Engagement is key to achieve our dreams, our hopes, our work. Anytime we engage into an activity we do it because we believe that it contributes to the sense we give to our life. Sometimes its conscious sometimes it isn’t. When it is conscious we can see how it will contribute to our goals and plan the steps towards the goal.
In other situations we don’t see the link between the sense we give to our life and the activity we are undertaking. It might seem daunting to link the visit to the hairdresser into this idea, but I know that when I do it, it is partly to feel more comfortable with myself but also when I meet others and want them to see a person who does pay attention to her look. Naturally it is a detail, but one out of many which impact the story I tell myself about who I want to be and what I want to achieve. It also is a detail I can influence.
Now it isn’t one that requires a lot of engagement, as a non-profit organization or our work would for example require. And yet, realizing why we engage into these activities as well as what we can get out of these activities enables us to influence how we engage into our activities. A simple way to give ourselves and answer is by asking ourselves the question: “what is it for?”
By finding our answer to this question we gain clarity and learn how important it is to us and thus how much we want to engage into that activity. A challenge in answering this question is our ability to be honest with ourselves. Living with our culture, it sometimes seems that beyond what we give to others it seems difficult to accept that we also do it for our own satisfaction, pleasure or goals. Knowing both seems essential for our satisfaction with that activity.
Once we know what it is for we can also validate the amount of engagement by verifying our ability to influence the outcome. This might lead into not engaging at all, into adapting our expectations as well as engaging more, by taking up a role in which our influences matches our expectations.
It might still be difficult to reach the outcome we are looking for, but this approach allows us at least to position ourselves in such a way that the outcome is attainable and that we make it more possible through our engagement and the contribution that results out of it.
The other option is to simply step into the engagement without knowing what it is for and how we can appreciate it’s results. It is giving others or chance the responsibility to achieve our goals. It rarely is their objective.