Lesson 1, Topic 2
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Defining Work

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To conceive an idea is to form or devise (a plan or idea) in mind. 

We used the wording ‘conceive’ as like a baby. When you first conceive an idea, it’s the very beginning of the business journey. At conception the idea is inside of you moving around. Even though your business isn’t yet birthed or actualised it is the beginning of a potential new product/service or business. Sometimes ideas never actualise, and that’s ok, as what our goal is in the first part of this module is to ensure we only take the time and energy to grow and birth a business or ideas to support your existing business that are fully aligned with our ideal life and business.

Starting with our Childhood 

Our childhood connects us to who we are today. Ironically some of the things we were passionate about as kids, the things that frustrated us about society, still do today. Sometimes the things we wanted to be as a kid or were passionate about, were and are aligned with what we currently do for work or plan to in business.

The key thing to be mindful of when developing business ideas, is that your childhood, as we explored in the human optimiser module, lays the foundations for who you are today, how you think, what you value and what you belief in. All of this information you collected in our first module has set the foundations for you to be clear with what is important to you and what you want out of life; it is this information that we want to keep front of mind when formulating, reviewing and refining our business ideas. That is why we started our first session with a childhood reflection.

Ways of Thinking Human optimiser lesson

Work as our identity

Interestingly we phrase what do you want to ‘be’ when you grow up. Not what do you want to do when you grow up. Work is what we do, it isn’t who we are or what we are.

Yet, for many of us, it is or it becomes this way. Especially when we run a business, so much of our identity gets caught up in what we do. Many of us struggle to separate work and life. We struggle to find the ‘balance’. 

     Neuroscientists, now prove that who you are is a combination of what you think and what you do, how show up in your day to day life and ultimately how you behave – what you do becomes ‘your personal reality’ – your personality. In other words, how you think, how you feel and how you do life, really does become who you are.

     So in this sense, what we can eventually form us, or define who we are as a person. Most of us work more than we don’t I.e. we spend more time at work, in our businesses or our role than we do at home.

    What we do for our work, really does have a huge impact on who we are. In light of this, it seems pretty important, that what we do, is something we are:

    • passionate about
    • proud of
    • aligned with what we truly value
    • Aligned with what we believe in
    Ways of Thinking Human optimiser lesson

    Work-life balance 

    Even though typically we spend more time working than not, most of us don’t really want this, do we?!

    Many thought leaders are challenging the idea of work-life balance. Leaders are now saying it’s really not possible to find a balance. This makes sense, especially in the way we work these days, connected all the time, getting work-related messages, emails and even calls after what used to be working hours. Many of us struggle to switch our brains off to the new business idea, challenging customer or work issue. The problems and priorities often don’t seem to go away or end with our work.

      Other thought leaders are saying that we must redefine the concept of balance. Instead of a universal understanding of what work life is i.e. traditionally the 9-5, we must define it to what we want our work life to be. This is the idea that I want to lead you to think about the ultimate business design a business that integrates into your life and doesn’t necessarily feel like work.

      What if the dread of work or the pressure to work to provide for our lives wasn’t there? Would you still work? If you had enough money to retire now, would you still be sitting in this workshop learning how to better your business, or start a new one?

      Ways of Thinking Human optimiser lesson

      Work or Die 

      A study of Shell Oil employees found that those who retired at 55 and lived to be 65 died 37 per cent sooner than those that retire at 65.

      There is a range of studies more so overseas than Australia that illustrate that mortality rates increase when people stop working. What they all conclude to be the level of life satisfaction the individual has, those working are more likely to stay active, socialise regularly and find satisfaction in life.

      Why are we sharing this? To keep you working for the rest of your life? No, well not in the sense that you know work to be. What I want to do is challenge you today to define what work is and means to you. I challenge you to define work that satisfies you, equally as much or even more than your personal life. 

      Can you imagine a life where you wake up and you love what you do, just as much as you do your days off? Can you imagine, what it would be like knowing you’re going to work because that is 100% what you want to do and the money is just a nice benefit, but not the key reason you’re doing it.

      Study reference:


      First design a new way of working.

      Imagine…You could do what you love, what you are good at, what the world needs and get rewarded for it.

      Imagine if ten, 20 years from now you, you were still doing what you do, not because you have to but because you gain such a level of satisfaction that you can’t imagine not doing it.

      That’s what I believe work should be. That is honestly how we as the leaders of Learnivation work.

      Each day, year and decade, your work is likely to change, evolve and grow into new space, new ways of being and new ways of working. Just as you as a human being evolve, so should your work.

      So should your business or businesses.

      Remember your motivators!

      We believe successful and long-term sustainable businesses, product and service innovations and the leaders driving them are motivated by more than money.

      Great leaders as we explored in the Human Optimiser like Martin Luther King Jr. (an African American Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement from 1955 until his assassination in 196), Steve Jobs (founder of Apple), and the Wright Brothers (the inventors of the plane) had little in common. Still, their purpose was clear, and that is what inspired them to take action and create their movements. They were all driven from a deeper meaning, they were purpose driven.

      I want to remind you of the story of the Wright brothers  – Wilbur and Orville – the Wright brothers, set out to achieve the impossible with minimal support from an enthusiastic and committed group in their hometown of Dayton, Ohio. The Wright brothers had no high-level connections. No government grants. No funding for their venture. Not a single person on the team had an advanced degree or even a college education. All they had was a dream backed by a personal purpose, motivation and inner driving force. They never gave up on themselves in spite of the absence of external support.

      They had one fierce competitor, Samuel Pierpont Langley. Samuel had government support, money, resources and higher education and a team backing him. Samuel Pierpont Langley, had the same goal to create an aeroplane, with better support, they were better equipped, better funded and a better-educated team. Langley’s primary motivation was the eventual success, the financial gains.

      Langley with all his resources and support failed. Yet the wright brothers succeeded.

      What was the secret of Wilbur and Orville Wright? What was the motivation behind their drive? What was the prerequisite for their success? Their encouragement and eventual success were premised on the concept of operating out of a deeper purpose. The concept that thought leader Simon Sinek call’s ‘knowing your why’.

      They were able to discover and define the “why” of their passion and purpose after which the development of their dream was just a walk in the park. Note this, if your driving force is only money (not a deeper sense of purpose), the outcome will never be the same.

      Click on to learn how to conceive the best business ideas!