A Reason for Being

… more and more people are falling victim to ennui. This dreadful feeling of bitter disillusionment stems from the loss of meaning in their lives… Perhaps rather than happiness, which is generally momentary and fleeting, we should seek a purposeful life. – Philip Perry, Searching for meaning in your life? This Japanese concept can help you find it.

“What do you love? What are you good at? What does the world need from you? What can you get paid for?” To read Philip Perry’s article, please click here.

Ikigai


The CREATIVE CHANGE-MAKING Conference has been organized to showcase local heroes, individuals from within our own communities, who are creating their own path, leading by example, and following their dreams through purposeful work.

Intrigued? Come listen to the stories. Ask questions. Be inspired to change your life!

Sharing Your Passion

… your passion is… an interest, or an activity that fills your heart with joy, and it’s the dream most closely connected to your heart… when you immerse yourself in your passion, you will find your purpose. It will manifest itself in the way you choose to share it with other people. – Define Passion & Purpose For Me

If you’re just not able to reinvent your life at this point, or to start a side hustle that focuses on your passion, but you really want to do something in that direction, I came across an article that might help. In Gwen Moran‘s 10 Ways To Change The World, Even When You Think You’re Too Busy, she connects giving back to helping your favorite causes, and to making a difference, both of which figure hugely in the idea of purposeful work.

10 ways to change the world

We talked about volunteer work in an earlier post, and listed a bunch of resources for individuals living in the Lower Mainland. Moran lists volunteering, as well, and specifically encourages people “to look at how you can devote a few hours of what you know you do well to an organization that matters to you.” The additional list items are as follows:

  1. Focus your giving: There are three general categories of gift giving, the third of which is “where your values and personal interests align.” Moran suggests evaluating where your gift giving dollars are going, and adjust as necessary for the biggest impact.
  2. Team up: Does your employer have a social responsibility team? This is a great way to give back, and encourage others to work along with you.
  3. Look at your ties: Ties refers to your network, the people you know. For example, “Making connections and helping organizations find the people who can assist with the advice and resources they need is invaluable.”
  4. Give a gift: Moran suggests a number of different ways that presents can become a “gift of giving back.”
  5. Check your organization: Will your employer match your donations? “You may find that each donation you give to a qualified nonprofit could be doubled.”
  6. Grow an endeavor: A few organizations finance business start-ups in developing countries. For example, since 2007, Kaytlyn Sanders has contributed to Kiva.org, and “has grown her investment of $548 into $1,650 and has loaned money to 66 women and groups.”
  7. Shop right: “Look for brands that give a portion of their proceeds to charitable causes or which have a ‘buy one, give one’ model.”
  8. Use your voice: Advocate. “Add your voice to their cause” through lobbying, letter writing, phone calls, etc.
  9. Give blood“Giving blood is the ultimate pay-it-forward opportunity. It just may save a life.”

To read the entire article, please click here.

~ Debbie MacLeod

Photo: Benjamin Combs/Unsplash


The CREATIVE CHANGE-MAKING Conference has been organized to showcase local heroes, individuals from within our own communities, who are creating their own path, leading by example, and following their dreams through purposeful work.

Intrigued? Come listen to the stories. Ask questions. Be inspired to change your life!

Ask Angie About Volunteering

The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away. — William Shakespeare

Meaningful work can be found in almost any direction; the search is never a simple straight line. Volunteering for a cause you care about may help you to define your purpose. On the other hand, maybe the volunteer work becomes your purpose, or your purpose evolves into employment in the not-for-profit sector. The beautiful thing about volunteer work is that while it may benefit us personally, giving freely of our time to help others is the better part of it. And, if you think there are limitations on the type of volunteer work available, think again!

Volunteeer word cloud

GoVolunteer.ca began its life in 1943 as the Central Volunteer Bureau of Vancouver, and has expanded into an organization that connects volunteers with not-for-profits throughout BC and Alberta. While it still provides volunteer matching services, its organizational focus has shifted to include the professional development of not-for-profit leaders. Here’s their list for areas of interest:

  • Arts & Culture
  • Education & Research
  • Immigrant Services
  • LGBTTIQQ2SA
  • Sport & Recreation
  • Capacity Building
  • Environment & Animals
  • Indigenous Services
  • Philanthropic
  • Volunteerism
  • Community Development & Housing
  • Family & Children
  • International Development
  • Religion & Spirituality
  • Women’s Services
  • Disability Services
  • Health, Social Services
  • Law, Advocacy & Politics
  • Seniors
  • Youth Development

Instead of GoVolunteer.ca, you may choose to contact your organization of choice directly, or the regional volunteer bureau in your community. Depending on the type of position, you may be required to complete a Criminal Record, or Vulnerable Sector Check. For more information, please check the RCMP website.

