‘C’-ing my way Forward

Jun 27, 2011 by

Forgive the pun, but I finally found a cluster concept that is helping me navigate this new landscape of retirement. They all start with the letter ‘C’.  I call it my ‘Three C’s.’ They are Contribute, Collaborate and Create.

I know that if keep them in good harmony with each other, I will feel satisfied and fulfilled.( I’m choosing the metaphor of Harmony over Balance because I think it reflects the way life isn’t always that balanced, but more of a melody with harmonic elements that create the tune of the moment, day, week, phase.)

I freely admit they are not earth-shattering ideas, but they mean a to me. They are about what I need to do to feel good about myself. And they relate deeply to two other C’s I discovered years ago about my basic sense of self.

A teacher in my master’s program in Organization Development asked us to develop graphic metaphors for our deepest identities.  I had two strong images.

The first was the the round wood circle with holes in the rim that the various straight pieces fit into. Infinite shapes can emerge from those connectors.  I know I am a great connector which is more than just being a good networker. I connect people with people, connect concepts that move teams forward, share resources that help and respond to needs I hear about with solutions.

The other image was of a lit match – I am a catalyst or spark for heating things up and creating energy and, well, more connection.

So here is how all these ‘C’s’ work for me.  As a connector and catalyst I am determined to discover where I can best contribute, collaborate and create. Some of what I do is purely about contribution: offering my services, volunteering and giving to causes that matter to me.

Collaboration is one of my biggest needs. I love working with other people to make things happen. To manifest the dream or cook-up the meal, or make plans that didn’t exist before we started work on them.  And the Create part includes my love of cooking, the fused glass I have started to make, beautiful fibers I knit that please my eyes and satisfy my sensuality.

Now that I have the construct firmly in mind, I don’t find it hard to check in with myself about how my life is going.  I don’t have to do all of them every day. I don’t even have to do any of them on a given day. But if they are not present on a regular basis, I feel selfish and unsatisfied, critical and needy.

What I do that qualifies as my 3 C’s doesn’t really matter, it is whether whatever it is feels right for me.

And if this idea is one you can use, by all means take it and find how it works in your life. Let me hear from you.  Maybe we can collaborate on something together.

About the Author

Rebecca Crichton Has Written 40 Articles For Us!

I try to stay aware of one main concept: We see things through different lenses. We get caught in our own belief systems and most of us are pretty attached to being right. I am one of those inveterate Life Long Learners. I like new ideas, new experiences, new people, new challenges.
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