Tuesday, January 3, 2012

GBE2 - Work

I am so glad 2012 has arrived.  Work-wise 2011 had great achievements and some massive disappointments as well. And financially it was a tough year.

So for GBE2's topic on Work I am going to focus on the future ... my life's work, the work that won't be work but great pleasure.

The Dream
My dream is to work in the humanitarian aid arena - managing international global aid programmes focussing on children.

Aid for me is not just about financial aid though it certainly encompasses that, but "aiding" people have better lives - research, conservation, education, science - setting the foundations for future generations.

I have this vision of working for organisations like UNDP, UNESCO or UNICEF. I have no idea how I'll get there but just today I came across this quote via a post on facebook that I believe is a message for me, as it jumped out at me out of several messages:
"You don't have to understand, you just have to have faith" ~Serendipity
And so I simply have the faith that my vision will come true very soon.

Until April 2011, I truly enjoyed what I was doing and work has been mostly great pleasure - not easy, but still a great pleasure. Even the high stress projects that I managed were fun. However since early 2009 I felt some twinges of change ... that the time for a change in direction was near ... but what could that be and when?

Then in May 2011 I took up a new contract for a few months and the pleasure drained. It was a tough environment because of some people I worked with and then my project got cancelled and I found myself without a job - something I had never imagined or experienced in my 25 working years. It came as a shock. A bad time to be unemployed - the economy was so bad and jobs hard to come by.

In the end after trying for a few weeks, I just decided that after 25 years of slogging, perhaps the Universe was giving me a chance to simply enjoy life - chill - and to think of the future. Even though my finances are being drained, this is a necessary step in moving forward.

An aha moment
And then I had my big aha moment ... I need to change, move towards my dream now, rather than postponing that dream until I had reached financial abundance. My abundance would come from the dream not the "work" I was chasing now.

It's a major shift - it's like taking the road to the left - when the "work" I've been doing all along is actually the road on the right.

Is it scary to take this step?  Yes it is. And financially it is a backward step. But I know I have to take it. Because this is what my heart desires and this is what I believe I am meant to do. And this is what will bring me great joy.

How do I know these things?

Planting seeds
I believe deep down we just know, but the Universe also sends us clues and quietly directs our path - plants seeds in our brain.
"Because a vision softly creeping, left it's seeds while I was sleeping. And the vision that was planted in my brain, still remains" - The Sounds of Silence (Simon and Garfunkel)
So here is the story of the vision that was planted in my brain ...

My paternal grandmother was an amazing lady. She dedicated her life to helping underprivileged women and children. This was her life's work. She even won an award for that in her later years and one of the projects she initiated was endorsed by UNICEF.  She wasn't financially rich and she lived a very simple life but people were her greatest love and helping them gave her the greatest joy.

I truly believe that there was a reason why she was my grandmother ... at some point, I would carry on her work.

During my school days I belonged to a club and every Saturday we would visit orphanages, old people homes etc to help them out. I loved visiting the Orphanage - I loved the children - being with them gave me so much joy and they in turn gave out so much love. And then after leaving school, I forgot all about them.

About 15 years ago, I was sent on a leadership and management course. The subject we were discussing was strengths and how these add to achievement and our joy in our work. The facilitator was randomly talking about each attendee (we were 8 of us). When my turn came, he simply said "Your life's work will be in the humanitarian aid arena - you are just made for working there because compassion is your greatest strength".

I did not know, but apparently I was nodding and I had the biggest smile on my face. And then I forgot all about that.

A Life Map
A few years later I put my name down to do another company sponsored course on "Life". It had nothing to do with work but about what we wanted from life. It's the best course I ever did. The first thing we were asked to do was to write down 1 thing we truly wanted to do but had never got down to doing. We were given 1/2 a minute - the idea was not to think too hard. Mine was - Sponsor a child through World Vision. The entire course took me on a journey to my current dream.

The last words the facilitator said to us was "You have created a life map. Make your dream come true". That was 10 years ago. And then I forgot all about that and went back to doing the "work" that I was doing.

About 5 years ago I was sent on another company run leadership and management course. We had many scenario games to play and one of them was where 2 groups were bidding for some medicinal plants from a country. 1 group was an organisation prepared to pay big sums of money for it, the other was asking for it free of charge to aid underprivileged people - the scenario was given to us after the groups were created. Well, I ended up with the  "please, free of charge" group.