A partial list of Volunteer Bureaus:

Angie QuaaleAngie Quaale, entrepreneur, elected Councillor, and one of our Panel Speakers at The CREATIVE CHANGE-MAKING Conference, is also a longtime volunteer. Angie has been a board member with the BC chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, the Pacific Northwest BBQ Association, the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Langley, and the Langley Community Farmers Market.

If you have any questions about community service, Angie is the one to ask! Listen to her story, and speak with her directly on May 26th, 2018!

~ Debbie MacLeod


The CREATIVE CHANGE-MAKING Conference has been organized to showcase local heroes, individuals from within our own communities, who are creating their own path, leading by example, and following their dreams through purposeful work.

Intrigued? Come listen to the stories. Ask questions. Be inspired to change your life!

What’s a Side Hustle?

Written for, by, and about the most progressive business leaders, Fast Company inspires readers to think beyond traditional boundaries, lead conversations, and create the future of business… to chronicle how changing companies create and compete, to highlight new business practices, and to showcase the teams and individuals who are inventing the future and reinventing business. – Fast Company

I’ve been receiving Fast Company’s daily newsletter, now, for more than two years. I came across it on Twitter, and even though workplace issues, and co-worker relations are no longer relevant for me, their articles cover just about everything else, too. I’m especially interested in items about the gig economy, being a successful digital nomad, and creating the career that suits me best.

Fast Company covers so much ground that they actually put together over 2 dozen newsletters on a daily/weekly basis. Subject areas include: big ideas, leadership, business news, productivity, creativity, philanthropy, virtual reality, etc. in the worlds of business, entertainment, fashion, technology, financial, and more. Please note this is not a paid endorsement; it’s my explanation for why I link to so many business/entrepreneurial articles – and why I’m doing it again, today.

BC Chamber of Commerce

Side Hustle: originally, something that brought in extra income outside of your regular job; trending, a self-initiated project, still outside of your main job, but intended to become your full-time business.

If your dream of purposeful work involves self-employment, then a side hustle may be the safest, and most cost effective method to get a business off the ground. In 5 Tips For Launching A Successful Side Hustle (For Real This Time), Ryan Robinson interviewed 5 successful entrepreneurs for their advice, and his article features one best tip from each of them. Business advice is readily available online via newsletters and blogs, through local organizations like Chambers of Commerce, and face-to-face at networking events.

Bryan GidinskiSpeaking of face-to-face, Bryan Gidinski, one of our panel speakers at The CREATIVE CHANGE-MAKING Conference has established a successful side hustle. An educator in the Burnaby school system, Bryan is also the founder of Lost Boys Consulting. Listen to his story, and ask him questions directly on May 26th, 2018!

~ Debbie MacLeod


The CREATIVE CHANGE-MAKING Conference has been organized to showcase local heroes, individuals from within our own communities, who are creating their own path, leading by example, and following their dreams through purposeful work.

Intrigued? Come listen to the stories. Ask questions. Be inspired to change your life!

What Does the World Need?

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. – Mahatma Gandhi

If you had a chance to read Sunday’s post, Discovering Your Purpose, you’ll have noticed that each of the three linked articles outlines a different process to help you identify your purpose. Whichever approach you choose to follow, Constantino’s, Harary’s, Held’s, or another one entirely, the common thread between all of them is action. At some point in your journey, the first step has to be taken. What might it be?

Hypothetically, let’s say your passion is books (like mine), but beyond knowing that, you’re not sure how that could ever evolve into a purpose. So, you have to look closer. What, exactly, about books makes you so passionate?

  • Is it reading? Are you passionate about literacy, about the value of public libraries and community spaces? Do you like the idea of volunteering in schools as a paired reader, as a fundraiser for books and literacy programs? Do you want to work in a library, with school groups, in programming, with ESL learners, with seniors?
  • Is it the written word? Do you believe in the beauty, and the power of language. Do you value well-written communications? Are you a writer? Do you want to be? Do you want to share your skills with individuals who may have missed out, or use them in aid of a particular cause?
  • Is it the book itself? Do you love the art and craft that went into creating the finished product: the selection of paper, the type face, the illustrations, the dust jacket? Maybe, it’s the package in its entirety, it’s historical value? Do archives, museums, historical sites, and special collections libraries interest you? Or how about bookbinding, printing, or book arts?

