"Get Your Head Around It." "Recycle Your Life." "You Choose." (And a Review of Something More, by Randy Hain.)
Posted Mar 10 2013 10:03am
pile of stuff from the last few days is sitting on my kitchen counter. The
first issue of Edible Atlanta since its relaunch. My new business cards with
the QR code that takes you to what I think is a very cool place for simple,professional profiles . A newspaper, folded
habitually long-wise and then in half, as if I were still riding the NY subway
and needed it to be as compact as possible while still readable (if you've
never seen this folding method in action, I'll have to videotape it for
you--it's one of the most-used life skills I've learned, and it was taught to me
by a strap-hanging stranger). Some college brochures, a campus map or two, and
a menu from a cute vegetarian place from a trip my husband and daughter took to
somewhere 12 driving hours away. And then, this (pictured above). This little postcard promotes
a recycling event coming up in a few weeks, but it hits me a completely
your life. Recycle your life. My whole family seems to be "recycling our
lives" or at least rethinking major aspects of them, in one way or
another. Just yesterday, I found myself back at the kind of school about which
you dream for your children (and where these words from Dr. Seuss were painted
on the walls in one long hallway).
Small classes, intense learning, fellow students who
truly want to be there, and limitless opportunities to express passions and
access opportunities to pursue their unique life's callings. Yes, it's an arts
school, and yes, it's also one of the highest-achieving academic high schools
in my state. And, yes, I've been there before, when my older daughter attended
before switching to a different magnet program closer to our home when this one
moved to what I considered to be an unsustainable distance away. But now my
older one is going to college, and all options are back on the table for
putting our changing family puzzle together in a way that will help us all
this--the putting together of a puzzle to live intentional lives that are true
expressions of our passions--reminded me of an excellent book I just finished
reading named Something More: The Professional's Pursuit of a Meaningful
Life, by Randy Hain. Randy is the managing partner of a national
executive-search firm, as well as a community volunteer, family man, writer,
and active participant in his church. He seems like a very thoughtful, balanced
guy, and it sounds like it took him some life lessons to get to that point,
which he generously shares with us (the homage to his father is my favorite
part), along with interesting interviews in every chapter with other business
professionals who are achieving lives of meaning. This book is a quick,
two-hours-in-a-hammock read that includes 14 fast chapters and actionable,
practical steps, plus some great bonus tips at the end.
reminded me of beliefs I already hold about the meaning of life, comforted me
about trusting the journey at a time of enormous business turmoil, and inspired
me to move even more full-throttle into the passion and purpose of my
existence. In addition to showcasing folks who are doing this and sharing their
advice, Randy also provides chapter-ending questions that help you clearly
identify your own road forward, such as "What obstacles are in the way of
me leading a more meaningful life? Which ones do I own and which are seemingly
out of my control, and what is a game plan to deal with each?"
I was reminded of an opportunity I had recently to
provide an answer to the question: "What is the decision criteria you
would use to accept your next career opportunity?" I wrote this:
1. Does this job opportunity combine my extensive corporate
experience with my personal and professional passions?
2. Will it afford me the opportunity to use my skills to make a difference,
while providing me with the ability to take care of my family
3. Is there sufficient freedom to work in the way I know I work best?
4. Will I be expanding my skill set through this job in ways that make me more
useful and effective as a change agent long-term?
5. Is it with a quality company that does (or wants to do) highly effective
6. Does my gut tell me to take it?
I never heard back from that entity (by the way, lack of
response has become the "new normal" in many aspects of our society,
which I believe is contributing to our collective breakdown in dignity), but I
felt like that exercise gave me much more clarity in my pursuit--and
protection--of an increasingly meaningful, authentic, and integrated life. I
have that list of questions now hanging on my office bulletin board. And, of
course, let's not overlook the importance of fun, but fun can often be found,
created, and grown in the most unexpected of situations (did you ever think a
group of people would have so much fun at a food pantry each week as we do ?)
Randy made a list as well when he was considering a
new job opportunity. Have you done this exercise yet? What would it take for
you to change course? Give it some thought, and be ready. Dream opportunities
come more often than you realize (the world's energy is always conspiring in
our favor), but we don't often recognize them because we may not be sure what
we even want.
yesterday, I saw a little article about Corning and their Gorilla Glass and how
they have transformed the touch screen industry with it. For those of you who
read the Steve Jobs book (about which I wrote for Better World Books here ), you'll remember that Corning completely
rejuvenated itself as a company when it began manufacturing Gorilla Glass for
Apple's iPhone. It is my favorite story in the book. The person with whom Jobs
was dealing at Corning wasn't sure he could pull it off and Jobs said to him,
simply, "Get your head around it." And sure enough, it turned out to
be not only possible but game-changing. A quick aside: I used to drive right
past the Corning factory on my seven-hour drive from Long Island, New York to
the State University of New York at Geneseo, where I went to college, plus my
family's dinner plates every night were those Corning Ware white dishes with
the little green pattern, so that company is somehow extra close to my heart.
So, get your
head around it.
And for those friends of mine who are in career
transition (which seems to be about half of them!), don't miss the very last
section of Something More, titled The Upside of a Job Search in a Down Economy.
( Click to purchase Something More on Amazon.)
As I like to remind all of you out there on our FoodShed Planet, you are singularly
unrepeatable and truly necessary in this world.I applaud you and the positive efforts you continually make, even when there are no outward signs of progress.
I personally want to thank you for all you do and
all you are, for giving me the gift of your friendship, for spending a few minutes with my blog each day, and for inspiring me. It is my great
honor to be a small part of your life. As Dr. Seuss wrote (and I alter slightly),
"Oh, the places we'll go!"
Let's stay open. Opportunities for lives of meaning