By Chris Klonoski
Seeking is the practice of uncovering what your heart and mind needs for fulfillment.
How do you seek (unearth the inspiration your heart and mind needs) at work?
Working, for most of us, is no longer separate from the rest of our life. It is uncommon to find a job that you attend, perform, and completely leave behind when you walk out the door. In fact, by 2025 32.6 million Americans will work remotely. These days, not even our physical space is delineated as work or personal territory. If you own your business the lines become even more blurred, and probably non-existent.
This is not necessarily a bad thing – as many of us have intentionally pursued work that is meaningful. But it does reframe the pursuit of that meaning. What is fulfilling to us personally can also nurture us professionally, and vice versa.
Can we use seeking as a strategy to discover more – about ourselves, about our work, about our colleagues and customers?
Seeking as Strategy
Being human means having a lifetime membership in the Finding Yourself club. You don’t define yourself one day and then never examine or revise that definition. The same goes for your purpose. Through various positions I have taken unknown numbers of personality, skills and strengths assessments. Cognitive tests. Questionnaires. Indicators. Appraisals. Do the baselines change? Nope. Not really. But the interpretations mean something different every time, every year.
The way I apply the knowledge to my life shifts. The outcomes dictate new areas of research, and new ideas about how to maximize the findings. It’s fun to look at old information with new frameworks and apply modern techniques to well-worn issues.
One example of this is the cutting-edge ADHD or ADD research that now exists, and is continuing to be explored. Game changer. What used to be a diagnosis, a prescription and a move to the front of the classroom now feels like an endless conversation around opportunity, advantage and behavior hijacks. Exploring new research has opened previously unexplored paths and a complete shift in how I view neurodivergence. People who are wired differently, or think oddly, or interact abnormally… It is in these types of people where I find hope for the future.
Seeking purpose can mean a really big action – changing your business model or business focus. Or a small action, exploring a new routine, adding a new element to your culture, or tweaking your advertisement approach. The fun, or magic, lies in the seeking – ruminating, discovering, exploring.
Aimlessly wander around a museum, or a library, or a festival and just be open to what pops up. The typeface on a book cover may prompt a change in your brand font. A conversation with a random artist on First Friday may shift the conversations you have with long-term clients. Inspiration is quite literally right around the corner. Simply decide to be open to it, and aware of it.
Seeking Your People
Warning – in preparation of writing this I googled seeking and ended up in a part of the internet I did not intend to explore. Lesson learned. When seeking your people, be very specific.
This works on multiple levels. Are you seeking employees who are similarly motivated or have a specific set of skills? Are you seeking other professionals who have common interests or goals? Or are you seeking a coach or mentor? Or maybe you are ready to guide some else on their career path.
Get very clear in what you want. The more precise you can be, the easier it will be to have the conversations that will likely bring you to the right person or group. Yes, web searches will help in the first round of research, but you are likely to open more doors with conversations and referrals. Talking to people you consider your people – customers, neighbors, old friends, competitors, associates – will lead to more avenues to search and more information. And in this case, more is better – more details, more introductions, more “have you considered…”, more opportunity.
A key element of Root + River’s approach to intrinsic branding includes a deep dive into personal and organizational beliefs and standards. When an organization or an individual knows what they believe and how they want to live that out, it’s much easier to find your people. One of our beliefs, love on ‘em where they’re at, manifests itself in how we look for people who can love on others the way we do.
I love the process of planning because I know I will never stick to the original plan. I plan for the inspiration, not the discipline.
There is zero pressure.
For me it is about creating a framework, and then being open to what pops up. Similar to seeking people, it is often the unintended and the uninvited ideas, people, and moments that are the serendipitous outcomes of seeking.
Seeking planning is about daydreaming – what are your desired outcomes, and what does the process of getting there feel like, look like? It does not have to be rigid or oppressive. Though if you respond well to restraint and force of will – go with those impulses. Seeking planning is about learning what does work for you and then following those insights – with no regard to how other people do it.
Seeking is all about you – what moves you, what inspires you, what ignites you. It is your time to play. To be aware. And to be willing to view what the world offers with openness and curiosity.