I was at a personal branding workshop yesterday, run by Oge Okosieme and Nick Williams, and I came to the conclusion that my purpose is communicating joy. That came as a surprise to me!
I know that one of my core talents is communication – I’m a linguist, I love writing, and I’m very good at building relationships with people from different disciplines who are working together on a project.
The bit that surprised me, though, was communicating JOY!!
I have to admit that there hasn’t been a lot of joy in my life for the past four years. I lost my mum very suddenly to a massive stroke, just a month after being diagnosed with breast cancer myself, and I was re-diagnosed with breast cancer last year.
I’m well now, thank goodness. However, my response to these challenges has left me with a heavy burden of debt.
Making people laugh!
One of the workshop exercises got us identifying what we’re really good at, and what we’re a star at. I decided that I’m a star at making people laugh. I’ve always done it – at home, at school, at work, with my friends and with my clients – even in the hospital when I was having treatment!
I suppose I don’t take anything very seriously – not even life-threatening illness. Perhaps it’s just that I don’t worry about things in the way that other people do. I’m not going to say that I wasn’t fearful, angry or upset when I was diagnosed with cancer. Perhaps I simply didn’t believe I would die – not just yet, anyway.
The problem that most people have is that they spend a lot of time either regretting the past or worrying about the future. I don’t do either – or at least I don’t do it often.
Admittedly there are times when I worry about how I’m going to pay the bills at the end of the month – although I wouldn’t describe it as worry. It’s stressful, but I’m not thinking about it all the time. Perhaps I should be!
One thing I don’t do, though, is look at things I’ve done in the past, and wonder how my life might be different, had I made different decisions. The past can’t be changed. If there are things that I would have liked to do – that I might regret not doing – then I try to weave those into my current reality.
For example – although I get totally engrossed in what I’m doing, and time flies – I’ve realised that I’d like a change of scene now and then. So I’ve started taking a laptop to a local café, and my plan is for my business to eventually be location-independent, so that I can work from anywhere in the world.
My coach asked me, once, what makes me happy. I said “everything”. He didn’t think that was a proper answer – but it’s true. Perhaps it’s because I’m grateful for all the small things in life.
This morning, the sun is shining, so I feel joyful. I’m going to be seeing a friend today, who I haven’t seen in a year and a half – and I feel joyful. Yesterday, I was in the company of some wonderful people at the workshop, so I felt joyful. After the workshop, I walked back to Waterloo Station from Regent’s Park, in the sunshine – and I felt joyful.
I don’t need to be climbing mountains, or dancing in the rain, or shouting from the rooftop in order to feel joyful. Joy can be big and bright and awesome – and it can also be quiet and reflective. It can be seeing a perfect raindrop nestled in the petals of a flower, or spending an afternoon gazing into the eyes of someone you love.
From now on, dear reader, I shall be communicating my own joy with you – if only to prove the point that joy can be found wherever you look for it.
Please feel free to leave a comment below, on Facebook or on Twitter (#30DWC). You can also follow my progress on Facebook and Twitter #30DWC.