As the new year unfolds, I always get a flurry of requests for help. People get focused on their needs and wants and reach out. I try to help. Yet people think that I have THE ANSWER. Regrettably, it is never that simple. Looking for a job, considering a return to school, contemplating a career shift, or finding a soul mate--all have one thing in common. What do you want? What would be meaningful to you? And therefore Who are you? What is your purpose?
I sometimes get treated like a Google search box. Put in your Boolean search phrase and get millions of options in 1 second. It don't work that way! The Kobara search box asks you the questions! By the way this is called mentoring. Some people call it a Jewish conversation--you know when a question is answered with a question :)
But poorly thought out questions always deserve a question. Quality questions get quality answers.
The questions I pose in paragraph one above are often met with disappointment. The look, body language, and inflection I get in return tells me they just wanted me to give them the answer. And I know the answer is within them.
Here are a few inquiries I have had in the first week of this new year.
Like to volunteer for a non-profit in LA. What organizations would you recommend? --Cold voice mail received from a friend of a friend
Huh? I'd like to go fishing in the ocean, what bait should I use? Yikes. Of course this simple, and I mean in all ways, question triggers a thousand questions. There are more than 30,000 non-profit orgs in LA, after you eliminate the churches, hospitals and schools.! We can not get away with using Rose Parade Themes to define our journeys! Our questions have to be driven by our hearts and our passions, read PURPOSE.
I always wanted to be somebody, but I realized I should have been more specific. --LilyTomlin
I am applying to grad school, do you think having more volunteer experience will help?
I want to meet new people to date, the online thing is not working for me. What should I do?
Here's the deal. When you pursue things you care about, good things happen for your career, your educational options and your love life. Not only do you gain more experience, and your social network grows in substantive ways, but you become more attractive. What do I mean? How interesting are people who have jobs they don't like or don't care about? We are drawn to people who are doing things they love. There is an infectious energy. They become a magnet for more opportunities.
The opposite never works. Do things to impress others or that look good to say a grad school or a potential mate.
Where is the purpose in your life? What is your greatness? Pursue it!
Don't be confused. I am not saying that you have to be passionate about your day job. Be nice but not a requirement. I am saying connect with an issue, cause, through a non-profit organization. Not a popular or a trendy one. One that speaks to your possibilities as Eric Saperston says. One that makes your heart beat faster and makes you feel good. Something that resonates with your soul.
It has to be personal. Your pursuit of your goodness will attract good things.
The answers to these questions lie within you. It is not so much what you will do next, but why.
I am always looking for the why in these questions I get. How is their pursuit of happiness driven by who they are---their purpose. Lead and network with purpose, instead of ambiguity and generality. Very different to test, connect to, explore your purpose than to go though motions in the hope of finding one.
Of course, while the answers are deeply personal, you can not do it alone. That's why connecting with others to get feedback and direction on the purposes and passions that swirl within you is so important. Yes and the hard and fulfilling work is to let them guide you.
Google yourself. Search within. Nurture your purpose. Engage and test that purpose through volunteering. Then your mentoring and networking will introduce you to a spectacular world of answers and opportunities.
Thanks for reading. John