Looking Back – What Colour Is Your Parachute?

As well as looking back over the projects I’ve done to glean some wisdom on how to move forwards with being a freelance dad, There’s a few books which I’ve re-engaged with.

What Colour Is Your Parachute is one of the most fabulous books my wife has ever left on my bedside table. It takes you on a journey to discover what drives you, what makes you tick, what gives you energy. For those familiar with the term ‘flow activities’, this book defines them for you as an individual.

Through a series of tasks, some more time consuming and challenging than others, What Colour Is Your Parachute gives you a hierarchy of what you are good at. It’s ‘a practical manual for job hunters and career changers’. It helps to galvanise your ‘purpose’ by exploring a whole bunch of different life criteria.

My ‘purpose’ changed when we agreed that I would primarily take on the house and the kids. To be honest, it’s been a slightly gruelling task to get my head round what that means I cannot do (different post to follow exploring this). However, looking back at What Colour Is Your Parachute has definitely helped to galvanise a sense of the direction I might head in.

The results of my journey though the book will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me even remotely well…

I enjoy researching for a project (new learning keeps me afloat), pulling all the ideas together and creating something. It doesn’t really matter what the something is, although a hands on practical element (such as a stage set) is really where I find my flow.

What Colour Is Your Parachute also got me thinking about how much time I really want to spend around other people. I spent years as a youth and community worker but looking back – the things I really enjoyed were the projects that I could set up and then leave for others to engage with. I like people but I find them frustrating much of the time.

At some point in my life I missed the fact that it’s not all about the money (which I’ve never managed to find anyway) or the career (which hasn’t materialised either) or being popular, or known etc. What’s weird, is that I’m finding the transition away from those sorts of motivations really hard even though I’ve never achieved any of them.

There is obviously a new balance to be found in my life between what needs to be done, what I want to do, what I can do, what might be cool to do and making sure I’m learning something so my brain doesn’t go mushy. There is more to say on where I’m heading with this in future posts but if you are struggling to work out your place int he world then do grab a copy of What Colour Is Your Parachute as it really has helped me to reflect on who I am.

Affiliates Disclaimer – I may earn commission on any sales through the Waterstones links provided in this post. However, I will never market anything I have not personally engaged with and found useful. It might be cheaper on Amazon but I choose to support local and national business, I encourage you to do the same.

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