What was I thinking?

When I started my business, I designed my own logo. It was a clumsy construction, created by combining clipart elements in Word. It showed a stick figure leaping in the air, reaching for the moon. It was badly proportioned and inelegant. Yet, looking back I can see it expressed something important about my vision for the business. Ironically, I don’t think that unique energy was captured in the professional logo I subsequently commissioned.

This year, I decided to go back to my core purpose in starting the business. Why? Because the stresses and strains imposed by the pandemic era had me questioning the worth of my work. This meant revisiting my origin points became important. As part of this process, I found that first logo popping into my head.

Unfortunately, I seem to have destroyed all traces of it. Still, I have a firm recollection of what it was trying to communicate. Beyond all my self-doubt and fear for the future (which I’m assuming many of us are facing at the moment), that logo captured my essence. Here are the key messages it embodied for me back then. Interestingly, these remain my core messages to this day.

Subscribe to our mailing list and receive fornightly tips and videos:


I believe in the capacity of all humans to stretch to new levels of excellence. Reaching for the moon was a symbol of this for me in my early days. It’s still a powerful concept, which I hope is embedded in all the work I do with my clients.

I know that when people live with purpose, confidence soars and happiness increases. That stick figure leaping towards something important was a symbol of the energy inspired by purpose and passion. As an introvert, I’ve learned the importance of reaching out. When I first started my business, I wanted to do everything myself. Even stuff I was really bad at, like book-keeping. Nowadays, though, I recognise that even the most driven person cannot do everything themselves. It is by reaching out and connecting with others that we can achieve our best.

To me, the most compelling aspect of being human is our capacity for positive deviance. Even in the most challenging times, people have the capacity to solve problems and find moments of joy. When I designed my first logo, I hadn’t even heard of positive deviance. Yet somehow that first concept captured the idea perfectly.


About the author: Eleanor Shakiba

Eleanor is a trainer and coach, with a passion for unleashing the power of positive deviance in talented people. She has taught more than 50,000 people how to excel professionally. An expert in the field of Positive Psychology, Eleanor is also qualified in Social Anthropology, Counselling, Coaching, Adult Education and Neuro Linguistic Programming. She specialises in helping HR and L&D practitioners to unleash the power of positive psychology in business. Her major focus in developing three key areas that support positive workplace cultures: positive mindset, proactive communication and purposeful leadership. Eleanor is the author of the Positive Psychology Toolkit for HR and L&D Practitioners. Download your free copy here.