Being “busy with purpose” – why I want to spread Working Out Loud with John Stepper

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I’ve been very busy for the last 10 days, some may say hectic, both professionally and personally. I spent some time fretting about ‘clearing my head’ of all this noise and activity so I could focus this week. In particular, focus on why I am feeling excited and inspired about hosting the first on-line Working Out Loud course with John Stepper.

Then on Sunday I’d been invited to a talk, ‘The Art of Cosmic Thinking’. I had little idea of what to expect, but knowing the presenter Mike Zeidler of Happy City. I figured it would be reflective fodder for completing the week (or starting the next). As suspected it turned out to be thought provoking. Two of Mike’s particular points as he plotted his 30 year career trajectory struck me as most relevant to my experiences of Working Out Loud: “let purpose be your compass” and “hold things lightly, they’re going to change”.

Rather than stashing all of that busyness so I could be meaningful, I needed to reflect on it – because that is why I am excited and motivated by building the Working Out Loud movement and all it has to offer.

In the last week some of the things I have been busy with are: delivering an awards ceremony in central London for two women who had a small idea of something they wanted to change; cycling for 3 hours to get somewhere with a co-conspirator just so we had time to talk; being inspired by a group of academics working to change the notion of local decision-making; offering support to someone running a tricky campaign; interviewing leading experts in gender equality in the UK; pulling together two new project proposals and hanging out with good friends, catching up and putting the world to rights.

In the moment, and when feeling slightly like I may have taken on too much, a week like this can feel like fragmented activity, lacking a real driver. By ‘thinking cosmically’ Mike demonstrated how looking back can make sense of the decisions that make up a life’s work. Working Out Loud has done something similar for me in the ‘now’ – to discover with purpose, to have the confidence to build relationships, be generous and share my ideas and work with others to achieve what is important to me. All the time “wearing it lightly” and seeing where it goes, because not everything will come to fruition either at all, or in the way that you thought.

I was making connections and making things happen before I was introduced to Working Out Loud but the momentum and confidence John Stepper’s book, the circles and communities of practice have helped me develop are exactly why I have been busy having so many inspiring conversations in the last week. Working Out Loud has given me structure to my exploratory adventures – every one of the people I met with, worked with, pitched to and generally chattered and nattered to over last week had something that resonated with my purpose and what I want to achieve. Now I want to share that with others.

If you’re interested in finding out how Working Out Loud can support you in your purpose and finding your adventures, at the pace you want to do them we are starting the first on-line Working Out Loud course with John Stepper on 9th June 2016 – you can find out more here. Find out more about Working Out Loud from John Stepper’s TedX talk.

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