A few years ago the principal of my children’s secondary school decided to give each of the departing seniors a white stone.
If you aren’t sure what the white stone is, it’s a symbol of searching for higher meaning and destiny as described by Charles Handy in his book, The Hungry Spirit.
The Principal’s message to the seniors was…
“Each of you have prevailed, you have passed a number of the tests life has thrown up at you to get to where you are today. However, as you can see your names are not written on your white stones. Your road towards self-knowledge and self-discovery is still in its early stages. Sure, you’ve come a long way since when you started secondary school way back in Year 7, but your journey is only just beginning. You have an amazing opportunity to go forward and shape yourself into the person you truly want to be. Your lives are not foreordained, but instead they are a blank canvas, a white stone, on which you can create your own individual masterpieces”.
And what I love about this so deeply is that this still rings true for each and every one of us and our business journey.
Society places so many expectations on us.
Are we the fearless leader?
Do we act like the perfect parent?
Are we innovative enough?
Are we passionate enough?
Do we fit this tiny mould that we feel like we are constantly being prodded into.
Or are these all expectations we are placing on ourselves?
Since when did we need to conform to what others expected of us? And since when were we going to let it control our decisions and our life?
So rather than always searching for answers, maybe we need to press pause and reflect, taking the time to peer beneath the surface because maybe there lie the stories about who we really are. If we’re not careful, we risk rushing through life from one thing to another, losing track of who we are in the chase.
Nobody else can do it for you. You are your own director, producer, scriptwriter and camera operator. You are quite often catering, wardrobe, hair and makeup as well.
You are a blank canvas.
You can create what you choose.
So which legacy are you choosing for yourself?