Have you seen the Greatest Showman? The whole theme of the movie is COMING ALIVE. As a leader it is essential that you have some idea of what makes you come alive. How can you impart enthusiasm to those who follow you if you're unclear about your own 'spark'?
The leadership / coaching literature often refers to this somewhat boringly as 'identifying your values', or, more colourfully as 'finding your voice'... Personally I like to link it to the positive psychology literature on the character strength of spirituality - loosely defined as your beliefs about where you sit in the greater scheme, and how you authentically contribute to the world. Anyway - moving on...
My question for you is: Do you know what makes you come alive? The word spirituality has the same latin root as the 'spir' in inspiration and respiration. What inspires you? What breathes life into you? Keeps you awake at night bugging you? What seeds are planted in your heart that need to be nurtured, waiting for a few drops of water to quicken them to life?
Sometimes we might believe that these seeds, this spark, is dormant. Well, your education in life is partly about learning how to do stuff – but it’s also about learning who you are, what your purpose may be, and how to wake up what is sleeping inside you. This is part of the core curriculum life puts before you daily.
A word of assurance: finding what makes you come alive doesn't have to be strident, loud, or over-the-top. I like some of Tony Robbins' work, but his book titled Waking the Giant Within does sound painful if you think in pictures. (A friend of mine saw me reading it and said "Careful, you might pop!") Finding your spark doesn't have to be crazy big. It can be still, small and quiet - and be just as significant, just as transformational for your leadership as the experience of what we might call 'loud' people.
Another thing people worry about is getting it done now. Don’t freak out if you haven’t got it figured out by next week! Like so much of our life education, this is a process. Rushing at this like a bull at a gate won't necessarily yield better results.
So, what can we do? Wherever you're at, what you can do is practice your character strength of spirituality by looking for clues:
Notice when your heart wakes up; (that's a little nudge right there).
Notice when you feel even just a little bit more alive - what is happening in that moment?
And, the big one...
Look for moments of joy (when we're being really congruent with our purpose, rather than feeling drained, we'll be buoyed up - even if physically tired).
Like following a trail of breadcrumbs, this noticing, this reflective practice will help you find your way to be even more yourself, who you really are, who you are when you are fully alive.
If you or someone you know would like to have a conversation about finding what makes you come alive, you're welcome to get in touch through Linked in or firstname.lastname@example.org.