March 18, 2010 by Niurka
A personal challenge to innovate in a rapidly changing environment
As human beings we have an instinctive drive to innovate, evolve and improve, to make things faster, smarter, easier and better; and with technology we are exponentially expanding the scope of what’s possible. But even as new opportunities arise, many people find their old jobs obsolete or changing and their skill sets ready for an overhaul. Now, more than ever, it is essential to be clear about what specifically is most important to you and how you choose to express your purpose through your life’s work.
Most people identify strongly with their occupation. One of the most common questions when strangers meet is What do you do? So as careers shift, it can influence self-perception. Work is a way to express purpose and contribute to society; and when a seemingly solid foundation of a career shifts, it can often lead to serious self-reflection or even an identity crisis. We begin asking the timeless questions about our essence, purpose and mission: Who am I? What is my purpose? How do I fulfill it?
How do we innovate ourselves—not only to keep up with rapid technological advances and a shifting economy, but to direct the course of the progress toward our vision for the future? How do we align our thoughts, words and actions to manifest our destiny? How do we develop our own inner being so that in any environment we recognize, articulate and exemplify our purpose while expressing our gifts and talents in a way that creates value for others and prosperity for ourselves?
You will find the answers when you make conscientious choices based on what is essential—not what is necessary or required, but what is of your essence: who you are and who you choose to be. You have all the resources you need within you now; with imagination, innovation and purposeful action you can create your life by design.
As Einstein said, imagination is more important than knowledge—knowledge will provide a valuable foundation, but imagination allows you to go beyond what was previously believed possible while you lead the direction of your growth. Education and self-development become a lifelong commitment. You’re continually growing and adapting as you shape your experience in alignment with your vision and purpose.
When I was 19, Jim Rohn told me, “Work on yourself harder than you work on your job. If you work on your job, you’ll make a living; but if you work on yourself, you’ll make a fortune and build an incredible life.” He recognized that innovation from the inside influences everything else. With innovation, you can purposefully shape the future.
Who do you Choose to be?
Rather than coasting the waves of change and allowing the tide to drag you where it will—declare your intention and choose your role. One of my favorite questions is: Who do you choose to be in this life? What is your grandest vision for the future? Can you picture it? How will you contribute to make that dream a reality? How will it feel when you get there? Out of infinite possibilities, you have the freedom to choose and the power to create your life by design.
We each have the power to reinvent outdated self-perceptions that no longer serve us and return to the essence of who we are in relation to our life’s work. We can choose an identity based not on what we do but on who we are. Rather than defining work by position, tasks and responsibilities, we can define our roles by the creative contribution we offer and the fulfillment we receive from bringing value to others and ourselves. Work becomes an extension of spirit and an expression of individual gifts and talents; it’s what you’re passionate about—what you love to do, rather than what you have to do.
But even though everyone has a genius inside, just waiting for the right conditions to shine, most people along the way have been taught to compromise dreams and conform to “reality.” Reality is not hard and static—it’s ever changing; the seemingly impossible is absolutely possible with the right combustion of creativity, innovation, clarity of vision and commitment. When you follow your inner guidance and allow your passion and creativity to flow uncensored, you will be led to fulfill your mission and purpose. Let your inner genius emerge!
To thrive and prosper in a changing environment while creating a career that is an extension of your passion and purpose, here are my suggestions:
1) Know Thyself. Answer the question, “who am I?” honestly and completely. What is at your core? What’s most important to you in life? What can you not live without? What is essential? Throughout your life, what has remained the intrinsic elements that define and drive you—beyond jobs, beliefs, relationships, history and any additional stories and identities that have been piled on throughout the years? Who are you in essence? What makes you unique? What ignites your passion? In what way do you reveal your inner genius? These are the qualities that you will express wherever you go. Your purpose and mission will emanate from this essence.
2) Define Your Purpose. Purpose is your reason for being—the grand vision you are here to discover and materialize as your life unfolds. Purpose answers the question, “why am I here?” It’s your North Star—the bright light that guides and directs you as you explore possibilities and live your mission. When you make choices grounded in your essence, you reveal and refine your purpose. What is your unique contribution to the world? Look to your life history for clues: if you string together the defining moments of your life, they will often point to a theme or a definite calling. Follow that thread. Some people are aware of their purpose from a young age, while others discover it piece by piece.
3) Live Your Mission. Your mission is purpose in action—it’s how you express your purpose through what you do. You live your mission by expressing your essence consistently through the choices you make. Through your mission, you answer the question, “How can I serve?” How will you create the life you envision? How will your creations influence the world around you? What will you give? How specifically will you express the grandeur of who you are through your words and deeds in accordance with your purpose? When you live your mission, you direct the course of change and innovation because it flows from your purpose and essence.
When you define your purpose and live it through your mission, you have personal power. You won’t be thrown around by the currents because your livelihood and sense of self isn’t tied to a job or position; instead it unfolds from the essence of who you are and who you choose to be. That’s real success: when your thoughts, words and actions are aligned with your purpose and you live from that space of inner harmony, congruency and total power.
About the Author
Niurka is a dynamic speaker with a sharp wit and inspiring stories. She is a communication and influence expert and founder of Niurka Inc., a corporate-training company. With more than a decade of experience, she has entertained and informed audiences across the country with her message of peace and prosperity. Visit niurkainc.com for free inspirational downloads.