Future Leaders with Richard Simpson

Future Leaders event review | Scotland

How can identity help us to embrace change?

How do you define identity?” an impactful question where no answer is the same. This is how Richard Simpson began his talk on how identity can help us embrace change, especially during these transformative years in our careers and lives. Regardless of one’s perception on identity, we can all agree it’s important to who we are and the decisions we make. 

A large part of Richards 20-year career has been spent at creative agency Tayburn, working with brands of all shapes and sizes. An interest in fitness seen Richard expand into the world of health and wellbeing, now empowering others (including us Future Leaders!) to live a more balanced life.

Time to breathe…and draw

Richard continued his talk by making everyone close their eyes and perform a breathing exercise. Taking that time to focus on our breathing and ground ourselves both mentally and physically to feel present in that very moment. Moving on to the next exercise of drawing one another - Sounds uncomfortable? Well, that was the aim.

This exercise showed that we automatically associate an unexpected situation with pressure and expectations formulated by our own mind. Our intent in these situations is then projected externally by our actions, which in this case was some nervous laughter and questionable doodles. The person tasked to draw the other with their dominant hand was then asked to draw again using their non-dominant hand. Straight away, the expectations lowered as we did not expect to ‘do well’. This proved, that when faced with a challenging task, we must choose how we respond, find the good in it and let go - the recipe for success!

Meaningful intent and how it will shape our identity

Our beliefs and assumptions form our intent, naturally breeding focus, Richard explained. Setting a vison and embracing the desire to attain it, helps navigate through the trials and tribulations of life. Losing motivation is common, especially when you don’t quite know who you are, what you should be doing or where you should be going. A useful tip is to tap into the identity of someone you admire, someone that you feel would take the right kind of action to get results. Testing different approaches will subconsciously attribute to forming your own identity.

Experience a contented life

Richard concluded by discussing ‘The Seven Spiritual Law of Success’ by the law of dharma, a framework which we can all take value from.

  1. Potential – Knowing what you can attain as an individual and staying true to that identity.
  2. Giving to gain – Put in the effort you want to receive.
  3. Karma – Be self aware of the choices we make.
  4. Least effort – Be content with your reality.
  5. Intention and desire – Clear path for progress.
  6. Detachment – Detach from what you can’t control.
  7. Dhara – Know your purpose and how others need you.

To summarise this inspiring session, we must stay to true to our identity, not fear challenging situations (you might discover your ambidextrous) and embrace change.


Emma Graham
Digital Marketing Manager - ICAS

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