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Camilla Villano on "Embracing Change & Finding Purpose"

Updated: Jun 26, 2021

Hi guys! I have decided to start a blog where I discuss the content of my Spotify & Apple Podcast in written form. Hope you enjoy it! :)

With Camilla we dived into Purpose & Change.

Purpose would be the thing that makes us wake up in the morning.

A Purpose could be “Making the world a better place”.

Nowadays everyone talks about Purpose. You do not work at Apple, you work to design beautiful products that make people’s lives easier.

Sustainability is Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

It’s hard to do because if you buy a plastic bottle you are already compromising future generations!

Purpose for me would be “Helping people live a better life”. This is what gets me out of bed every day!

Before I really wanted to become a manager because I wanted to help people grow and I then realised that you don’t need to be a Manager to help people grow! There are so many different projects and things you can do, such being a Coach! I want to impact many people around the world.

Understanding Purpose is extremely important. When you understand why you are alive it gives you perspective on life! Unfortunately very few people take the time to understand why they are waking up every morning.

The Purpose does not have much to do with yourself.

The aim is making the world a better place for future generations!

This is why many people struggle to understand it or find it!

Purpose is difficult to grasp because is not a thing, it is a feeling that you get from doing what you are supposed to do for the World. Many companies have a Vision, they have a Mission, but then they do not understand why their employees do not show up with purpose, they don’t show up with energy every day. And the reason is that what people do in a company does not spark any fire in them! When I coach people, it gives me joy! That’s purpose, that’s what I feel, I feel alive!

And for Camilla, her purpose goes way beyond herself.

Having Purpose means that even when you do things you do not like, if you do them to achieve a greater purpose, you do not mind doing them! If you work for something you believe in, you don’t mind doing it anymore. You go through temporary discomfort but you do it with pleasure.

A good example is entrepreneurs. They work 13-14 hours per day but they do not mind doing it because what they do gives them joy and they could do it all day! On the contrary, what makes it difficult to work in Corporate is the fact that we miss purpose. People wake up and say “shit that’s another day”. They work for the weekend!

At GLG we used to say things like “happy Friday”, “happy baby Friday”, what’s wrong with Monday? Monday is such a beautiful day! 

We don’t give Purpose the necessary weight. We are busy making a living and we forget to live.

You should not be busy and very productive every day. It is not sustainable, we are not machines! We need our brain to recharge and do different things.

Our parents used to say “you have to be thankful that you have this job and the employer pays you”. Sure, be thankful you have a salary but remember that you are giving the employer most of your hours!! And you should get something back!

The way Camilla and I found Purpose is different because she went through different experiences while I was focusing on 1 corporate job and I then spent time with Coaches and Mentors to find my Purpose.

There is no right or wrong approach. It’s very personal.

Camilla always felt a misfit everywhere she was. She felt like the hippy who did not belong. Even at the UN she found contradictions, people driving Lamborghini and then discussing about pollution in India. At Unilever she learned to be comfortable with the unknown and do her research every time.

The fact that in a place where you did not belong you were able to survive and learn a lot is a skill!

Happiness is given by many things, some people love challenges and working until 12am!

Many people get to 50 years old and then start looking for purpose and open a philanthropy!

One of the most important takeaways for our readers is really to never stop looking for purpose and for the right fit for you! Camilla changed many paths and situations and she learned something in each place! And this is how people progress and live a better life because in whichever area they never stop learning and improving yourself you will see results!

Many people feel afraid by change. My sister is a good example, she told me she did not like her job and I told her “Change it”. And she started giving me all the excuses such as “Companies do not hire, it’s covid time”, and I was like “Anna you were one of the best students of mechatronics in the world! You studied at the best schools! Why are you afraid?”. She decided to stay there for some other months.

I am afraid, said Camilla. I still have bank accounts all over Europe! It’s a hassle! Traveling for holidays is glamorous, but traveling for work is tough! Taxes and admin things are very challenging!

Despite this, she changed her job in COVID times!

It’s not that I am not afraid, I just acknowledge that I am afraid. I went to therapy because I am anxious. I acknowledge that I am anxious, I acknowledge that I am afraid, and by acknowledging that I am afraid I am not afraid anymore! Not because I am not afraid, but because I understand it’s normal to be nervous before changing countries! I am just open about the fact that I am afraid, it can be a negative experience but also in that case I learn so much!

Camilla also said that she took a gut decision to move from Dublin to Milan. Never make a decision while you are in emotional turmoil, when you are not in a rational place, when you are unhappy and your emotions might cloud your judgement. But even if she made the wrong decision she learned from it.

Camilla learns a lot by doing. She is not a theoretical person, she must experience! And this is why she is always open to change because from change you always learn. Of course you will have lots of ups and downs, but acknowledge the feelings and recognize it is ok to have feelings that are not considered positive by society. It is really normal to have negative feelings.

You must accept yourself and you must improve. What we can do every day is to improve a bit and make the best out of what life has given us. We should also recognize that we come from a very privileged background. It’s not easy for everyone to do that.

Camilla’s vulnerability is a big sign of strength. She goes through hard times and she learns, and there is Camilla 2.0 coming out of a hard time!

It’s a never-ending journey.

Many people master the science of achievement. They are achievers, but they miss the art of fulfilment! Fulfilment comes not from achieving stuff, but from what you give and the kind of person you become in the process. Camilla is a great example of this.

She works really hard for a fulfilling life. She just does not settle for achievement; she was a high-performer and her problem was not achieving KPIs, the fulfilment was what she was after!

Camilla: “I achieved. I thrived in demanding places. Clients loved me, the supplier offered me a job. But the why is truly important! Why am I doing this? Yes they like me, yes I could progress in my career, but never take the fact that you are doing a good job as a confirmation that you are a great person or you achieved fulfilment. Many people enter consulting and then lose track of this because they start being good at their job and they then take the fact that they finish a project, they get promoted as a sign of fulfilment. They lose focus on who they wanted to be when they started consulting; they lose focus on who they wanted to be when they were 16 years old!

Your goals should always be open to change. The world changes very fast and it would be stupid to always have the same goals! The achievements are just a tick on the box, they keep you going, but remember that they are never the final objective if you want to live a happy and fulfilling life!

She started doing some work in politics because she was not happy at GLG and she therefore looked for Purpose in side projects! Like Google employees do.

Big challenges cannot be solved by the public sector alone; we need the collaboration between public, private and NGOs.

Also there are not many girls who are in politics even in progressive and liberal movements. There are girls who are wonderful but guys typically want to go forward and girls are always hesitant! These are competent and brilliant girls, they have all the capabilities to thrive but guys take the lead because they are way more confident.

We need better representation because if there are no women in the room some important topics are overlooked. And we are not even talking about minorities! It’s about equal representation.

Thanks for reading guys, big hug and see you next week!

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