As I shift the direction of my business to include the field of International Development I am engaging in what I call my Joseph Campbell strategy. In order to follow my bliss as Campbell so richly guides us, I am asking myself “What makes my heart sing?”
I am listening for my heart’s song as I am learning about countries, cultures, and different sectors from health and nutrition to democracy to clean water, before I ever make my business offer.
Most recently, my heart sang out fully during training on building public and private alliances to achieve development goals. A systems perspective! Synergy! Sustainability! Oh my. Every now and then I realized I was literally sitting on the edge of my seat.
When my heart sings, I am alert, energized, and fully alive. Resources I already have and new ones I’ve needed click together without effort. Strategic direction and critical questions become clear and the less important fall away. I am “pulled forward” rather than “striving towards.” My view is both of what I hope for, and where I am now. An inclusive view but informed by… dare I say it? Joy.
What a delicious place to be! And if your mind is like mine, it can get quite certain that this isn’t possible–that at worst I’m deluding myself and at best, it’s a dual reality, the singing momentarily subsumed by fulfilling obligations aka “doing real life.”
That may be so.
But I know that when my heart sings, my life is infused with possibilities. A universe is being born in those moments, or maybe worlds of possibilities that change what constitutes my real life.
So, what am I doing to hear my heart’s song? While normally I plan–the strategic plan, the project management plan, the advisory board, the strategy sessions, etc.–for this, I am keeping it simple:
I keep the question “What makes my heart sing?” in mind.
- As I preview my week and months ahead, I scan for the people, places, and things that I think might reveal a song. These could include having information interviews with seasoned experts, participating in training or a community of practice, reading books, or learning about the culture of different countries.
- I make it a priority to put myself in proximity to those people, places, and things.
- I have to remember to explore this differently… let it unfold rather than a traditional timeline–the one where I push, drive, and gauge by the calendar and metrics.
I’ll let you know how it goes. If you hear a harmonious tune as you are reading, I hope it’s your own heart. It’s always there when you listen.
U.S. Library of Congress ISSN 2164-7240
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