Volunteers

One of the best ways to figure out the details, for whatever your passion, is to volunteer. It will cost you nothing, except your time. You’ll have the opportunity to meet like-minded people, to learn more about your particular interest, and how you can help it flourish. Almost all organizations, associations, community groups, not-for-profits, and charities, etc. consider volunteers to be one of their most valuable assets.

In Constantino’s article, he said there are three questions to ask: What do I love? What am I good at? What does the world need? Right now, the world needs just about everything.

~ Debbie MacLeod


The CREATIVE CHANGE-MAKING Conference has been organized to showcase local heroes, individuals from within our own communities, who are creating their own path, leading by example, and following their dreams through purposeful work.

Intrigued? Come listen to the stories. Ask questions. Be inspired to change your life!

Discovering Your Purpose

The deepest secret is that life is not a process of discovery, but a process of creation. You are not discovering yourself, but creating yourself anew. Seek, therefore, not to find out who you are, seek to determine who you want to be. – Neal Donald Walsch

Increasingly, individuals are feeling a restlessness, a boredom, perhaps even a dissatisfaction with their jobs, and/or the direction their lives have taken. Their days may look exactly like what they’d hoped for in high school, or they may be carving out a totally different path because ‘life happened.’ In any case, something is missing, or it’s not what they thought, or their goals have changed.

Each of the articles below defines purpose differently, discusses alternate ways to identify it, and each of them are worth reading. 

  1. Want to Find Your Purpose? Stop Looking for It. Start Living with It: “Your purpose relates to your talents, but you can’t think your way to living with purpose. You find it in action.”
  2. How to Read the 3 Signs Telling You Your Purpose in Life: “The key is finding where your abilities and personal drive intersect the needs of others… by answering the following three questions: What do I love? What am I good at? What does the world need?”
  3. 7 Steps to Find Meaning in Your Work: “Establish the core values… that are non-negotiable. These are the traits you want to be known and remembered for… the adjectives you want your friends and colleagues to use when describing you.”

At The CREATIVE CHANGE-MAKING Conference, audience members will hear the stories of six individuals who used their talents and skills, who seized available opportunities, and who then incorporated purposeful work into their own lives.

~ Debbie MacLeod

Photo credit: Julia Caesar on Lifehack.org


The CREATIVE CHANGE-MAKING Conference has been organized to showcase local heroes, individuals from within our own communities, who are creating their own path, leading by example, and following their dreams through purposeful work.

Intrigued? Come listen to the stories. Ask questions. Be inspired to change your life!

First steps

You see, bookshops are dreams built of wood and paper. They are time travel and escape and knowledge and power. The are, simply put, the best of places. – Jen Campbell, The Bookshop Book

Let’s be honest. Reinventing your life, from the ground up, can be a scary proposition. You may have a strong support system in place, and sufficient financial resources, but you’ll still need a plan, or at least a direction, as well as the courage to take a first step. Whether your first step is huge, resulting in an immediately life-changing 180-degree turn, or a smaller one that focuses on preparation for the future, each of us approaches the process from within the framework of our own skills, experience, and knowledge.

My first steps towards opening a small town bricks-and-mortar bookstore specializing in history began with Community Futures. I knew any kind of retail outlet in my location would be challenging because rural communities, in general, are in decline, and retail outlets everywhere are battling the rise of online shopping. However, I also knew that most specialty bookstores already had e-commerce sites that accounted for most of their sales. With this in mind, the first objective in my journey became to set up an online bookstore selling used, out-of-print, and collectible books.

Niche BookstoreCommunity Futures offered an introductory course on starting a small business. Sessions included webinars, seminars, and one-on-one sessions with a business development officer. As I progressed through each module, I was tasked with researching, and defining a particular aspect of my niche ‘bookstore.’ This involved a lot of time, and tough decision-making, but it was an incredibly productive exercise. Once I had defined my business, and identified the online platforms and tools I’d need, I had to learn the business of books: the terminology and how to catalogue, valuation and pricing, their history and culture, etc. This has been the best part.

Each one of us who ventures into new territory will need to educate themselves in some way, on at least one aspect of their project. Because I am the way I am, I chose to learn the basics of starting a business from a professional. I opted to operate online first because I’m comfortable with technology, and I could forge ahead with minimal start up costs. Books are one of my most favourite passions, and to learn the book business, I can’t just take a course. I will need to research, to read, to visit antiquarian book stores, to attend conferences, and book exhibitions, and to learn by doing. I feel like I’ve won the lottery!

