“…So I guess I’ll stand by whatever you do, because even if you are not who I imagine now, I’ll support you, because maybe who I’m imagining is someone else, and you are—well you’re not someone else, you’re me.” Tiny Buddha
Exactly nine months ago in Washington DC, I write a letter to myself. When a blank sheet of paper was handed to me and an awesome AtlasCorps facilitator confidently asked us to write letters to ourselves. I thought this was a crazy idea. How could I write to myself, I debated in my mind?
Apparently this was not an optional exercise; all nine fellows of awesome class 15 must do so as part of the orientation exercise. The same exercise was repeated during global leadership lab training facilitated by Deloitte Consulting. Reflecting on this after 9 months now, I clearly see how this whole exercise made not only lots of sense but also acted as a strategic career guide to me. In my letter, I instructed myself, I advised myself and I set myself some high limits; I recognized my strengths and refused to accept pessimistic whispers in my mind. Some of the clear instructions to myself were to create a social enterprise, initiate a startup and become an employer after fellowship.
When I was writing the letter to myself May last year, it didn’t occur in my mind that I would take its contents seriously. However, I started using my own letter instructions to recognize and define what I am passionate about. I used it to develop and inform my five facts (“I am Passionate about Youth Entrepreneurship). I also used my own letter instructions to develop my elevator’s pitch. And finally back home, I used my own letter content, to inform my Independent Community Project (ICP), Enterprise Nurture Project, through which I am part-timing now working with a group of young women and men to advance their small businesses and enhance income and livelihoods. I offer advisory, training and mentoring services to small business owners who cannot effort commercial business service providers. I envision this initiative to become a national enterprise incubation facility that will nature local business initiatives in South Sudan.
It is amazing how small initiatives such as writing a letter to yourself can turn out to inspire you for a life time. I am looking forward to hearing stories from fellow fellows, or indeed anyone in my networks who think they still identify with the content of their letter to themselves.