Journey of Nonprofit Leadership and Self-Actualization: A Haiku

by Virginia Brown

follow me on Twitter: @3manypuppies 

I’ve spent the last several months on a journey of self-discovery. And to know me is to know how cynical the tone of my voice is as I say that. And yet, despite my reluctance and skepticism, I have been journeying my little heart out. I’ve taken every self-assessment known to man (it feels like), upped time with my therapist, started a discussion group of women talking about this book so aptly blogged by a fellow YNPNer, got my book club to discuss TED Talks instead of a book this month and and and.

I haven’t learned anything about myself that is shocking or revolutionary. I’m a decently self-aware person. What I have learned is that there are so many others in my life searching for the answers to their life, career track, relationships, what-have-you and yet most of us hadn’t realized how many struggles we shared. Most of us hadn’t really opened up about the things we’re worried about. Particularly when someone asks us where we want to be in five years.

So after all the assessments and discussions, what can I tell you? Only what you’ve heard before, but that I can say with no cynicism is true: we are all a work in progress and the more you listen to you, instead of ______ (fill in the blank with friends, society, family, colleagues, etc), the better chance you’ll have determining where you should be. Or at least where you should head for the time being. And whether that’s the impressive CEO of a world-changing nonprofit or a clerk at the Opitz Outlet, be happy that you’ve gotten a step closer to finding out what makes you, you.

What makes me, me? Well, I’ll leave you with a quote I found recently on one of my favorite new woo woo blogs that about sums up where I am at this moment.

"Don’t be normal. Sadly, normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you financed, in order to get to the job that you don’t really like, but that you need, to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it." –Ellen Goodman

Have you tried any conventional or unconventional methods for finding out your life's direction? Share your takeaways in the comments below.

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