What delights your soul?
I saw this question on the inside of a Mama Chia’s drink cap. What a great question to ask yourself.
I often get asked — What do you aspire to be? What are you building? What are your goals for your startup? How big do you want to get, when? When do you plan to raise funding etc etc. Typical silicon valley questions.
My response is that I don’t have all the answers yet BUT I do know that the work I do delights my soul.
You see, by the time I was in my early thirties, I realized that I had achieved way more than my wildest dreams. As a young woman, I had many aspirations but my dreams were (and still are) very simple. I have always had an inclination to help others, to be in service to humanity. I know this is how I am because of the role models in my life. I learned this by observing their selfless service for decades to their families and to their community.
I do not aspire to be famous or rich. I aspire to be someone who inspires action (even if you don’t remember me or my name). If I can say or do something that inspires you to contribute in a impactful way that benefits others, then I consider that a metric for success.
So let me cut to the chase. I am not interested in the rat race, or to take part in the illusion of tech startup success, or to work towards goals set by others. I am here because this work truly delights my soul. The young people who interned with me this summer sparked in me that desire that is innate, to be in service to others. It may not make good business sense but it feels great to be reconnected to your source.
I have this vivid image of my maternal grandmother sitting in her chair in her living room. She always had many visitors who would often visit her to say thank you for her help or to talk to her about their problems and seek her advice or help. She would always ensure everyone was well fed. She would extend her arm in a fist and leave something in the palm of their hands. It was always done in a discrete way, never talked about. She would give them money, whatever she had on her. She would always help in any way she could. Whatever she could give away, money, food, jewelry, her generosity knew no boundaries. She would listen, smile and make them feel seen and heard. I never understood why she did it back then but I understand it now.
She always had a blissful smile on her face and a twinkle in her eyes. I know now what that twinkle in her eye was. It is what happens when you do what delights your soul.
I have spent two decades of my life working towards goals set for me by others. It served me well then as it contributed to helping me build my life here in the US. I have a beautiful home, family and life. But the next few decades will have to derive inspiration from my grandmother and her undying, selfless contribution to humanity.
I plan to spend the next few decades doing what delights my soul.
What about you?