This November I had the privilege of joining the TribesForGOOD social impact journey, a week-long workshop exploring the concept of doing good. The week sent me on an inward journey, looking into what I was passionate about, what makes me tick and how I can find that hole in the world in the shape of me and fill it up.
Earlier this year – unbeknown to me that I would actually join one of the tours myself – I interviewed TribesForGOOD founder Mandeep Kaur on my podcast. During the interview, titled “So you want to be a Changemaker?”, we spent almost 30 minutes talking about the social impact journey and how it gives participants the opportunity to explore their visions as future changemakers. For one week the participants are equipped with various resources, experiences and influences that help them sculpt ideas that will essentially pave their own personal future as impact warriors.
As a woman hardly shy of attempting to pave my own future of impact I couldn’t think of a more perfect opportunity than to spend a week exploring this. From the very beginning, as we commenced with a self-reflective session from leadership coach Zubin J. Mirchandani, I was heading down the rabbit hole of my own dreams and aspirations, allowing myself to be inspired by his guidance on finding your “sweet spot”, that is – the place that equally satisfies your passions, lifestyle choices and competences.
There’s something magical that comes from a little self-reflection. It’s surprising how rare it is that we stop for a moment and take time to reflect on whether the place we are at in our lives is actually the place we really want to be. While that answer may be a little scary for some people, it’s only in that answer are we allowing ourselves to make the next move with certainty.
The self-reflective session was a great segway into the core experiences on the TribesForGOOD itinerary, which included keynote speeches from various social entrepreneurs, as well as field visits to witness some of their successful endeavours. We toured Dharavi with social enterprise Be The Local Tours, an organisation that trains young adults, who have grown up in Dharavi, as tour guides, allowing them to earn income that is able to fund their college education. We visited women’s development co-operative Aftertaste, providing employment opportunities through art to marginalised women in Mumbai. We also visited one of the ThinkSharp Foundation’s pioneering schools, helping to bridge the education gap between urban and rural areas. The week was full of inspiration from people and organisations working to solve some of India’s most complex societal issues.
The week was far more than a typical workshop, however. We explored various areas of Mumbai, participated in a scavenger hunt in the artistic and eccentric neighbourhood of Kala Godha. We spent the evenings conversing over dinner about anything from philosophy to our own personal lives and stories. The group was diverse and we all had our various reasons for being there. We were all on our own journeys of self-discovery through the act of helping others, which in itself is a beautiful paradox.
I’ve always expressed that to be surrounded by people who care about the world as much as you is one of the most exhilarating feelings, and this week encompassed much of that exhilaration.
What Mandeep is trying to achieve through TribesForGOOD is both unique and admirable, helping people explore their desire to create impact and ever so slightly guiding them in the right direction. I believe there are a lot of people in this world who truly want to make a difference but don’t know how. How many times have you seen something that bothers you? or makes you passionate? How many times have you sat back feeling helpless and wondering where to even start? It happens to all of us. It’s happened to me more times than you could know. And in my experience, the best way to reverse that feeling of helplessness is to jump right into a huge pool of inspiration and influence and find that “sweet spot” where you can contribute your strengths to solve these issues that bother you. You don’t need to run and start your own organisation from scratch – trust me, there are many people who have paved this path before you. Find people that care about these topics as much as you and connect with them. Make small changes to learn about how your skills can contribute – Heck, even join the next Social Impact Journey if you want to. The point I am trying to make is that you can make a difference, and you do have the power to create change and you can change the world. It just takes a little self-reflection to make sure you’re on the right path.
…the best way to reverse that feeling of helplessness is to jump right into a huge pool of inspiration and influence and find that “sweet spot” where you can contribute your strengths to solve these issues that bother you.
For me, this week was that little reminder I needed to know that I am on the right path. From a person who struggles a lot with self-doubt and self-criticism, I know that a week surrounded by inspiring people never ceases to remind me that I am exactly where I need to be.