Design Your Career Crown

So what is connecting Passion to Purpose, you might ask? How can you develop a career strategy when you are not sure what your passion is? When I think about how I ended up where I am, it was a deep and long process of self-reflection and purposeful thinking. I was intentional and had my own personal business plan. I created a prototype of my goals, then hypothesis tested them—in search of the career alignment that followed my heart’s so called “calling”.  Essentially, I reverse engineered from my passion, which was motivating people, not knowing where it would lead me.

Pro tennis, traveling the world, exploring new cultures and people, sounds wonderful doesn’t it? But having limiting beliefs, the expectations that I had to medical school and that would make be happy, was holding me back. Holding me back from pursuing my dreams. Not only that, feeling that pressure, getting in to medical school—but seeing poverty and suffering first-hand that impacted me. I was living my passion, although I faced those obstacles. I was happy doing it. But, I still felt a void. I discovered, through these valleys, that we all need a purpose bigger than ourselves.

Ikigai is a Convergence of Four Primary Elements

  • What you love (your passion)
  • What the world needs (your mission)
  • What you are good at (your vocation)
  • What you can get paid for (your profession)

Your ikigai is at the intersection of what you are good at and what you love doing,” says Hector Garcia, the co-author of Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life. He writes,“Just as humans have lusted after objects and money since the dawn of time, other humans have felt dissatisfaction at the relentless pursuit of money and fame and have instead focused on something bigger than their own material wealth. This has over the years been described using many different words and practices, but always hearkening back to the central core of meaningfulness in life.”

What You Deeply Care About Can Unlock Your Ikigai

Follow your curiosity.

Philosopher and civil rights leader Howard W Thurman said, “Ask what makes you come alive and go do it.” … “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

The problem for millions of people is that they stop being curious about new experiences as they assume responsibilities and build routines. Their sense of wonder starts to escape them. But you can change that, especially if you are still looking for meaning and fulfillment in what you do daily.

Albert Einstein encourages us to pursue our curiosities. He once said:

“Don’t think about why you question, simply don’t stop questioning. Don’t worry about what you can’t answer, and don’t try to explain what you can’t know. Curiosity is its own reason. Aren’t you in awe when you contemplate the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure behind reality? And this is the miracle of the human mind — to use its constructions, concepts, and formulas as tools to explain what man sees, feels and touches. Try to comprehend a little more each day. Have holy curiosity.”

We are born curious. Our insatiable drive to learn, invent, explore, and study deserves to have the same status as every other drive in our lives

Forward Momentum

As you think of your future career, these workshops are focused on thinking about the situations that bring out the best in you. Our focus is not on finding you a job, but helping you with an evolving world view, a path forward in your personal and career development. I mention “personal” first because we begin with the person. This is, in fact, human centered design. How many of you have heard of Human-Centered Design or HCD? In short, it’s another word for Design Thinking.

So what is this program really all about? It’s about doing what you do best, what makes you feel better, what makes you work better. Identifying your strengths, and playing to those strength—and I promise you, if you do that, your job will be more rewarding.

Career and Personal Development

Career development is a lifelong project of exploring our experience, naming its meaning, and living in a way that translates this meaning into action.

Our alumni navigate many transitions — personally and professionally — over the course of their lives. As you navigate any transition, it may be helpful to articulate or reconnect with your career and life vision and adopt a bias towards action.

Articulate Your Reflections

Reflection is a kind of reality-testing, to understand our experience. Reflection is the way we discover and compose the meaning of our experience. Having a career and life vision gives you the ability to see your work and career — what you do and where you do it — in a way that is personally meaningful, stimulating, inspiring, and fulfilling, and in alignment with who you are. Many successful managers and executives will tell you that they did not have plans for their careers or specific career goals. Rather, they had an idea (an image) and an understanding of what they liked and did not like, as well as some general guidelines for how to lead their work and personal lives.

As such, having a career and life vision is not the same as being able to define a specific job in a specific industry at a specific company. That may be a career goal, but it’s not a career and life vision.

The Power of Clarity

Having a career and life vision is essential for you to find job satisfaction and success. It is a road map for where you want to go, keeping you focused on your long-term objectives, so that you’re not pushed in other directions.

It can be quite challenging to define your career and life vision on your own. A career coach may be the best resource to guide you through this process. It will take time for you to develop your this mindset, but it’s an investment that will pay dividends over your entire life.

In the end, we hope that this Purpose Series will be a place where people come to better understand the world globally, as well as a sanctuary for self-reflection—where people come to better understand themselves.