Curt Rosengren's latest post
is a brilliant reminder that we don't have to take the journey toward more purposeful and soulful work alone. It's sometimes easy to forget, though, particularly when we blaze a path where few have gone before.
Consciously creating your Sangha, both by identifying the people currently in your life that will support your journey and by reaching out and creating new connections, can have an amazing impact on what you are able to achieve.
If it's a matter of just getting started in creating your support network, find a couple of people who will be your biggest fans. For instance, my wife is my rock. She's both my most vocal supporter, but also my source for reality-checks. I can be a very "blue sky" dreamer-type and she offers the kind of "green grass" practicality that helps me assess my decisions. Yet, most importantly, as my rock I can hold on to her when everything else in my life seems to be caught up in the maelstrom. I have a spouse, but it could easily be a good friend, sibling, mentor, or parent.
Probably the harder part of creating your support network is developing new connections. Putting yourself, your ideas, your dreams out there to new contacts can be frightening. One place to start is with the folks you already know and trust. Ask them to suggest other individuals they know with whom you might connect. You'll continue to build your network steadily outward from your core of biggest fans above.
And if you're feeling particularly adventurous, you can take more dynamic action and create more networks outside of your familiar contacts. This is going to those places where other people who share your passion hang out. You might find these as networking events (a word on 'networking' below) or professional society meetings or a local coffee shop. The point is that creating a bold life of passionate work means getting out of your comfort zone and taking a risk. Consider the words of Andre Gide, French critic, essayist, & novelist:
One doesn't discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.
And that word on networking
...the concept has developed a kind of nasty connotation which is unfortunate. Rather, consider networking to be an act of relationship building, one that may not exactly bear fruit immediately. Purposeful networking is an act of cultivation, of nourishing the relationships with your contacts. It means that you give as well as receive, which is where we circle back around to Curt's posting on creating your own sangha. As others support your dreams and work, it's up to you to do the very same for them.
Categories: c.Careers; c.Community; c.Creativity