Purpose articles

It’s vital for our wellbeing that we are working towards something, be it getting through difficult times in life or developing our sense of self. Finding purpose and meaning in life improves mental health and add years to our life.

We are in unpredictable times and 2020 taught us to cherish what we have, particularly family and friends, take nothing for granted and look after our physical and mental health. Certainly, getting a fresh start in 2021 is really appealing and creating some new year resolutions or goals means we start off on the right foot.  New habits and behaviours can be challenging they don’t happen overnight and can take commitment and dedication.  The brain does not like swift, abrupt change, but benefits can be very worthwhile, so think of this as an investment in yourself. The top ten resolutions each year include: Exercise more Lose weight Get organized Learn a new skill or hobby  Live life to the fullest Save more money / spend less money Quit smoking Spend more time with family and friends Travel more Read more Most of us can relate to some or all the resolutions listed. Resolutions and goals are unique to each of us, so perhaps before you create them consider the questions below: How would you like to feel? Will the resolution help you get there? Would you recommend this resolution to a friend of colleague? How will the resolution impact you? Are you removing something and simply making a change? What is the improvement you want to make and why? When it comes to new year resolutions almost half of us are unsuccessful at fulfilling them, so perhaps we need to consider how we approach them? Below are some tips which may help to keep you on track and ensure success in 2021 Be mindful When embarking on changing a habit or behaviour it is important to prepare mentally by taking a step back and taking stock. When thinking about any change try to keep in mind: Change should be gradual Build on smaller changes Remain positive Accept that there could be setbacks and allow for them Own them Ensure the goals you have set are yours and that this is something you want and not something which you think you should be aiming for. You have a far better chance for success if you are intrinsically motivated to reach your goal Be realistic Do not create a long list, limit the number of resolutions you commit to. Be selective about the ones which mean the most and are the most attainable for you.  Be specific It’s easy to set goals which we cannot achieve, so take some time to ensure they are achievable. A good suggestion is to use SMART to help you create them: Specific - What do you want to achieve, break it down be specific Measurable - How can you measure if you have achieved it e.g., walk a mile in 20 minutes or lose 10% of your weight Attainable – Is the goal or resolution attainable e.g., this is not a good year to include world travel, but it might a good year to travel your corner of the world Relevant - Keep it relevant to you, your life and how you want to improve it Timeline – Give yourself an appropriate deadline to work towards Small wins Break them up into small pieces.  As you tick off each box, your confidence will grow with each small success and spur you on. Share them By keeping the resolution to yourself you can fall into a trap and give up at the first hurdle. By sharing these with others you become accountable and less likely to forget or give in. You could also find that by sharing, other like-minded people may join you. Keep going Setbacks happen, but it is how you handle them that counts. Own the setback, understand how and why it happened and move on. Remember “the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” Lao Tzu.   CA Support is here to support our students, members, and their families. Contact the CA Support team on mobile: (353) 86 024 3294 or email:  casupport@charteredaccountants.ie

Jan 05, 2021

Microsoft Ireland’s Katharine Mulcahy ACA talks about finding your purpose. I am fortunate to work for Microsoft where global diversity and inclusion is part of our strategy to empower every person and organisation on the planet to achieve more. I am a Diversity Ally at Microsoft and I wear my Ally pin with pride. I have a keen interest in activities, initiatives or groups which support diversity, inclusion and equality of opportunity in our society, as well as in our workplaces. As a mother to two young children, a boy and a girl, I want them to grow up in an equal society with equal opportunities, whatever path they choose in life. We have come a long way, but there is still a lot more impetus and urgency needed. Each one of us can take inclusive actions each day by challenging stereotypes and bias, and forging positive visibility of diversity in our communities.    Cultivating interests is a fantastic way to foster your network and find your purpose. It keeps you grounded, connected and it helps create a healthy and broadened perspective on your life. Peer-to-peer networks are a valuable way to build a sense of community and provide support. I had an enriching experience participating in a Lean In Circle (leanincircles.org) set-up by Dina Talotta, an inspiring diversity coach. Members of circles meet in small groups once a month to support each other and learn new skills. I have now set up my own Lean In Circle so that others can benefit in the way I have done and build a network.  As a young teenager, I spent a year overseas in a German boarding school while knowing little German. Many of the boarders at the school were away from their families for prolonged periods of time. We really needed to be there for one another. The experience taught me about being brave and how empathy and kindness can transcend any barrier. I returned home with a keener appreciation for the circumstances and perspectives of others, and that’s reflected in my leadership style. I ground my working style in the concept of servant leadership, which is the belief that every person has value and deserves civility, trust and respect, and that people can accomplish much when inspired by a purpose beyond themselves.  I was fortunate to be awarded a scholarship by the 30% Club to attend the Rising Women Leaders Programme at Cambridge Judge Business School earlier this year. One of the sessions presented by Cath Bishop, Team GB silver medallist in rowing, was about finding your purpose. The question was put to us, ‘What gets you out of bed in the morning?’ and the answer could not be your family or the alarm clock. It inspired us to think about what that motivation is for each of us. If you can figure out that motivation for yourself, you can find your purpose and be fulfilled.  Microsoft offers a great deal of flexibility and I am fortunate to be able to balance my professional and personal commitments. I try to focus on being present in whatever I am doing. I lean on my support system of amazing friends, family and colleagues. I have learned to prioritise self-care. Sheila O’Malley runs a parenting course in Microsoft and she teaches that unless your own glass is full, you cannot fill up the glasses of others. I’ve found that to be absolutely true in all aspects of my life. MY BOOKSHELF A Good Time to be a Girl by Dame Helena Morrissey  Dame Morrissey is the founder of the 30% Club campaign, CEO and mother of nine. Making a compelling case for diversity, she provides an uplifting account of how we can change the system for the better. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck Growth mindset is founded on the belief that potential is nurtured and not predetermined. We all have elements of a fixed mindset and this book provides insight on how we can challenge those belief systems.   Hit Refresh by Satya Nadella This book provides a powerful account into Nadella’s life story, his management style and discusses the future of technology in terms of artificial intelligence, mixed reality and quantum computing. 

Jun 01, 2018