Until today, I’ve always asked people about ‘flow’, activities which we love so much that we lose track of time. Every one knows what these are, of course, because we run late and get into trouble!
You should try asking people! It usually takes no more than 5 minutes to get a young person’s eyes to light up with delight as they recall what they love doing.
But then ask how they will make a living and their eyes dull over as they contemplate what worries them most.
How can we find the place where our deep gladness and the world’s hunger meets?
In days gone by, to find that place, we used to join an organization. The transitions between the stages of our lives where quite abrupt. We went to school where we knew people. Then we went to university and college where we started again. Then we did the same when we went to work.
With each change, we could trust the organization to provide the place where our own passions and the world’s needs met.
That’s no longer the case. Our careers have become less a set of “steps in a staircase” and more a trumpet shape as we take our deep gladness and expand it like a daffodil in bloom to ever widening interaction with the world.
I used to think I was quite innovative about honing in so quickly and easily on our experience of flow – the activities that bring the light to our eyes – our deep gladness.
I’m glad I do that. But it is not enough.
I also have to ask
- Who did you talk to today?
- What did you do or say that gave you immense pleasure and that was also appreciated by the other person?
It’s around this frontier that we can build a portfolio for a successful career.
Can young people tell me about the place where their deep gladness and the world’s hunger meets?
I must ask them. What will be the points of recognition? What is the equivalent of losing track of time? What body language tells us that we have found this place?
Can anyone help me?
I suggest you volunteer to be at Career evenings at your local secondary schools and ask the kids there.