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Discovering your caleo

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I recently had the pleasure of attending an event with some powerful female captains of industry of Southern Africa. There was an interesting exercise we did based on the concept of caleo, the Latin word meaning flame. In essence, the point of the activity was answering the question what sets you ablaze? What lights your fire? The understanding of one’s passion assists in clearly defining one’s purpose.

A clear comprehension of one’s purpose and passion can aid in the positioning of one’s brand. The exercise of defining one’s brand was met with some thought-provoking answers such as : “ I am the embodiment of my ancestors’ prayers and as such I must leave a legacy for others who don’t have the same opportunities” or “I am here to show myself and others their worthiness” or “I am South Africa by birth, African by soul and global in lifestyle”. The ability to distil what you do is no clearer then when media mogul and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey describes her purpose in the simplest terms of being a teacher. Oprah articulates her role as a teacher and her reason for existence is to make others be more than what they are.

To begin this journey can seem a daunting task. It is critical one is reflective of themselves. A good place to start the venture of understanding one’s brand is the Johari window.

The Johari window is a technique that helps people deep dive their relationships with themselves and others. It was created by psychologists Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham in 1955. It is a heuristic exercise that consists of four quadrants: The open area; the blind spot; the hidden area known as the façade as well as the unknown.

The open area is what others know as well as what you know about yourself. The blind spot it what others know about you, that you don’t know about yourself. The façade is the area which is known only to you whilst the unknown is what both you and others are unaware of. In getting to know ourselves, how others experience us and exploring our blind spots we get a good understanding of where we are as individuals. This enables us to begin exploring from a base level where we are wanting to be.

In getting to know yourself, what others don’t know, what you don’t know about yourself you gain a comprehensive understanding as to your values, what drives you, what is your purpose and what your personal brand is. The exercise of describing one’s caleo and purpose was one that I found difficult to answer. My attempt to answer as an entrepreneur, career coach and speaker was “ I am a mirror that reflects the greatness of others and who they can become”. I hope you attempt to answer for yourself what your caleo is and that the answer you find will set ablaze your passion and purpose


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caleoVumile Msweli
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