And then as we were ready to state our case, another set of rules were provided - only the women were allowed to speak and confer - hey, I was the only woman in my group - the other had 4. So I was pretty much on my own. I didn't expect to win, but I was going to give it my all. Guess what  ... my group won.

The feedback was that I was so passionate about aiding the people and that they felt it was so real and I was so convincing.  And then I forgot all about that and went back to my "work".

Think about it
In 2010 I went back to my hometown for a visit. And I got talking to my cousin about the children I currently sponsor through World Vision (I have 5) and that I am also a UNICEF global parent and how much I enjoy doing that and how much joy that brings me. And she told me to consider working in that arena.

Do it
I am sure none of these were "chance" incidents.  If you believe in "Synchrodestiny", nicely summed up as
"Coincidences are not accidents but signals from the Universe which can guide us toward our true destiny"  by Deepak Chopra
then you will agree that the Universe has truly left many clues and has now nudged me onto that path by sabotaging my quest for "work" as I know it.

And so I believe that the time to convert a dream into reality is here ... 2012 is my year for dreams come true.

And I hope that 2012 will be your year of dreams come true too.

Enjoy the "Sounds of Silence" - don't know what Simon and Garfunkel thought about when they wrote and sang this song, but I thought it was apt for my post.

Warm Regards


  1. All I can even think to say is...you go girl. You will help so many people and now is your time.
    Very proud to be learning what a rare and wonderful woman you are.

  2. I wish you the very best of everything in trying to make your dream come true this year. Go for it!

  3. You're on your way! So proud of you!

  4. Nice, inspiring story... it goes to show that when you face what you are attempting to achieve with your own heart, it usually takes you where you need to go (even if it is different than where you THOUGHT that might be;-)

    Best to you this year!

  5. I loved your story and am humbled by your love and compassion for humanity. I do believe that God/the universe has our paths made ready for us to follow when we're ready and that we just have to see the signs. I'm very eager to hear what your next step is and how you find your way there. Blessings to you on your journey.

  6. What a great blog!!!!! You seem to be going in the right direction. Making money isn't the only thing in life. Good luck to you!!!!

  7. The future is open and your goals are fabulous. Have a splendid year Suzy

  8. Follow your heart and I hope 2012 starts you on a path toward a lifetime of fulfilled dreams. Nothing is more noble than helping others.

  9. You will be great. Stay open to your dreams

  10. I LOVED this post because adhere cancer I've been struggling with the same thoughts of what exactly was I created to do and what was stopping me. Thank you for your inspiration...now I will look back and find the clues left for me!

  11. I love how you've been gathering clues as to your life's work and becoming all of your life. I hope 2012 guides you to all of the things that mean the most to you and that you SHINE!

  12. Loved what you did with the theme!

  13. I hope 2012 is full of great realities bursting out of your dreams.

  14. Thanks Everyone, for the very kind words and great encouragement. I wish you all an awesome, magical and exciting 2012 too.

    Jo, Paula, Susan - I am truly on my way and so excited

    Artful Communication and Kat - I should have listened to my heart a long time ago.

    Elaine - My first step is to still use my skills but move out from the IT field into the business side of organisations - I am hoping I'll get into an education related organisation.

    Cindy - I wish I had not been so money focussed all these years. So many great opportunities went by because they weren't paying what I expected. But better late than never.

    Kelly - thanks. I should've been working on these goals a long time ago.

    Laura - I am just going with the flow and I know the Universe will show me the way

    Anna - isn't it amazing how much we are told and how often we choose to ignore. Wish you the very best. Will look forward to hearing about your aha moment.

    Beth - I should now start gathering the clues in other areas of my life. Thank you my friend for hosting GBE2 - amazing how much I have learned just from reading other blogs and how many wonderful people I have got to know.

    Claudia - thanks. It's so interesting how everyone interprets a theme.

    Daphne - thanks. love the way you put that. wish you the same too.

  15. That was a truly inspirational post, Suzy. SO many of us don't listen when the universe tries to plant the seeds and gives us the tools to help them grow. I wish you every success on your new path, and the happiness will, I think, be a given :o)

  16. I think your dream just gave me chills. I hope that you are able to pursue your dreams!! Your level of enthusiasm--and how it is all thought out--I just know you can do it!! You can never make the dream come true unless you start!!

    Wonderful post!! Jenn.


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