What's your guiding light?

August 5, 2015



"People say I make strange choices, but they’re not strange for me.  My sickness is that I’m fascinated by human behavior, by what’s underneath the surface, by the worlds inside people."

Johnny Depp





I've just realised I have something in common with the ever so talented Mr Depp!!! 


My path to becoming a holistic executive coach did not come about by knowing what I wanted to do when I grew up.   Quite the contrary – I had very little idea of what that looked like when I was at school, university and a large chunk of my working life.   The only inkling I had of my ideal vocation was that I was hungry to learn, take on responsibility, gain as much experience working across a range of industries and roles and work with people.  


As my career path meandered from public relations, to marketing, to executive recruitment, to learning and development and finally executive coaching, there was always a guiding light for me –

a fascination in people and understanding what motivates them, what their interests are and a desire to support them on their journey towards their passions.


This guiding light didn’t always result in conventional career choices.  To some, my corporate career path may seem a little higgledy-piggledy but in actual fact each experience has provided unique learnings and knowledge about how people tick which strongly influences the work I do today.


As Johnny Depp's fascination in human behaviour has steered his career, I believe we all have a “guiding Light” or internal compass either subtly or overtly steering us towards our life’s vocation.


 image from webdesignhot.com


The challenge we have in today’s world is the hectic pace of life at work and at home which robs us of time to contemplate.  Surrounded by devices that are designed to create efficiencies, we can be left feeling as though we are more time poor than ever.  So many of my clients have engaged my services to make time to identify their ideal career, create an action plan and enlist support to get there.  Time and time again I hear the story that I just “fell” into my work and I’ve never stopped to think about what drives me and what I really want.



Do you know what your guiding light is?


I thought I’d share a quick exercise designed to help you start to tap into your guiding light or internal compass.


 All you need is a pen and paper and some time alone away from your devices!


image from cohen's weight loss clinic


1. Brainstorm everything that interests/inspires/and you are passionate about today and bullet point those in list form. (There are no limits on topics – work, home and at play all counts)


2.  Cast your mind back to being a child and recall what interested and inspired you.  Think of times that you felt really happy or excited and consider what was triggering that and list the interests connected to that.


3. Merge the two lists and then priortise items from most important to least important.

Choose your top 4-8 interests.


4. Against each of your top interests, ask yourself if you are engaging that interest in your work / vocation today?



If you are engaging in all of your interests through your vocation - congratulations... you are well and truly following your guiding light.  Our interests are a great reflection of what drives and motivates us.


A major key to vocational fulfillment is incorporating our key interests into our everday work.  If you find that your list has very few of your most valued interests ticked in your current vocation, it is worth asking yourself “what needs to change in order for me to more actively engage my interests at work?”


Wishing you joy and success.


Until next time, sending love and support



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