How Carlien found Clarity.
I believe that you, like every person, have a path to walk during the short time you spend on this planet. Not the path that society recommends. Your own path. That’s where magic happens. You are happy, you play into your strengths, but above all: you contribute to a better world.
The first time I realized this was during my youth, where I experienced many fights and a lot of stress in my family. I believe that many of that was related to the fact that my parents were not on their path. They were doing jobs that paid the bills, but didn’t really fulfill them. One day, my dad told me; “It is very important that you do a job that you love.” From there on I decided that I would never settle for a job that wouldn’t give me fulfillment. What you do “between 9 and 5” should make sense and make you happy.
The second time was when I turned 30. I was working at a prestigious strategy consulting firm and realised that the business flights, 5 star-hotels and many other perks, didn’t make up anymore for the lack of sleep, social life and meaning. I experienced what one could call a quarterlife crisis. I felt I was not at all playing into my strengths. To make things worse, my boyfriend at the time left me with a broken heart. I started wondering what life was all about. Was it really about climbing that famous career ladder? Was it really about doing what was expected from me? Or could it be that there was a different path for me?
I decided to take two months off to find answers to my questions. I climbed Mont Blanc, solo travelled to Brazil, connected with travelers from all over the world, but above all, I slowly but surely reconnected to myself. I experienced first-hand how “being” rather than “doing” is one of the most refreshing experiences you can give yourself. The confusion and blur in my head, turned into clarity on who I was, on my strengths and what I wanted to do next. I am someone who loves people, especially when they inspire me. I play into my strengths when I connect to people, when I connect people to each other and when I can help people connect to themselves. And my next step would be to start my own company that would offer experiences to leaders to do just that: help them reconnect to themselves, to other leaders and to their mission.
Seven months later I left my job and started my own company that organizes personal clarity retreats for leaders. I discovered how walking your path gives you wings. I collaborated with former Google executive Mo Gawdat, did a collaboration with PwC in Sri Lanka and I am currently rolling out the first global young leadership program at a multinational chemical company. Earlier this year I started the 48 Minutes podcast, in which I talk to inspiring leaders to understand who they are, what drives them and what they stand for. I believe that my initiatives contribute to consciousness of leaders in the first place, but more broadly also to a better world. When leaders act from a noble purpose, which is bigger than themselves, the world becomes a more beautiful place.
Is every day perfect? No. But the quality of my life has improved in so many ways. Instead of Monday blues, I look forward to the new working week. Instead of pressure from my managers, the only pressure I feel is the one I put on myself.
It was a personal crisis that pushed me to make bold decisions. To walk the unknown path which was not what society was expecting from me. But I am grateful that I did it.
For the rest of my life I want to inspire people to just that: walk their own path. That’s why I co-founded the Clarity Kit. I hope it inspires you, too.
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