Photo by Desi Dermz. on Unsplash

A friend recently shared some personal news: a diagnosis of OCD. While the news surprised me, it also got me thinking about how deeply personal that information was to share, and how vulnerable sharing that must have been for them, and also deeply, how deeply personal are all of the rituals we create, uphold, and endure throughout our lives, many of them invisible to others.

According to Google, a ritual is “a religious or solemn ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order.”

Life is filled with ritual.

Wake up, brush teeth, exercise, shower, eat…

Streetscape at night featuring a city street with an arrow painted on it, pointing straight ahead
Streetscape at night featuring a city street with an arrow painted on it, pointing straight ahead
Photo by Vek Labs on Unsplash

For the first time since I began the practice of an annual end-of-year mini-retreat eleven years ago, this year’s retreat has had vibrant staying power. The insights, takeaways, and more than anything, the process and particular questions from the retreat, have come up urgently again and again, particularly around life purpose and meaning.

The specific retreat question that keeps coming back for further reflection is:

Q: What is the work that only you can do, that you are uniquely responsible for, and won’t get done if you don’t do it?

I’ve found myself, in nearly every conversation with current, new, and prospective clients, asking that question.

I’ve also been asking it of myself.

Perhaps because 2020 was a year unlike any other I’ve experienced in…

Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash

How do you do bigger work, build a network, and generate resources like revenue?

People. You need people. People who care about you / what you want to create.

I call this your “family” — a group of people without whom you can’t be successful, who get what you’re about and are cheering you on.

FACT: No matter what “they” told you, we don’t actually accomplish anything alone. (A huge insight from yours truly, who used to value independence above all things!).

Q: So, how do you get more people to care about you / what you’re up to? …

Photo of the author, by Eva Hart

2020 was an unescapable year of change for the whole world. Like you, I did not (consciously) ask for what transpired. And like you, I hung on for dear life, not knowing where and when the rollercoaster would end.

And then it didn’t. And hasn’t.

And may not, at least for a (short or long) while.

And…now I’m OK with that.

More than OK, turns out. In fact, after doing a postmortem of the year via my annual mini-retreat practice, I’m grateful because 2020 was exactly what I needed (even though I didn’t know it at the time).

2020’s exact…

Team meeting with a man and a woman smiling, with sticky notes on their foreheads
Team meeting with a man and a woman smiling, with sticky notes on their foreheads
Marte Siebenhar facilitating a team retreat. Photo by Ekaterina Juskowski.

Are the meetings in your life boring, lifeless, unproductive, or just something you / others dread?

Do you dive right in, shoot the breeze, or sit uncomfortably waiting for the boss to appear?

Is there a sense of mundane-ness, sameness, or staleness?

If you said yes to any of the above, it’s time for a meeting makeover.

Because every meeting has the capacity for magic, and if you’re not accomplishing that, you’re doing it wrong.

Let’s step back and examine the meeting concept, and how to set the conditions for meeting magic.

The back story

The word came from Old and Middle English…

May 30 was World Creativity Day.

I believe that the most successful companies and leaders not only understand their vision and values, but that they also live them through their actions, their work, and how they show up in the world. Helping clients define and strategize how to do this is one of my favorite aspects of my work as a consultant and coach.

I spent World Creativity Day reflecting on how I, individually and through my business, will take action toward dismantling systems and structures that were designed to oppress, marginalize, and exclude.

The responsibility to become more creative…

Completed tasks = an epic week!

It feels good to slay the to-do list and see tangible progress.

But how do you mark your progress when you’re doing not just the visible, but also the inner work? Inner work is a huge part of my practice, and every day, it brings something new to my attention.

Today started out with me feeling very emotional. I decided instead of pushing through — as I had been used to doing for years — I could and would allow the feelings to come. I chose to allow them to flow, and I stepped…

Just as COVID-19 was taking shape as the only news story that mattered, I started live streaming every weekday for 30 minutes.

I wanted to know if people were OK, what they were learning, and what I could learn or share.

What was breaking down? What were the bright spots? I wondered what things will be like when we re-emerge, especially for creatives and entrepreneurs, and how we will all be changed as a result of this disruption, including what will be improved as a result.

The idea was to connect, learn, contribute, and be of service, sharing hope and…

ROI is a term from the business world, but I like to look at how it can apply to daily life. First, let’s start with basics.

What’s ROI? It means return on investment.

In other words, ROI asks: What is the effect of what you’re doing?

And: Is that effect worth what you’re putting into it?

In investing terms: what yield is your investment delivering, and is it worth the price?

To get concrete, as another example, we might look at your business’s ROI on marketing:

Is what you’re spending on paid advertising yielding you the results — leads, deals…

Dreaming small won’t get you where you want to be, living your full purpose in life, but executing small is a genius move.

What? Why?

When you execute small, you embrace the incremental.

Think about every major change, development, every big move you can think of.

Historical events, natural disasters, business successes.

From the outside, it appears that these occurred suddenly, but if you look closely, beneath the surface is a series of small steps, decisions, actions — some sort of chain of events — that created the conditions that were necessary for that massive change to occur.

Although we…

Marte Siebenhar

Success on Purpose. Coach | Strategist | Facilitator of possibilities. Principal, Cultured Innovations

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