Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

We are what we hate – how your values feed your passion and lead to purpose


The words of one of American singer, Jack Johnston’s songs “we are what we hate” provides a powerful reminder about the role of our deepest beliefs and values in defining who we are. Values are things that guide as through our day, our tasks, our interactions with others. Yet people are often unaware of what their values are. That is, until they are violated all called into question in some way. The things that stir angry emotions are powerful and very transparent clues to our values – the deeply held beliefs or rules about what is right or wrong, acceptable or unacceptable.  When used constructively the things that push our buttons can also provide a powerful clue to passion and life purpose.

Many people who seek career coaching say they could do anything if they only knew what it was. In the absence of some lightening flash of clarity they often fail to notice the accumulated signs that point them to toward the work they were born to do. Yet often career clarity is something that creeps up on people. Only those alert to the signs and those who have the courage to act upon life’s whispers find their vocation in life.

As Nelson Mandela said, “There was no particular day on which I said, henceforth I will devote myself to the liberation of my people. Instead, I simply found myself doing so and could not do otherwise. I had not epiphany, no singular revelation, no moment of truth, but a steady accumulation of a thousand slights, a though indignities, and a thousand remembered moments produced in me an anger, a rebelliousness, a desire to fight the system that imprisoned my people. “

I was just listening to and watching a  clip of writer Isabel Allende on Ted  which powerfully illustrated the above. In this talk she shares her hatred of injustice, violence, the repression of women. Isabel uses her anger to champion and create positive change. All these themes and more she writes about and spotlights, creating powerful stories in which powerful, maverick characters fight back.


As a wise person once said, “”The world continues to allow evil because it is not angry enough.” So what clues to career direction and satisfaction might Jack Johnston’s words lead to? What do you hate? List all the things that push your buttons? How might you use your anger to bring about constructive change?


This was an excerpt from “Happy at Work: job hunting for mid-lifers – A practical and inspirational guide for job-hunters and career-changers.”
Aim Higher. Reach Farther. Dream Bigger.
A better career is out there. Happy at Work – your first step to becoming everything you want to be.

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