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Article # 20 You

We recently had dinner with a couple we have known for over 20 years.  He is a technology wizard working for Apple as a project manager, helping clients maximize the utility of the suite of Apple products and systems.  He works mostly from home but also travels to clients’ locations worldwide.  He has a side hustle coaching people on their careers.  Just as the dessert arrived, we asked “What do you want from us to help you the most”?

He whispered: “I am at the pinnacle of my professional career working for a prestigious company doing meaningful value-added work for which I am perfectly suited and well paid.  So, I should be ecstatic, but frankly I am at the other end of that spectrum.”

We encouraged him to continue……

“It feels strange to be at the zenith professionally but still not satisfied within my vocation.  Most people would kill for my circumstances.  I like what I am doing, and I am really good at it, but coaching others is what I love to do. What would you do for me? Well, I am a certified business coach but somehow, I can’t do for myself what I do for my clients.  Isn’t that weird?  I guess the cobblers’ kids without shoes applies to me.”

Game on!  The glimmer in Elaine’s eyes across the table told me this is going to be a tag team engagement.  We love serving couples as they build Soul Roadmaps individually and then also integrate them together.

They are making three common mistakes.  First, they approach the world of work backwards.   They start with the organization and then try to adjust themselves to “fit” into the “matrix management” of the company.  Second, they approach this task as if it were just a solo engagement.  He works for Apple.  Well, not entirely accurate.  Third, he organizes around externals first and then works backward into the internals of life.

Before we address these common mistakes, we need to have conversation about why this article is in this YOU category and not inside the WORK category. As a general statement understanding the YOU first and then working forward into the world of work generates better outcomes.

The dessert conversation addressed his view of the external world.

“I need healthcare until I reach Medicare eligibility.  I am not eligible to claim Social Security until I reach age 66, that is unless they change the rules again. And my long term incentive is not completely vested yet.  And I really like the paid time off I have attained because we really like to travel.”

We will reverse the entire process beginning with who the engagement is for.  He and his wife are really married-they are bonded to one another through the covenant they made and welded together through trauma and trials of their lives.  We will start with the idea that it is not just him working for compensation but actually THEM together working for Apple.  Since they are joined spiritually and legally, they are also joined in the vocational calling to work for Apple, or whomever it might turn out to be.  We will continue to reverse the process by eliminating the dependence upon the externals and redesigning their lives around the internals.  Finally, we will end up by redesigning his unique set of endowments, which in our view are sovereignly deployed within his being beginning at a soul level, and then work outward.  Think of this as understanding the YOU like a surgical glove instead of a ski mitten.  We will want to understand as closely as possible his original divine design.  And then begin to live into it.  When this occurs the internal drivers overwhelm the externals and invade engagement within the world of work. Change also occurs in the nature of their marriage.  Understanding YOU is where we start! For those not married, the process still remains the same.

Building their Soul Roadmap ignites a silent and not so silent partner.  Do you believe the Father of our lives cares about how we grow into His original design?  If that is your belief, then He becomes an active participant in the process.  Life becomes different.  No longer captivated by long term incentives nor health insurance.  Social Security and Medicare also take a back seat.  The real idea here is not “when am I done working” but “how much longer do I get to do this task of becoming who God intended, in this work/ vocational calling”, as a part of driving upon my (and your) Soul Roadmap.

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