In his piece “Outer and Inner Purpose,” best-selling author Eckhart Tolle describes inner purpose as the awakening of a “formless essence.” Outer purpose, he says, brings form to that essence. And when outer and inner purpose converge, he concludes, it transforms the world.
We lost two purposeful people this month who, in their own way, transformed the world.
You likely had heard of the first: Joseph Shabalala, the founder and leader of the popular South African band Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Shabalala and his group brought joyous music and dance to people across the globe through their performances, recordings and world tours, as well as their collaboration with Paul Simon on the award-winning Graceland album.
You probably had not heard of the second: Raj Raman, Unisys’ Cloud CTO. Raj educated organizations on how to accelerate and optimize their cloud efforts. He worked with partners including leading cloud service providers Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and VMware to bring cloud solutions to market. And he was instrumental in validating original cloud research that provided guidance to help organizations better position themselves for cloud success.
Their loss reminds us of the fragility of life, and of the importance of leaving the world a better place. There are myriad examples of people who have done so through the footprint they created in their professional life. Both Joseph Shabalala and Raj Raman left their mark despite their different experiences. Shabalala was a performer who became a star on the global stage. Raj worked in a lower key on a generally less visible (though equally far-reaching) stage – the IT industry. But substance is what is most important in the end, and they both had it.
Want to transform the world? Start with hope, optimism and confidence.
The world will see some major milestones and events in 2020. A Mars Rover launch. The 2020 Summer Olympics (officially known as The Games of the XXXII Olympiad). The 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ arrival at Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts. The 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. The 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day. The 30th anniversary of the release of Shabalala’s countryman, Nelson Mandela, from prison.
Those events and commemorations share at least two dynamics in common. One, they featured or will feature people who were willing to put it all on the line to create a positive footprint and make the world a better place. Two, those individuals’ drive was likely fueled by hope, optimism and confidence. Watch the athletes’ faces in Tokyo this summer. Did any of them show up to lose? They showed up to win, because they will have prepared themselves to do exactly that. That takes hope, optimism and confidence. Joseph Shabalala and Raj Raman were different, but I would suggest that their hearts and minds were both infused with each of those attributes. Both came to win. Both did exactly that.
What footprint will you create in your own professional life? I challenge you to bring hope, optimism and confidence to the table and find your purpose. Shabalala’s was music, Raman’s cloud computing. Need inspiration or education? Take classes. Find other avenues to learn. The opportunities are everywhere if you want them.
If you’re looking for a launching pad, Unisys is here to help.
Unisys is a company that knows a little about creating a professional footprint – even an outsized one. It has a 147-year track record of putting the best ideas of really talented people to good use. Our vision statement of “enhancing people’s lives through secure, reliable, advanced technology” is a statement of hope, optimism and confidence for our place in the world.
Unisys recently launched our “We believe in better” employer brand campaign. The campaign highlights the better professional and personal growth we are providing for our associates, with the support of a great team in our “let me help” culture … the better transformational career journeys new and current Unisys associates can take in an environment of continuous learning … and the better career experience one can have with a strong, global, ethical brand.
Make your mark. The world can always use some more transforming for the better.