The thief of progress is the inability to convert. There is no feeling better than that of the euphoria and excitement that comes with an idea or an epiphany – all the pieces fall into place and you feel like you know who you are meant to be in the world. It’s the next step that is less enjoyable, converting the idea into an actionable plan.
I’m sure you’ve all had times when you’ve had a brainwave, thought of something that would solve all the problems in your life, or even the world. One of my best was an app that would find clothes on the internet based on the pictures you uploaded. Not an idea that would change humanity for the better, but pretty cool! I know I wasn’t the only person in the world with the idea. The difference between me and the creators of The Iconic and other similar apps is that they converted their idea into something tangible. They didn’t let fear of the unknown paralyse them and stop them from taking the first step. So today is my first step; my commitment to trying, and failing, and carrying on. It’s a commitment to myself but also to you readers – I want you all to hold me accountable!
My first step (unsurprisingly for a management consultant) was a brainstorming session. I spent a week paying close attention to the news, articles and stories I heard that frustrated and unsettled me. I made a note of the themes and mapped them out, trying to make sense of it all. I knew the resulting list wasn’t exhaustive, but it was a great place to start. Part of me wanted to wait and ensure I had listed every possible idea or purpose, but I knew that my desire for perfection and totality stemmed for a fear of putting myself out there and being rejected. So I pushed past that fear, saw the positives in what I created and tried to find some kind of order in the mess.
I realised that the biggest source of my sadness and anger was the inequity in the world, which largely falls into three “buckets”: political, social and economical. Of course, in real life nothing is clean cut, all of the issues could arguably fit into all three of the buckets. For the sake of clarity and ease of comprehension, I’ve done my best to split them out and highlighted the overlaps below.
So here it is; my brain untangled and laid out on the page. It’s quite pretty if I do say so myself! Over the following year, I am going to find work tackling the above issues, be it through volunteering, setting up a petition or paid employment. I’ll document my experiences on this blog, and cherish each step towards finding my purpose, or ikigai.
If you’re looking for something extra in your life, join me and we can find our ikigai together.