You may not like what you find!

Splitting Marble

Returning to do a Masters in Design Innovation in Maynooth, has been one of the best choices in my life. It is the beginning of a new journey. I believe now, I have been a boat without direction for quite some time. Bopping along, aimlessly, wondering why I feel disconnected. Now, for anyone that knows me, generally, they will call me a positive soul. Just recently discovered, thanks to the MScDI, this is actually called a Growth Mindset. I promise, were you not to have read the book or know what I am talking about, Mindset is a must. I keep upbeat most of the time, finding a way to overcome internal and external obstacles very quickly. Nevertheless, there was something missing. I knew it. Probably, my best friends did also.

So, September 2016, Sam heads off to college, after a short, 21-year gap. There were quite a few big realisations. 1. My ego. I suppose this is one that perhaps we can forget about too easily when we work for ourselves. You make the decisions. You live with the results. You delegate responsibilities. You organise. Too many you’s. I really noticed, old thinking habits re-appearing from my schooling. Worrying about whether I was too interactive. Too, talkative. Me! To annoying. Seeing this stuff reappearing was a little disconcerting. 2. Other people do things differently. Being a sole worker for so long and also probably micro-managing teams, I seem to have forgotten that my way is one way. Other people’s methods are their ways and they may work better. The need to respect this really stood out through the process. 3. Timing. When you have a lot of things going on a once. I decided to do the Masters full-time and run my own business full time. You really need to have a water-tight master plan, especially when suddenly family and or your personal circumstances, throw curve balls when you least expect them or are prepared for them. 4. Believe in the Process. Now, this one is a big one. As I write it, reminds me of David Bohm’s Rule of Dialogue principle of Suspending. This one was always a tricky one for me. I’m working to improve on it all the time. The beauty of the Design Thinking process is that when you follow the steps, it naturally unfolds the answers to the problem. The wonderful ideas that you so want to get out from the beginning will either prove irrelevant or a more concise and accurate version of them will probably appear because you are focusing on user centred design. It can be hard to let go, trust me I know, believe in the process and stick with it. And more importantly, meet the deadline.

In Semester 2, just completed, I decided to focus one of my projects, on a personal passion of mine. The area of purpose. I worked with both adults and youths and we used Design Thinking and Innovation to look at life paths and what supports were available to them. The insights were astounding, and I will share some of them in the future. Although in the closing weeks of doing the project, I noticed that, this idea of doing something we love, was a question I needed answering for myself. I roughly had a feel for it, although there was what appeared to be a few internal conflicts going on. For 2017, I had already been doing a lot of work on my own Personal Mastery. Focusing on health and well-being, gym, mindfulness, personal development stuff and diet. Now, there appeared to be some more work to do. It was hard. As hard and solid as marble. There was quite a bit of resistance, although I continuously reminded myself, Sam, be gentle and firm. Also, some days when I felt a bit overwhelmed, I coached myself and told myself, you are nearly there. Keep up the good work. As I chipped away, there were some less pleasant answers about myself that I had to admit and some amazing insights into where I might be going. Every day, I committed time to the process. Bit, by bit, more of who I will be proud to be, and where my future lies, started revealing itself.

Funny enough during my research for my Semester 2 project, I came across, thanks to Andrew Kavanagh, a Japanese model, called Ikigai, a reason for being. Now, when I look at it, after starting this work. The centre point has pulled into sharp focus. Although, that is for the next chapter. For the moment. I will leave you with this beautiful quote about change, from Barack Obama, “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

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