I’m currently sat on the Eurostar, having just enjoyed a rather nice ‘light meal’ of cheese and wine, included in a Standard Premier ticket #bargain! I have to be honest and say that I’m feeling pretty hungover after having applied an exploratory mindset last night in the centre of Amsterdam with my new THNK Class 6 buddies.
THNK is a school for Creative Leadership. What’s Creative Leadership I hear you say? I don’t know if I have the answer really, but my learnings this week through the activities I’ve carried out and through the people I’ve met point towards connectivity, passion, authenticity and impact. So for me, a Creative Leader is someone who knows their passion and purpose and leads from the heart to create a large scale, positive social impact.
Last Friday, I boarded the Eurostar in London, not really knowing what to expect; excited and slightly apprehensive about the week ahead. What would the course be like? What will the people be like? What if it’s not for me? What if I’m not good enough? What if the Airbnb apartment that I’ve booked is awful? What if it’s really awkward to share with a Frenchman that I don’t know called Arnaud:-)
What if, what if , what if…….
It got me thinking about how much time so many of us spend worrying about the future when we could be truly living in the present and how much more authentic and present that would make us as individuals and how much more connected we’d feel. Luckily for me, everything turned out just fine and in many ways, exceeded my expectations, so I found myself wondering, even if things had completely messed up, how would it have helped in any way to have expended energy on worrying about it. If things go wrong, there’s usually a learning in it and learning from our mistakes (How Fascinating!) helps us grow, so as long as the stakes are not in the realm of life and death, there’s really no point in wasting energy on worrying. As my Dad often says, “Worry is like a rocking horse. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.” On reflection though, a rocking horse is something that reminds of us our childhood. It’s safe. Just like worry. Perhaps worry makes us feel safe in a strange sort of way, protecting us from vulnerablilty.
This week has been a week of realisation and affirmation. An affirmation that I am enough and a realisation that I haven’t taken the time to reflect for years! I’ve put all my energy into ‘other’ things and not my ‘self’ and I’ve started to realise that that’s just not sustainable in the long term. My eyes and my heart have been opened, I’m not afraid anymore and in being more honest, vulnerable and open, I feel like I’m ready to take my seat for landing, rather than circling in a holding pattern.
I’ve also revisited Myers Briggs this week and after a little bit of backwards and forwards; am I an “E”, am I an “I”, am I a “T”, am I a “F”, I think I’m getting more comfortable with my new identity – ENFP, having thought I was ENTP for years. But what’s funny about this week is how much my very strong preferences “N” and “P” have been present, probably because I have been more present and open. I have felt an enormous connection to my classmates. I found myself saying things like “people like us” and “I feel like I belong”, which is quite converse in sentiment to how I usually feel. My strong “N” tendency feels like it has been set free and that that’s ok. Behaviours from my past have remerged, like mislaying my wallet and missing my train – very “P” like behaviour. And I’m excited again, in a childlike way about what’s possible for me, for my classmates and for the world.
I said on the first day, when asked why I was at THNK, that I felt like I had been called to THNK, not consciously but sub-consciously and that it felt like a serendipitous journey. But I think that it is actually more than that. I think it is a gift and for the first time in a long time, I feel like a child in a candy store. And I like it!
I’ll leave you with my own gift taken at Embankment station a year ago: