A look at 2015, what to expect in 2016 and a run down of this year’s most popular articles
It’s been a good first year (or most of one)… Since April, Toward Community has been considering the role work and community have in creating a personally authentic and fulfilling life.
Do we have one true calling that we should search for? Or should we just pick something, anything and get on with it? Can we do both at the same time?
Should we seek independence? Inter-dependence? Or both in different aspects of our lives?
How have we been approaching it?
It’s safe to say that the jury is out as far as our writers are concerned and that the solutions are unique to each of us. Whilst we may not have one true calling, that’s not to say the search for one is fruitless. And choosing to remain close to our community may require us to sacrifice that search. But in doing so, it may be that support network, that community, that helps us to find a purpose, at least for now.
This article has been a driving force for many of the discussions around all of this… When people were asked what they regretted most about their life, on their deathbed, the most common responses were:
- I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
- I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
- I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
- I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
- I wish that I had let myself be happier.
A lot of our writers are keen to question what they need versus what they want. Some of us have chosen comfort, money and time with people they love. Others are pursuing entrepreneurial or academic pursuits, embracing uncertainty. Others are travelling around the world and volunteering. The challenge is to remain certain in our choices and see them through to their conclusion.
We’ve also been asking questions such as:
- How much money do I need to live comfortably (we recommend this tool to help figure it out)?
- If I decided to say F*** it, quit my jobs, go for my dream opportunity and it didn’t work out, how long would it take me to get back to the level I had achieved previously in my career?
- Do I understand that failure is how I learn, that successful people fail more times than most people even try and that nothing is really “failure” as it’s all learning?
Making a commitment to create a life that feels personally authentic can be challenging. Especially when faced with friends and family who, out of concern, and perhaps a need to validate their own life choices, sometimes show disapproval for our own. Building a supportive network around you is very helpful in these situations.
It also helps to know that it’s OK not to pick something if that doesn’t feel right for you. Some of us have many passions and that’s OK too. Although our approval-seeking ego would have us do the socially-acceptable thing of picking a single career and sticking with it (much like friends and family, it’s also trying to protect itself…)
How can Toward Community help you?
You are welcome to reach out to us through this website. We’re happy to share what we’ve experienced on this journey so far. You can also keep an eye on 2016, when we will be:
- Asking questions such as: What are your priorities in life (family life, hobbies, an amazing career)? Can these all be worked toward at the same time?
- Inviting community leaders to get involved and share their experiences
- Providing practical tips about things you can do to build community and find fulfilling work
- Drawing on the skills of our existing contributors to develop what Toward Community can become
For now, let’s finish the year off with a run down of our most viewed articles:
The most visited articles in 2015
Toward Community founder, Dave, discusses traveling, tribe and learning to move with the current of life.
“…With these options in mind, I decided to return to the UK, get a dead-end job for six months, save and go. Remaining “out of context” seemed by far the best option, until I got to Bristol…”
A researcher at Edge Hill University, Liverpool ponders capitalism, workaholism and trust.
“…I don’t want to be a workaholic. I want to be happy. My work, though fulfilling in many ways is just one part of who I am, and I’m not yet happy…”
A PhD Researcher at Royal Holloway, London shares her experience of a close-knit Christian community.
“Community life has not always been easy, and I personally find that our community and its dynamics change every year as people come and go…”
Philosophy graduate of USA’s Stanford University, shares her experience of the indigenous Ecuadorian community.
“…individuals can draw on the greater resource of their combined labor and improve living conditions.”
Living without money and off-grid, Mark shares his journey of personal growth, volunteering in Europe.
“My journey is all about understanding where living ends and work begins so I was making giant steps towards being more intuitive about decisions and taking risks.”
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