At Illumin8


January 25, 2022

Are you running this year?

Andrew Van De Beek

Founder & Head of Purpose

2022 is upon us - what a time to be alive!

2022 is upon us - what a time to be alive!

A year that I know for many, hope will bring some significant change.

A change from the constant upheaval of what we had grown accustomed to.

I’ve found myself in many conversations around this pending change over the past few months. Some with clients, friends, family & some, quite frankly, with myself as I sit in the shower trying to muster up the courage to soldier on for another day.

Some conversations were around where people lived. Do they “escape” where they live to find a better, more accommodating place to be? 

Others were around business and the direction they had been heading in. Do they slow down and decide not to chase growth, or do they lean in and push hard.

Some were around jobs. Do they seek out something that reduces their stress and gives them time back? Or jobs that embrace a way of being & doing that they feel more aligned to? 

Others were around exercise, diet & general health & wellbeing. Making decisions to improve themselves.

Whilst often these conversations were lighthearted, many were serious & resulted in significant decisions being made.

These are not uncommon conversations. They happen all the time, with many people around the world. In fact, you are probably participating in some of these ongoing conversations with a handful of people right now.

However, something about the tone, the urgency & the focus In almost all of the conversations made me realise that they seem to have one consistent thing. One driving force behind the decisions they were facing.

Everyone was running - In a state of desperation.

Of seeking something, anything to bring about the change they had desired for some time.

It reminded me of one particular conversation I had with a mate a while back now about how every decision is connected to running.

You’re either running away from something - or you are running towards something (unless you’re on a treadmill… but let's not go there)

Depending on the circumstances, it's INCREDIBLY important to ensure you are running in the right direction.

Understanding why we are running isn’t that simple.

Running TOWARDS something

Let's call this “the opportunity”

Why would we want to run towards an opportunity? Well…duh… Because it could be life-changing. And if not life-changing, it could be just that little bit better than what it currently is.

You would hear things like “chase your dreams at all costs”, “Where are you headed?”, “It’s never too late to…”. All great things and inspirational when you are running towards a fantastic opportunity.

What if it isn't? What if you are running towards something that will smack you in the face so hard that it sends you spiralling?

Sometimes chasing an opportunity, something you feel you should be doing, is a great way to be distracted from what you must be doing.

Running AWAY from something

Let’s call this “the situation”.

Why would we be running away from the situation? Well, duh… Because it’s not a healthy/positive environment for us to be in. And staying in that space could continue to have negative impacts.

But what if “the situation” is one where you need to be in? One that you need to conquer. One that might just present the perfect opportunity at the end of its rainbow.

What if you are running away from the opportunity, but you just haven’t been able to identify it? What if you are running towards the situation, and your judgement is clouded?

Sometimes running from a situation robs you of the growth you would have achieved by going through it. After all - you’re not defined by what you go through, but how you go through it.

But how do we ensure that we are making the right decision when we start to run?

I’m sure many of you have your own way to do that. For me, it’s having the ultimate goal (what I call the answer to the golden question) clearly understood and operating as a guide.

If you could do one thing tomorrow morning, regardless of time, money or location. With no restrictions at all. When you get out of bed - what would you do?

It’s a selfish question, and rightfully so - it’s your life - you should be living it. 

Armed with the answer to that question, you can start looking at how you should be running.

To or From

I think that in 2022 we will see many people running—more than we ever have before. 

And rightfully so - a stack of people are fed up, need a change & need something to bring joy back to their lives. 

If you are someone that cares for others (business owner, team leader etc.), be encouraged to ensure the environment you are in control of is one that is full of goodness. Be mindful that people are not ok and constantly considering a change. Do what you can to create stability & support so that the decision your people need to make can be backed by an environment that supports & empowers them.

If you are someone within those environments, be encouraged to seek out the good and support those leading you to be the best they can be. Remember, those leaders are likely going through the same emotions as you are. Show them what an incredible team member looks like & be as open, honest & respectful with how you communicate hats going on in your world.

And look - if it’s all a pile of horse shit - pour yourself a whisky (or other less stunning beverage of your choice), send me a message & let's chat - seriously, if I can, I’ll be there for you.

I hope that 2022 brings you many opportunities to run, both literally & figuratively. That you grow by going through your situation, and if it calls for it, that you find somewhere that is better for you, fast.

When you make the call to run, I hope you are heading confidently in the right direction.


PS - I find it absolutely hilarious that I wrote this blog and then 2 days later snapped my Achilles, rendering it impossible for me to actually run for many months… yay!

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Andrew Van De Beek

Founder & Head of Purpose


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