I asked the flip side of the question, "What is it that keeps me from being fully alive?"  Following my journaling this morning, my mind wandered then to the title of this article, i.e. "Why do I do what I do?"  Pretty fundamental question, don't you think?  And then, as I combined the two ideas, it struck me that if what I do makes me fully alive, then that might just be the reason I do it.  Let me think out-loud about that a little bit...

  • some might say it is WHO I AM that makes me fully alive more than WHAT I DO...and yet what I do is/should be a reflection of who I am.
  • I was once asked the question, "What does it look like when you are at your best?"  It is a great coaching question, and something that has driven me to spend more time at what makes me feel alive and less time at what sucks my energy.
  • Being fully alive for me means that I more than likely feel at the top of my game, even when upset or exhausted.  I have energy..I have joy...things are getting done...and for the most part I have a smile on my face.  
  • Being fully alive means that others are noticing that I have energy...that I have joy...that I am getting things done...and that for the most part there is a smile on my face.
  • If someone today were to ask me why I do what I do, I would begin to talk about my calling and vocation, how what I do impacts people's lives, and that what I do feels right on a day-to-day basis.
  • If someone were to ask how do I KNOW that what I am doing is the right thing, I would begin to talk about how my energy stays high most of the day, how I get positive feedback for what I do, and that when considering alternatives, this continues to be my best option.
So as I put these thoughts together, I come back to the question asked last night, "What is it that makes me fully alive?"  I'm going to try to distill it down to three points:
  1. Being fully alive comes from the fact that I am in a place in my life that what I do on a daily basis makes sense for me - and others agree with that.
  2. Being fully alive begins with the fact that my sense of worth and value comes not from external sources, but from my knowledge and faith that I am loved by God and have been redeemed and called to bring about His Kingdom here on earth.
  3. Being fully alive means that I know who I am...I am comfortable with who I am...others in my life like who I am...and I have the resources to live a life reflective of who I am.
That's it...not sure all of this rambling today made sense, but it was a great exercise for me to consider the questions "what makes me fully alive?" and "why do I do what I do?"  I invite you to also consider these questions as you think about your life...and your leadership.

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