Wednesday 23 January 2019

The Whynapse© - Most Lives Have A Hole in Them. Does yours?

Why Sparking your Whynapse will be the second most important hole you fill in your whole life!
Most people have a hole in their life where their Whynapse© would sit. If only they knew what and where their Whynapse©was. So, how do I know?
Obviously, I am borrowing the basis of my term from the scientific origins of synapse; which is the minute gap in the brain’s communication system which transmits nerve impulses to achieve thoughts, reactions, movements and memories. The word "synapse" is derived from the Greek words "syn" and "haptein" that mean "together" and "to clasp," respectively.
In my Career Dovetail Formula™, I define the anatomy of ‘The Ahah Moment’ when a person 'clasps' what work they were born to do. This is achieved by bridging that elusive gap between our vocational identity and marrying this to a destination in the World of Work which complements these ingredients. The Career Dovetail process implies a journey of docking the two sides of the career decision together. In the same way, that ‘love at first sight’ is a rare occurrence. This rarely, if ever, happens in an instant. Hence, I use the pieces of a jigsaw to denote self-awareness because the picture is not always revealed until we piece each ingredient together. There is a viscerality to it.

However, the falling in love metaphor works really well in this instance. Before we meet our ‘life-partner’, there is a period of, inevitably, being apart. When we become aware of a person who is receptive and accepts us for who we are, completely. Then we experience the union of the two separate halves. People frequently liken this as, meeting our match, realising my better half, instant attraction, passionate chemistry, to mention a few phrases related to this sparks flying moment. I once heard a helpful definition of this love of a life-partner; which went something along the lines of: a person who makes that significant other person complete by enabling the fulfilment of their potential. And so it is with the notion of finding one’s calling to do a particular occupation.
Before we encounter our better half, we know there is a hole deep-down inside each of us which could be said is a yearning, a longing, a void in our lives which compels so many of us to quest for the answer. With the answer, in the context of love-matching, being a person.
Does the same dynamic exist in the world of work? Unless we inherit a fortune and literally never have to work in our lives, the vast majority of the population will need to construct some form of livelihood / work / employment / vocation. In essence, each of us supplies our ‘talent’ to a market need. In the last twenty years, I have written extensively on this dynamic of supply and demand. Back in 2004 I started to recognise that what folks were questing for was their purpose in life.
The biggest obstacle to finding matches such as these, is their intangibility: Perhaps not quite so portentous as finding our life-partner, discovering our purpose in life is important, nonetheless. Equally so, is appreciating our mission. Our purpose is over overarching guiding star; which, we must accept, will never be held in our hand. Whereas, the skills of learning to navigate towards it forms the palpability of our mission. Thus, we sculpt our mission around our character traits, skills, competencies. Our purpose derives from our values, aspirations, attitudes and dreams.
For example, my favourite architect, American Frank Lloyd Wright’s purpose was designing structures that sit in harmony with humanity and the environment. As such, he pioneered whole architectural movements and schools of thinking, such as ‘The Prairie School’. Although he achieved far more than this in his remarkable lifetime, I love his work because he took an holistic approach. Underpinning his unique purpose, were the ingredients forming his mission. As a game-changing innovator, among his repertoire of skills (verbs), he mastered drawing, designing, harmonising, envisioning, sympathising, researching, synthesising and leading, in accomplishing the widely acknowledged greatness we recognise as his legacy still.
Much like another of my all-time favourite innovators and design pioneers, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, he based much of his inspiration in the organic structures found in nature. In doing so, he built a reputation for blending ingredients in the blurring of architecture’s usual delineation points between structure and situation. His designs typify the bridging of synapse into… as I say in my book“Work Aesthetics©, …the delight-filled fusion of fabric, function, form and ‘flow’.”
The Whynapse© is a phrase I coin to define that space in your life which you yearn to fill with a sense of mission, purpose and one’s ability to contribute. In Maslovian thinking, it is defined as one’s ability to individuate, self-actualise and grow through time in such a way that implies progress. Put simply, to build traction between the Self and the society of which we are all parts.
Ahead of docking the two-sides of the purpose equation together, there is a divide: The chemistry of love and passion has yet to occur. We know this deep-down in our souls because there are forces which instinctually tell us there are things are still to happen. This sense of anticipation fuels our quest. We all have it. I experienced this longing to identify my purpose, to satisfy the longing to maximise my innate potential throughout the course of my teens and twenties. For me, it was not until I had torn through 35 jobs in the first 32 years of my life that I experienced my epiphany. (#Gratitude!)
People have met me after a long gap of 25 years and asked what on earth happened. What happened was, I plugged the hole where once there was the void of my Whynapse©. More via trial and error than good judgement, I fell upon my calling. Beyond blunder, I built belief. My purpose, to help as many people as I could in my lifetime to avoid the toxic pitfalls of not knowing. The holes leading to low self-esteem, confusion, vicious circles, self-doubt, distraction, frustration and reactivity.
Yet, much like the ‘before and after’ version of a person who has found their love-match, so it is for the person who decodes their occupational DNA in the alchemy of epiphany. Tuning-in to their raison d'ĂȘtre. Sparking knowingness. The most interesting reaction to which is always, “Of course! It’s obvious what I am going to do with my life! How come I didn’t realise this before now?!”
It would be unrealistic of me to completely define the notion of Whynapse© here in this short post. Frankly, because it is such a fresh thought and such a subjective topic, I feel it would be insincere of me to even try. My task right now, is to get it out there so that you, the reader, can use it as soon as possible to diagnose that career itch that you have been trying to scratch for such a long time. The trick in life is knowing what the holes are and where they are; if ever we are going to be able to take action. Hence, Whynapse© leapt from deep instinct. Designed as an umbrella-term covering a multitude of malfunctioning working-lives; with so many slaves to the mundane. It is the word which defines a hole that so many people in the population endure day-to-day.
With the result being so utterly enticing, the point of this post is, ultimately, what are you going to do about interpreting your Whynapse©? How big is the gap between you and meaningful work? How in control are you over the direction of travel of your work-day? Do you value your career attributes? Are there better-fitting opportunities in the labour market that match your skill-set, experience, insight, passions, interests, values, qualifications, drive, traits and work-preferences? Have you been inspired to complete the self-inventory? Are you career ‘fit’? Above all else, what is your mission, your how? And what is your purpose – your why? What difference would it make?
Should you need any guidance in deciphering your Whynapse©, please get in touch.
(NB: For a FREE career strategy workshop on: ‘Decoding the Power of Your Occupational DNA’, here in Brighton, click the link. **Usual price £75.00**)
Duncan Bolam ©1997-2019
Career Dovetail® purposeful propulsion - strengthening wellbeing by dovetailing more people into sustainable careers © 1996-2019