Starting a social enterprise based on an idea is not always easy. It takes courage and self reflection to fine tune what it is we truly want to experience. There are articles that debate whether passion for what you create is something that is there from the word go, or something that develops through time. An idea that is derived through passion or a process derived by passion I see as the same thing, it comes from an inner desire or joy.

What do you really want?

Ideas are something that is a gift we give ourselves, sometimes they become so lost in the day to day life, because we take them as part of everyday living. “What should we do tonight? Oh, I know, let’s do this.” That very example is the derivative of where do ideas come from. It starts with a question.

So the questions I asked myself at that time, and have continued to ask myself to fine tune the process: “What do I really want?” “What would l like to experience?” And you would think with this simple question, we can come up with a simple answer. But usually we don’t. And if we do have an inclination it usually starts with a feeling. If you’re tired, you may want rest. So the feeling you get when you ask yourself this question is: rest. So the idea is: let me lie down. Action: I lie down. (these examples seem a bit mundane, but basics I think help us understand the complex: ourselves.)

Why is it so difficult to know at times?

So why is it so difficult for us to answer what we want, for ourselves, for our lives? Well, often we think of reasons why we can’t before we can even say the words out of our mouths. They’re patterns of cant’s and should’s and have to be’s. Beliefs about ourselves and the world we are currently in.

From my own experience, I can certainly testify to this one. And more so, is the answer to that question was always a bit foggy, because it was layered with patterns of ‘pleasing others’, always thinking about others before me. And it’s an admirable trait to think of everyone, but not so helpful when we forget to give ourselves the very same attention. And through development we learn to focus on it from a ‘we’ perspective: You and me. I’ll add another question in there to stimulate the process: “What would I like to see in the world, for myself… and others?”

Know yourself

Ultimately I’m talking about introspection. I’m talking about getting to know yourself. Again, we usually get to know ourselves through our interactions with others, and don’t take the time to spend as much quality time with ourselves: still time. Through reflection of these questions, a pen and paper is usually handy. Or even talking out loud to yourself (and yes its healthy to talk to yourself, we do it all the time in our heads, just make sure your alone it might freak others out).

And that’s pretty much where I stop there. This blog isn’t about a self help course, even if this post sounds like it slightly. There are many self help books out there, to assist with the process if you require it. Ultimately I am petitioning for self reflection, to understand yourself, by asking yourself these questions, you may unearth some very latent desires that may not have had a voice until now.

The process: Self and Business

In business, the practice of evaluating and reviewing one’s process against metrics is actually very much the same process. We look at the reality of where we currently are; we understand what the causes of the situation are and then make effective decisions to align with the goals and objectives of the company vision. As social entrepreneurs, if we can develop this skill for ourselves and our own personal process, we add value and contribute an important skill to the whole. Understand it’s a process. As in businesses we have continual check-points to evaluate the effectiveness of our actions, so too will be the case for ourselves. We are continually changing as we learn and grow and so too will the process of self-evaluation, it’s a process.

The journey is the gift

“Life is a journey, not a destination.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Is it not but a gift you can give yourself and those in your lives, to truly understand yourself, what your desires are, and making actionable choices that see you living it, rather than denying it? A life truly worth living, fulfilled.

Related articles:

The hero’s journey: The social entrepreneur’s journey

Creative Leadership: Introspection

Why Introspection is vital for business owners

Five Creative Exercises to find you passion

Photo by SH Lam on Unsplash