fresh perspectives on filipino diaspora, philanthropy and social innovation

What Breaks Your Heart? On Clarifying My Interests (Part II) and Setting SMART Goals.

This HBR blog post on the Gumption Studios Facebook page gave me one of the strongest moments of clarity I’ve had throughout this whole job search process. It renewed my focus and motivation. One question in particular sparked the “A-ha!” moment:

“What breaks your heart?”

I was surprised by how fast the answer came to me.

It breaks my heart knowing there are families that can barely afford food in the Philippines.

So then I set the goal of helping 1 family in the Philippines achieve food sufficiency for each month in 2013. It’s been more than 4 months, and I haven’t made significant progress towards that goal. One very useful technique that Julius taught me during one of our coaching sessions was to set SMART (simple, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-sensitive) goals. I think the lesson for me is my initial goal wasn’t entirely SMART. On paper, one family per month sounds simple. But there was a lot that I needed to figure out to get to that point. Maybe that goal wasn’t actually attainable in the first month, and perhaps that discouraged me.

Instead, I talked with people at conferences and meetings, which led to a new realization.

It breaks my heart when I hear of brilliant young Filipinos whose best job options are leaving their hometown to work at a call center or leaving the Philippines altogether.

I realize I should celebrate this shift, not fear it, because it represents how my focus is being refined by what I’m learning as I come across more ideas, advice, and opportunities.

I’ve learned I can use this “heartbreak question” to prompt internal reflection, to track the direction I’m heading in and to use the answer as a guiding principle for my goals. Noticing the patterns among my answers will help me figure out what truly breaks my heart, where my true north lies.

Maybe what really breaks my heart is when Filipinos lack the opportunity to realize their full potential in the Philippines and improve their lives.

  • What breaks your heart? What SMART goals can you set to make that better in the next 3 months? 1 month? This week? Tomorrow?
  • What can I do to make sure my cousin who graduated as a nurse in the Philippines isn’t stuck working at a call center? 

-Charles A

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This entry was posted on June 4, 2013 by in Trabajo Project and tagged , , , , , , , .

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