‘Don’t compare your insides to any ones outsides’ – Carole Bayer Sager
Happy Autumn, it is officially the season for jumpers and hot tea and I absolutely love it. I am writing today from my old university, which is so bizarre! I am here on a recruiting trip for work and it is always a time for me to think of how far I have come! Thank you for the really positive responses to the last post- on conversations and for filling up the places for the first Maximise your life dinner so quickly! To those who secured a spot, we will be sending you all the information you need including the menu and dinner topics this weekend so look out for it. For everyone else, next time! I’ll host one in Lagos as well soon as I know people there are on this journey with us as well. Exciting times!
Today, in continuing with the ANTI Series, I wanted to touch on another thing I think we need to do more of to build our best selves: asking ourselves the right question. Like I said I am at Warwick recruiting and have been here for two days. I spoke to many many keen university students who are looking at me with so much hope that they may stand in my place shortly, Thinking, if I could only get to where she is I would be happy.
I wish I could tell them the truth, that their journey to success will be a life-long thing. Getting that coveted job will not end their journey to success, but actually kick start it. I would tell them this for sure if any of them asked. Rarely do I get a question about my own perception of my success. They ask me how I got here, they ask me what I do, they ask me if I like my job and I tell them the true answers to all of those things. In that discourse though I cannot help myself, I have to tell them that they should be present in their NOW and appreciate what stage they are currently at. I tell them that the journey to personal happiness and fulfilment is just that, it is a journey and it requires you not to compare your insides, to someone else’s outsides. My job is my outside; my personal motivator is my inside. Quite frankly, you don’t want to share the journey I went through to reach a place of personal motivation that I now fulfil with my job and other things. You have to go on your own journey.
They look at me nodding and I know this is only going into one ear and out the other as they are gauging if I have written down their name for a reference. I can tell they don’t think that piece of advice is valuable and I am comforted than in a few short years, they will be where I am speaking to their younger selves passing on the same advice having lived a little.
This experience really got my thinking, when you meet someone who you look up to, someone who’s job you admire, or aspire to, what questions do you ask?
I am also guilty of this, I ask them about how they got to where they are, what they do etc. However, I think there is a more valuable question we need to be asking. You see the thing you are admiring about this person actually has very little to do with what they do. You are looking at who they ARE. So why don’t we skip the surface questions and dig for something deeper?
I was watching my regular Super Soul Sunday fix, and I came across an interview with Oprah and Carole Bayer Sager one of the most influential songwriters in the world. She explained how she was absolutely unable to receive her success when she achieved it. Now after a 50 year long career is she able to really appreciate everything and has reached a place of personal fulfilment and happiness. Oprah asks her ‘How do you get to this place sooner?’
She says: ‘You don’t. You get there when you get there. You set an intention but you don’t get there until you’re there.’
I love this so much. What Carole is trying to say is that this journey called life is a journey to living out your purpose. At an early age some of us are stuck in the system and therefore think it has to do with our jobs and all the boards and committees we attach ourselves to. That may be so, but there is something deeper going on. Carole explained that feeling anxious and unsafe as a child and young adult, drove her to write songs that made people feel less alone and loved. The means by which she did that was her song writing. Someone with the same personal motivator could have decided to become a social worker. The outcome is the different, but the driver is the same. For me, my personal purpose is really to make people feel included and understood; To make them feel like life can be amazing and that you are empowered enough to design a life that meets your needs. I think this desire came from a young age where I didn’t necessarily feel included or didn’t really have any real sense of empowerment or my own agency in creating a life I could love.
Once I started to plug into my own sense of power I became and still am desperate to share this truth with everyone and anyone who comes my way. If your personal motivator is not connected to what you are spending years doing, you’ll find that you will not be doing that thing for very long. This is why the 3D model is so important, you can strategically map out your life to cover all bases!
At the end of the interview, Oprah asked a question which I want to posit to you all today as well. We have talked about personal motivators, and how asking the right question can really lead you to learning the truth about what actually drives peoples success. This question is one that I think we all need to answer for ourselves, so here it is:
When is your life force most fulfilled?
Carole Bayer Sager Answered: When I am being creative.
Oprah answers: When I am increasing peoples consciousness
My answer: When I can uplift someone from a place of feeling like they cannot achieve anything to having hope of doing what they love.
What is your answer? When you figure it out you can really use it as a means to check whether you are actually spending your time and energy on the right things.
Life may be a journey, but it doesn’t have to be a WASTED journey. There is always a way to fulfil that inner life –force-you just need some self-awareness to navigate your way through.
PS! Although I am not a HUGE fan of online tests, I took one on personal motivators and it was so accurate! Try it out here and share your results with me! Tell me about you feel most fulfilled and if the activities you take on in your life align to those… if not what are you going to do to change that?
Looking forward to hearing back from you guys!!
Lots of love,