Week Two: Quest 2018

Visionary Leaders Ishita Gupta and Charlie Gilkie sparked thoughts about creating and dreaming during their Quest 2018 roundtable talk with Jeffrey Davis this week.

Charlie’s take on practical creativity caught my attention. He spoke of the creativity found of moving “…something six inches to the left, where it works better or makes you happier.”

He talked about shifting our attention and sense of accomplishment away from the busyness of the small tasks on our to-do lists and toward the bigger things that matter most.

What if we made time for the big ideas to arise, and worked on them persistently until we bring them into being?

Self-Leadership in 2018

It’s  easy to fall into spending our days taking care of the small things, the immediate tasks and the tight deadlines that often come to us from dreams, visions, needs and priorities of others. We find ourselves reassuringly busy. We feel like we’re being productive. But are we?

Perhaps yes, if productivity means crossing items off of our to-do list.

But are we making a difference? Are we shaping our own lives and creating our own legacy? Perhaps not.

Leaders unite others around a shared vision. Leaders inspire hope, helping others see that the vision is achievable, if we persist in working toward it. Leaders create a culture that supports innovation, experimentation, reflection and action.

What if, instead of filling our time with an endless list of small tasks, we led ourselves in making time and space to dream our own dreams, to create our own vision, and to engage ourselves in working toward it?

Dreamful Thoughts

I allowed the images in the photo above to help me let go of my analyzing and critical thinking for a bit. I wanted my intuitive image-based flow of ideas to emerge. As it did, I started scribbling in my journal, writing out the dreams that I will use to lead myself into 2018 and beyond.

I dream of who I am and how I am.

I dream of wisdom and clarity, of focus and playfulness, of a world of vibrant color and energizing ideas.

I dream of health, of stamina, of feeling safe and strong.

I dream of owning my body, of no longer turning it over to others to scan and poke, compress and cut, radiate and medicate.

I dream of living each day as if it truly matters. Because it does. Because I cannot know how many more days I have.

I dream of things I want to do, things I can do, things I will do.

I dream of crafting new ways of working with service-centered, creative and caring professionals who are at the edge of burning out; whose bodies and mind are sending messages that must be attended to.

I extend my hand, inviting others into a safe space from which they can explore ways of coping with the uncertainties of our world, along with the changes and constant demands in their own lives.

I dream of new approaches to strengthening transformational resilience, the ability to positively adapt and cope when the fundamentals of life change so much, there’s no going back to the way things used to be.

Dreaming As Leading

This kind of dreaming is leading myself so I can better lead, coach, guide and support others.

It means committing myself to

Making time for dreaming the bigger ideas into reality.
Inspiring myself with a vision of what could be.
Strengthening hope as I work toward that vision.
Finding persistence and deep joy in the work, even when it gets hard.
Opening myself to others who can support my dreams, and offering support to them, because leaders are also followers, and because, as Jeffrey says, DIT (do it together) beats DIY.

Many Ways to Quest

Explore other Questers’ responses to this week’s prompts and roundtable:

Katie De Jong: Quest 2018- Getting Stuff Done Vs Dreaming Stuff Up

Amy Hunt: A Best Self Kind of Year 

Kelsey Blackwell: Week 2: #DreamDone 

Suzi Banks Baum: Quest #DreamDone My Hand On My Heart 

My Previous Quest Responses

A Purposeful Quest