[Image: Children in East Timor | © Jake Lyell]
Sometimes life as a solo consultant is everything I want it to be. Challenging, inspiring, fulfilling - and flexible enough to let me build my life with my wife and two (very) young daughters around it.
Other times - normally after the clock has struck about 1:00am - it's anything but.
I work on challenging projects - by choice - and that means I often get to see too many of the issues that face the world. Homelessness, climate change, indigenous discrimination and species extinction to name just some of the things I'm working on at the moment.
It can get overwhelming and, given I spend a significant chunk of my time working alone, I'm always conscious of the need to balance my deep dives into issues with a more positive view of the world.
This means I consciously carve out part of my working week to be inspired by people who are changing our world for the better. That could be a catch-up with a cleantech entrepreneur over a coffee or a Skype call with a fellow changemaker. Reading up on the latest social enterprise success story or watching a TED talk.
All of this collectively helps me look beyond the serious issues I work on every day and keep sight of the society I want to help create.
For the want of a better term, I call it 're-imagining the future'.
And as I've said before on this blog, even the most resilient of us need to be shown a glimpse of the positive world we're striving for every now and again.