Deeply personal losses (like the death of a parent) as well as national tragedies (the recent wildfires, hurricanes, and mass shootings, for instance) can knock us back and cause us to take pause – perhaps even cause us to want to take a step back from our business for a while.
Many of my close friends and colleagues suffered tremendous losses amidst the devastating wildfires here in Sonoma County. Fortunately, my family is safe and sound.
Even so, when it came time to sit down and work on my business after so much upset and loss, I caught myself thinking, “In the big scheme of things… why does my business even matter? I’m alive, I’m safe and my family is healthy but a few miles away thousands of newly homeless people are suffering… and now I’m supposed to sit down and write a blog post?!”
At first blush, it felt so trivial to go back to work, but I know in my heart that my work is important. In some ways, it’s more important than it’s ever been, which is why it was so important for me to pause to re-connect to my “Big Why.”
No matter what happens in the world, life marches on.
Sometimes it takes a real act of consciousness to march along with it.
In the midst of trauma, we can help our own recovery by anchoring ourselves to the “Big Why” of our business. You know you’re not really in business just to make money. There’s a bigger reason you do what you do. And when the world is in flux or chaos – whether it is your insular world or the greater one – it’s so important to connect to your bigger reason for being inspired by and for your work. Simply going through the motions isn’t going to help you OR your clients.
For most of my clients, their “Why” has something to do with making a difference in the world: They want to help others, serve others and make the world a better place in some way.
If you don’t feel a strong connection to your “Big Why”, now is the perfect time to sit down and get really clear about why your work is important so you feel pulled to focus on it, even in difficult times.
If you aren’t completely clear on your “Big Why”, here are some good questions to help you get started:
- What is your role in your community’s ecosystem?
- How do you make people’s lives better with your work?
- What is it about your work that makes you feel connected, alive, fulfilled, purposeful?
- How is your work supporting and empowering the lives of others?
- What is the mark you are here to make in this lifetime?
- What do you want your legacy to be?
Each of us has a part to play in the grand scheme of things.
When we remember to come from a place of service – even if we aren’t directly affected by any of the events going on in our country right now – we can certainly make the world a better place. For most of my clients, it is about changing the world, one person at a time.
We all have our piece.
When we know that our piece not only matters, but is essential, we can do the work that is required.
This week, I encourage you to look around at your world, whatever may be going on, and find a way to take on a leadership role. How can you come from a place of service? How can you facilitate healing and empower others? How can you do this through and in service to your work?
How can you live in the space of your “Big Why?”
As always, please share your comments below. I always love to hear from you!
Tara Butler Floch