There’s been a lot on my mind lately. And it is not just related to the Covid pandemic which continues to rage on interminably. March has been a blur for me: long, mind-numbing days packed with wall-to-wall Teams meetings as well as a steady stream of emotionally draining conversations about various topics, ranging from my career trajectory to overcoming past adversity at work. Despite this as I reflect back on this month I feel a palpable sense of satisfaction in the personal growth I have experienced.

March has indeed been the culmination of several months of inner struggle. A civil war that has waged within me to find my path forward in life. Should I stay or should I go? Is it better to wait for the pandemic to end or take the plunge now? At every turn there were innumerable doubts and questions. And of course many many restless nights. Yet I weathered this storm of uncertainty and emerged in one piece.

I finally did it! I took the leap! Yesterday I submitted my resignation at my current job, where I have worked for the past eight and a half years. This moment has been a long time in the coming, yet it felt like it would never come. Almost as if it was an ephemeral dream, which could slip out of my hands at any moment.

Afterwards, I was relieved. I felt as if an immense weight had been lifted from my shoulders after years of burden. Being unyoked is a wonderful feeling of course, but I realize that what matters most is in fact the lessons that I learned along the way. In the run up to this major decision, I discovered three important things about myself:

  • I am not a victim – No matter what adverse circumstances I have faced in life I refuse to wallow in a cesspool of self-pity, bitterness and malevolence. In life we have to play the cards we are dealt and make the most of it. Every hand that we are dealt can be a winner!
  • I must seize control of my destiny – Being the master of my fate is a better strategy than waiting and hoping for things to change or an opportunity to come my way. It requires energy and resourcefulness, which is another way to say good old fashion “hustling.”
  • I must follow my calling – Ultimately this decision to quit my job is about being true to myself and following my purpose in life: to make the world better than when I first came by reducing suffering in the world. It is a lofty ambition, but a meaningful one, for which I feel responsible and am committed.

On July 1st I will start my new role at an amazing Dutch startup focusing on developing healthcare technology for Africa. It embodies many of the values that I hold dear and is composed of a team of passionate, enthusiastic, and talented individuals. In short, I am taking a step closer to my ikigai – my reason for being! The nexus where my passion, mission, vocation and profession intersect. I look forward to sharing more as I begin this exciting new chapter in my career. Thanks for stopping by!

Have you found your ikigai yet? How did you discover it? I am curious to hear your story. Please feel free to leave a comment below.

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