At midlife, many of us start to question ourselves about our purpose in life, but very few women plan to become a ‘solutionary’, a force for a positive change in the world.
A solutionary is someone who is able to identify inhumane and unsustainable systems, then develop solutions that are healthy for people, animals, and the environment- says Zoe Weil, M.A., M.T.S., TEDx speaker, co-founder and president of the Institute for Humane Education-. Regularly making the world a better place as a solutionary, in a way that employs your talents and that you enjoy, is one of the best ways to create a deeply fulfilling life that results in a positive feedback loop of meaning and purpose.
Sounds too difficult? Of course, none of us can do it all by ourselves, but still, by making small amendments in our own lives and encouraging others to do the same, we can probably find that purpose we look for whilst making a meaningful contribution to the world. It’s a matter of using our skills to facilitate change.
Reflecting upon what you’re good at and what you love to do is helpful – concludes Zoe Weil-. That’s because you could come up with brilliant ideas for solving problems, but if you have no ability or motivation to put your ideas into practice, purpose and meaning may devolve into frustration.
The ability to use our talents as well as create meaningful connections may be great ways to live a happier more fulfilled life. But in order to become a solutionary, Zoe Weil suggests a more structured approach which consists of several steps such as: learn about the causes of problems that concern you; connect with stakeholders; find leverage points for change; devise solutions that address the causes and do the most good and least harm for people, animals, and the environment; and then implement your ideas.
To make it simple: if you like jogging and you love the environment, helping the community to clean the local park where you often exercise won’t make such a big difference. Instead, getting all the people you exercise with involved in taking care of that green space, as well as organising a fund-raising marathon in the park for buying new gardening tools, would probably be a step forward.
Everyone can be a solutionary and make a change. It could be improving your own little environment, the place where you work or the community you are involved with. Start now.