About twelve years ago, I tentatively stood up in front of my doctoral colleagues and gave a presentation about the role of spirituality in career trajectory. I remember that one of my ‘peers’ recoiled at my drawing a relationship between spirituality and business, beginning her challenge with “how dare you”. I was less articulate then and perhaps more importantly, lacked the confidence and resolve to persist with my opinion. More than a decade later, I have much greater clarity and much more maturity and have developed skills as an independent thinker and for the second time, I publicly share my thoughts on the role of spirituality in career. I recognise myself as an Altrepreneur, one who is not merely wanting to make money but is working to reflect a change of lifestyle…or in my case, to reflect a lifestyle that is spirituality synchronised. Synchronising spirit enables me to be a purposeful professional and there are three behaviours that align with this:
1) Seeking guidance…whether through prayer, meditation or introspection, or whatever it is that reveals to you a sense of purpose, a sense of direction. This activates senses that offer a ‘red light/green light’ satnav and right action becomes clear. For me, it’s prayer…asking for guidance and then most importantly, hearing it and acting upon it.
2) Taking right action…hearing and responding. For some, a sense of calling is louder than for others BUT point one can help to increase it’s volume. Right action may not be a grand gesture, such as immediately handing in your notice and booking the next ticket to some remote geographical area! Right action for a purposeful professional may mean starting a course of research to understand how to deepen knowledge of the next necessary step. It may mean putting it ‘out there’ by sharing your vision. It may mean writing it up in a blog!
3) Gain a sense of a bigger picture….details can confuse, can deceive and can convince us that what we are doing is somehow wrong. At some point, the purposeful professional will make bold moves that may attract the doubters and it’s crucial to remain focussed on the bigger picture. There will be many distractions and some may be useful learning points – for instance, my learned friend from twelve years ago has actually informed my thinking periodically over the years and even made a mention in this blog. This time I am not tentative. I know the bigger picture. I seek guidance, I take right action and I remain reflexively attuned to the purpose of actions I take..no matter how grand they are.