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Recently I spoke at a conference for an MBA program.The theme of the conference was “Chart Your Course” and even though I was scheduled to speak after lunch, I decided to attend the whole day’s events. The day was filled with entrepreneurs and women executives who were telling their story of success, the trial and tribulations of their ‘course’. When asked what was one of the keys to her success one of the entrepreneurs a well known restauranteur n Columbus answered by saying “At the risk of being hippy dippy I would say I figure out my own stuff, read a lot of self help books, went to counseling and figured out how to get out of my own way”. The attendees chuckled with her but overall looked a bit confused at this bit of advice.
As the day progressed I became more and more stressed about my talk, yes I am a Career Counselor but not in the traditional sense of the word. My talk was on energy in vs energy out, naming your values, understanding your passions and facing your fears. It wasn’t a traditional ‘what are your strengths’ what are your weakness’, ‘here’s how to sell yourself to a potential employer’ type topics.
During lunch I leaned over to the woman who had invited me to speak, someone who had worked with me in the past and knew my style and said “I am nervous that I am going to be too hippy dippy for this group.” “Oh no”, she said, “That’s why you are here, we NEED a little hippy dippy, we have the traditional stuff we need the stuff no one is talking about.” She then preceded to go to the mic to introduce me. During the introduction, she explained to the group that when she first started working with me she had been reluctant to face her ‘hippy dippy’ side but in reality, once she embraced that part of her the real change occurred.
At the end of the talk, I was overwhelmed by the number of people who came up to tell me how nervous they were for the hippy dippy stuff, how they didn’t really want to deal with that part of it all and didn’t understand why it was important in the first place. However, they left with new insights and completely new ways of looking at their career and their life.
One of the reasons I wanted to become a career counselor was to change the perception that career counseling was solely about strengths, weaknesses, resumes and selling yourself. Finding a career or doing work that makes your heart sing requires some of that hippy dippy stuff. It requires soul searching and exploration. It requires looking at energy in vs energy out, values and passions. I confess there are times I question the value of the hippy dippy–but again and again I look at my life, and those of my clients and when we move beyond the surface into the hippy dippy–that is when real passion, and real change occurs.
Thanks to Isolethetv for the photo!!