Thursday, 26 July 2018

Living a Life of Purpose... For Kids

This post is in reply to Ayelet Baron's It's time for each of us to stop asking kids what they want to be or do when they grow up, and the conversation that we have with our kids that (I hope) gives them the permission to never stop looking for their place in the world.

But before I tell you that story... I need to tell you this one ;)

CMAD 2016 Vs 2018

When looking for a link to share re: how I wanted "Connected Educator Appreciation Day" to be "like #CMAD for educators" to a few people interested in exploring the idea and getting involved.

I re-watched this Community Manager Appreciation Day 2016 session (Connected Educators & NewPowerEducation fans: WELL worth watching this!!)
I DID watch this live at the time... as can be demonstrated in this: #CMAD Reflections of a Newbie (Session 16), but saw it in a WHOLE different light after reading New Power (@ThisIsNewPower), and given that I'm helping to organise an event that I hope will help get more educators connected.

I've also watched a number of Ayelet's #CreatingIS sessions too.

But after watching the session the "Shallow Engagement" of the odd Tweet and reply became a deeper connection.

Ayelet shared a post about teaching our young people about "A Life of Purpose" and I wanted to offer the ways that we try to convey and communicate this with our kids.

I've known about Ayelet's work for 4 years+...I watched the same #CMAD hangout that I did 4 years ago, but did so with a whole new level of understanding! Perhaps Napoleon Hill was right:

"When one is truly ready for a thing, it puts in its appearance"  Think and Grow Rich

Call Centres & Cold Calling is Dead... Who Knew?
Even the politicians that I DO have any time and respect for will tell me:

"William, your communication is too long and too frequent" 

But when all the call centre jobs go all at once (See Adapt or Die: How to Cope When the Bots Take your Job) I would not be surprised if the reply from the same politicians will be:

"Who knew? No one saw it coming" Just like Alex Salmond did at the GE2017 election... WRONG! And, like Gazelle and FELTAG, I told them AT THE TIME!!

To say "Erm, well I did!" At a time when all these jobs actually go will come across as a smug and "I told you so," definitely not something that the thousands of newly unemployed people will want to hear.

When your call centre job goes...Who you gonna call?
A politician? In my experience, don't bother
...Just check this thread
"When you think that a huge telecoms company like AT&T employs about 100,000 call centre agents to look after its 120 million customers, that's a lot of jobs that could disappear pretty quickly" Innovate or Die

Living a Life of Purpose... For Kids
My kids don't have the luxury of being able to say my communications is too long or frequent - Something that I'm sure they wish that they could do at times! 

But, on the other hand, even my 7 year old son 'gets' ideas that the political classes appear to struggle with: (See Skype Master Student for an awesome example of this).

Quick Pop Quiz... for readers: Money or Purpose?
I worked at one company for 10 years, going in at entry level but turned that into a wage that was in the top 7% of UK earners.

I've nothing much to show for this decade of my most important asset - my time - today in terms of what's left of the project, or relationships with the company's directors.

Since 2012 I have worked on projects that I've believed in, but not earned all that much money, the choices and risks of these decisions are coming home to roost at this present moment... But I feel what I am doing is important.

Got kids? Remember what you said when you were expecting the little bundle of joy?

"Don't care what flavour it is... Just want him/her to be healthy"

...And when they grow up? 

"Just want them to be happy"

Are probably typical responses. But there's a HUGE (Translation for Precedent Trump supporters: "Yuge") problem with this.

Happiness is a symptom of living well... so how can you give young people the scope, tools, permission and find the right story to tell to help them find the root cause of living a happy life? Here's how we put it across:

Find Your Place in the World
"I want you to imagine that when you wake up in the morning that you get up thinking"

"Yes! That's what I'm going to be doing today!"

"Whether this is a Monday to Friday 9am-5pm job, shift work like the emergency services, a 2-3 month gig like the military or film stars/crew, solitary or creative work like coding or writing, when your work is finished - which isn't work at all because you love what you do - it's fun! But when you are ready to go home, you think"

"Yes! That's who/what I'm going home to"

Whether that's a girlfriend/wife, boyfriend/husband, flatmate, cat, dog, goldfish, sea monkeys.

How miserable do you think you're life will be?

Obviously we hope that what they choose the 'Work' (Fun) will be a worthy cause and that they are able to earn enough so that them and their loved ones have everything that they need.

We then ask them to consider the alternative... Waking up each day and dreading where they will be spending their working day and then dreading coming home too.

Related image

We don't just tell our kids this... We show them! I love what I do!

I spend hours working on things that no one sees any value in but, after arranging the data, pulling the right people together and arranging the conditions... so that the same data and project that no one saw any value in a few weeks/months/years earlier no longer needs explained: It's obvious!

And as for the guy that helped get the started the party? Well you can't even see that guy anymore.

Image result for geoffrey moore leaderships lessons from dancing guy
In 12-24 months time there are some things that will "Just Happen" as a result of some hustle that only those who were involved at the moment will ever know how, where, why and how much effort went into getting it all started.

On the days that are not so good, you curse all the things that ended up being a dead end... projects that didn't quite pan out... the fake friends... the non payment etc.

But when you stop and reflect and/or when the people who do rally round with support and kind words...

You are reminded that you might not even be exploring a life of purpose if it wasn't for those who freely gave you their time and the benefit of their expertise and asked nothing in return, and your job is to weather the storm and to 'Pay it forward' as and when you can.

Here's all the Pirates and all those selfless and relentless 'Givers' out there... and especially to all the ones who have helped me on this roller coaster of a journey.

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of the intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the beauty in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that one life has breathed easier because you lived here. This is to have succeeded.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

No comments:

Post a Comment