From A Lost Elephant to A Lost Soul: The Gritty Journey of Self-DiscoveryMay 22, 2023
Join me on a captivating journey of self-discovery and purpose as I share my recent adventures in Namibia volunteering with Elephant Human Relations Aid. Get ready to embark on a quest to view things differently, break free from routine, and embrace new experiences!
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The Gritty Journey of Self-Discovery
We're all on journeys. Journeys to find more meaning and purpose in our lives.
(And I just returned from an actual and philosophical journey I want to tell you about.)
Right now, I am smack dab in the middle of that liminal space between the “no longer” and the “not yet.”
I talk a lot about the importance of finding and knowing your purpose and that our purpose does change throughout various stages of our lives. And I'm right in the middle of having accomplished some important things and trying to figure out what's next.
I just spent three weeks in Namibia. And if you're like Namima..huh? (Namibia is located on the southwest coast of Africa.) We worked with an elephant conservation group called Elephant Human Relations Aid. We did quite a few things over the course of this three weeks, but one of our big purposes was to find one specific elephant, Porthos, who had an expired battery in his tracking collar. And while he's a giant bull elephant, he could have been anywhere in a 100-200 square mile radius.
We were working with a professional elephant tracker named Herman. And as we were learning about what signs to look for and what the signs meant, I started having this a-ha moment:
These are the things we need to know how to do when we're searching for ANYTHING…whether it's the search for our purpose, the next rung on the corporate ladder, or the next personal accomplishment.
So we're doing a 5 part video series, and today, I want to share with you just 1 tool that Herman, the expert elephant tracker, talked about that totally parallels all of us in our journeys and search for meaning, purpose and what's next.
So the first thing is we have to be able to look at things differently.
What do you see in this picture?
Alright….now, if you zoom in, you notice some really important details. Elephant tracks!
One of the things that the tracker was saying was once you learn how to track, you can't stop. It's just how you now see the world. It’s like if you buy a yellow car and think, “Wow, yellow cars are so rare. I never see them.” And then all of a sudden you see yellow cars everywhere.
So here are the 3 takeaways:
1. You have to be able to see things differently:
We have to get out of our habits and routines. We need to stop doing the same things, to stop seeing things the exact same way. We've got to get ourselves out of autopilot.
One of the things I assigned one of my coaching clients to do was to have 4 brand new experiences in a month. And they didn't have to be anything big. Go to a museum that you haven't been to. Try a restaurant you haven't been to. But don't just do it. I want you to do it mindfully and really ask yourself: What is this making me think? What is this making me feel? How does this experience inform me?
2. Get out of our silos at work and our bubbles in our personal lives:
It's so important that in our search, we get new and different information. Getting new opinions, different opinions, inviting in diversity in people, diversity in thought. If we want to have different ideas, we need to have different pieces of input!
3. Really NOTICE:
This is the thing that I am truly working on right now. I believe that 50% of what happens in my life is me making things happen and working really hard. But the other 50% is the universe. What I mean by this is to notice and to really start to pay attention to what is coming into your life or passing through your life. Who is coming into your life? Are there any recurrences that keep happening? What opportunities might be presenting themselves? What kind of doors are opening? Windows? Vents? (Whatever they might be.)
And the journey continues….
So make sure you tune in to the next video in the series because we're going to talk about the second invaluable lesson that I learned along the way from Herman…and of course, the elephants.
AND I'm also going to share with you some of the really weird, wild, wacky things that happened in Namibia.
I'll see you next time!
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