~ Debbie MacLeod


The CREATIVE CHANGE-MAKING Conference has been organized to showcase local heroes, individuals from within our own communities, who are creating their own path, leading by example, and following their dreams through purposeful work.

Intrigued? Come listen to the stories. Ask questions. Be inspired to change your life!

Procrastination

So, to sum up Pychyl’s research on our attitudes about procrastination: “we think we’re having more fun, but we’re not”; “we think we’re not affecting future self, but we are”; and “it’s all about giving in to feel good,” which—see point number one—doesn’t actually work that well. – Josh Jones, Open Culture

Last week, I laid out my plans for 2018. Actually, just the plan for making plans for 2018, but, to be honest, I haven’t started, yet. The brand-new notebook has not even been opened. The thought of starting fresh is exciting to me; planning comes naturally to me; my family supports me. There will be virtually no start-up costs, and time, also, is not an issue.

What’s holding me back?

Why are we so quick to make a New Year’s resolution, but so slow to follow through on it? Why is it easier to throw our dreams to the wind?

Timothy PychylTimothy Pychyl is an expert on procrastination. He is an author, an award-winning professor, and the Director of the Centre for Initiatives in Education at Carleton University, which includes the Procrastination Research Group (PRG). Pychyl, and his graduate students have been studying “the breakdown in volition action” – procrastination – since the 1990s. This article on the Open Culture website is a great summary of Pychyl’s findings on the why of putting things off, and includes an hour-long video of Pychyl presenting his findings on student procrastination.

… we put things off not because we are morally deficient, or “lazy,” but because our emotional brains are trying to cope. We feel some significant degree of fear or anxiety about the task at hand. The guilt and shame that comes with not accomplishing the task compounds the problem, and leads to further procrastination. – Josh Jones, Open Culture

Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of ridicule… sound familiar?

~ Debbie MacLeod


The CREATIVE CHANGE-MAKING Conference has been organized to showcase local heroes, individuals from within our own communities, who are creating their own path, leading by example, and following their dreams through purposeful work.

Intrigued? Come listen to the stories. Ask questions. Be inspired to change your life!

2018 Starts…. NOW!

Do it badly; do it slowly; do it fearfully; do it any way you have to, but do it. – Steve Chandler, Reinventing Yourself: How to Become the Person You’ve Always Wanted to Be

2018 - New Year's Resolutions

I stopped making New Year’s Resolutions a long time ago, and when I did make them, I usually kept them to myself. I didn’t think it was anyone’s business to hear about where my dreams were going. Of course, I lean towards the introvert side of the spectrum, and am still considered pretty stingy with my innermost thoughts.

Today, though, all the important people in my life know I’m ready for something new, and different, and challenging, and I know that it’s time to face my dreams head on. So, the tradition of putting pen to paper, and making a list of New Year’s resolutions seems like a pretty practical approach. I need a plan, and I’ve decided to mix and match the best ideas from the three articles below.

I’ve got a blank page in front of me, my new desk calendar beside me, and I’ve been inspired to make a list. I’m looking for a yearly mantra, a check list of achievable goals grounded in my mantra, and a list of ‘anti-mantra’ actions or attitudes that I will not do. Wish me luck. I’ll keep you posted…

~ Debbie MacLeod


The CREATIVE CHANGE-MAKING Conference has been organized to showcase local heroes, individuals from within our own communities, who are creating their own path, leading by example, and following their dreams through purposeful work.

Intrigued? Come listen to the stories. Ask questions. Be inspired to change your life!

Advice from J.K. Rowling

J.K. Rowling, author of the series, wasn’t always a runaway success. Before publishing “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,” she was a struggling single mother, surviving on state benefits. Here are her tips to succeed in any creative pursuit. Astrohaus Freewrite on Twitter

Although Rowling‘s twitter thread was directed at writers, her advice to change yourself from “somebody who’s ‘thinking of’, who ‘might’, who’s ‘trying'” into “someone who DID” is perfect for any journey.

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The CREATIVE CHANGE-MAKING Conference has been organized to showcase local heroes, individuals from within our own communities, who are creating their own path, leading by example, and following their dreams through purposeful work.

Intrigued? Come listen to the stories. Ask questions. Be inspired to change your life!