Tag Archives: Purpose

Don’t Talk About It, Be About It

Earlier this month, I was given the opportunity to attend an event called P3: People, Purpose and Possibilities. When I signed up, I wasn’t entirely sure what the day would bring. Let’s just say I haven’t felt this inspired in a while.

Throughout the day, we heard from numerous speakers who had a variety of experiences. Robert

Dear World Meaning

The guidelines for all Dear World pictures

Fogary, spoke to us about his Dear World project and humans’ desire to be heard. Aaron Hurst from Taproot, talked about aligning purpose with career, how all work should feel like pro bono work and that purpose is a choice we make daily. Kai Kight, a violinist, wowed us with his amazing rendition of Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal. He talked about ignoring the standard and creating your own path, writing the songs of the future versus playing someone else’s songs of the past. Nadine Burke-Harris, founder of Center for Youth Wellness, spoke about adverse situations impact children’s’ health, that being in chronic fight or flight leads to major health problems. As you can see, we heard from a variety of people, too many to name, who each defined purpose differently.

I’ll admit, I left feeling inspired but not sure what to do with the wealth of information I just received. It took me time to process everything I heard and create an action plan or purpose statement. We will get to that but below are my biggest takeaways from the event.

  • One of the PwC directors reminded us that finding your purpose is a journey. It is okay to not be 100% certain about your purpose statement, especially if you are younger in your career. I’m glad she mentioned that because I’m not entirely sure but plan to be more self-conscious about my purpose across all aspects of my life.
  • I know my company invests in their employees but this event was the reminder I needed. Not many companies let you spend a day in reflection around what your purpose is and how it aligns to the company’s purpose.
  • Another PwC director put purpose in the context of “what do you want to be remembered for?” That’s a big question that could cause some to be overwhelmed. If you think of that question each morning and keep it in the back of your mind during the day, you’ll create a life driven by what you believe in versus just going through the motions.
  • Aaron Hurst gave us a few examples of where purpose could come from including relationships, something greater than yourself and personal growth/challenges. Again, I drilled this down to the daily interactions I have that align with what I believe my purpose to be. It’s also about stretching yourself to try new things that could inspire others. Andrew Yang from Venture for America also said there’s no courage or challenge without risk. For me, risk makes me a bit anxious so what he said really resonated. Without any risk or new experiences, you become complacent.
  • Another PwC director reminded us that our purpose, whatever it is, should be evident across all of life’s domains. So you should bring your purpose to work, to your community and to your personal relationships. If you feel like your work isn’t meaningful, talk to someone about how to change that.

After some reflection, here is my current purpose statement: I want to positively impact people and live an authentic life. I know this will evolve over time and plan to review it often. I’ve been trying to keep this in mind at the start of each day. Some days are easier than others. When I think about my job and how this is applicable, I think about each interaction I have: something as small as a thank you email or happily answering a question. Those small things matter and are a part of the bigger picture.

Dear World PicAs for the authentic piece, take a look at the picture to the left. That is my Dear World picture, which is intended to convey my story to the world. For me, I don’t want to just say I believe in something, I want my actions to speak volumes. Saying you believe in something is much different from actually going out there and living out your values. I want to show up as my authentic self, every day in every aspect of my life. Part of this is being more intentional with my time. If I say blogging or exercising is a priority, then I must intentionally dedicate my time to those activities. If at work, I say having an eye for detail is important, then I need to spend time reviewing each aspect of my projects.

Knowing your purpose and applying it to daily life isn’t easy. You won’t always get it right. But I challenge you to think more about it and your values. Please share your purpose statements in the comments section!

Motivation Mondays: Feel Again

Happy Monday! I’m glad to be back blogging after an amazing week in California. As always, I return from this business trip renewed and with more ideas and goals to accomplish.

As I’m sure you’ve come to learn, I am a people person. I gain my energy by being near people, having thought-provoking conversations and learning from others. So, OneRepublic’s song “Feel Again” completely resonates with me, especially after this week and weekend.

I headed out to California last weekend tired and lacking motivation of any sort. It felt like nine million things were going on in my life and that I just couldn’t keep up. I felt a little numb, like I was just going through the motions. That coupled with a wealth of uncertainty, a feeling I do not like or handle very well, made for an interesting few weeks personally and professionally.

Then I got onsite and spend 12-hour days with my team, a group of people from all over the country who join up live in living color a couple of times a year for a common purpose. Their passion and energy was contagious, their advise genuine and overall presence comforting. I could feel again.

Upon my arrival home, I headed to the suburbs of Pennsylvania for my friend’s bridal shower. I spent both Friday night and all day Saturday with my favorite girls from Temple. It was so great to catch up, share in their laughter and make new memories. I could feel again.

Sometimes it takes your people, your own personal army of rejuvenating forces, to bring you back to reality. Of course at times you’ll have to be your own motivation. But lucky for me, my people helped me to feel again. My sense of purpose both at work and personally is clear and I’m more determined than ever.

Have you ever felt numb and needed help getting unstuck? Share how you feel again!

This Is My Now

Happy 2013! I apologize for the brief hiatus but the holidays got the better of me and I slacked off. Like most everyone else, I am jumping on the bandwagon and writing a post about what I want in 2013. So here it goes.

I have written down New Year’s resolutions since I was a child. My parents believe in setting goals and achieving them throughout the year. So it makes sense that I am the same way. Every year, there is a lofty list of things I want to accomplish, places I want to see and certain memories I want to create. It’s not a bad idea but this year will be different. This year is about a mindset.

I’ve done some pretty amazing things in my life so far. From jumping off a 30 foot bridge in Spain to meeting my favorite Major League Baseball player, I have lived out every bit of my 22 years. While I do make a conscious effort to live life to the fullest, I don’t always necessarily live life for myself. I’d like to think I am a selfless person, always willing to do for others, especially people I care about. I am proud of this part of my personality and truthfully, there’s nothing I enjoy more than making people happy. I don’t want to ever change that but 2013 is going to be more about balance.

While in California, I heard Jullien Gordon speak. He is known as the International Innerview and spoke about making intentional choices. He described life as a vehicle that only you can drive; you are the creator of your own destiny and the only one in charge of your happiness. I am currently reading Jullien’s book so expect an update post about that. Anyway, his core message of intentionality and purposeful decisions really stuck with me. My goal for 2013 is to put myself first and have a meaningful reason behind every small or grand decision I make.

I know I sound a bit selfish, but I need to choose a path that will make me happy, not others around me. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes we all must make decisions that benefit others more than ourselves. However, in 2013 and hopefully in many years to come, Alex is going first. I want to live this concept out in all areas of my life and hope those most important to me understand my shift in attitude. By making meaningful choices, I really do believe I will be happier and will live a more satisfying life. Expect updates about my new perspective for 2013 and please share with me your thoughts on my resolution.

Below is the song that inspired the title of this post.

The Devil’s in the Details

Four days. 400 participants. Over 40 facilitators. A dozen different locations on one giant property. Countless amounts of materials. Chaos could easily ensue.

All of the statements above were true aspects of the event I worked in California last week. It was a mega event with lots of components. Now, I’ve worked events before but nothing like this. It was unreal how my team operated like a fine-oiled machine. Literally, everyone knew where they were supposed to be, what was going on and what was happening next. How does such a large-scale event go off without any real catastrophes? Here’s my take on that answer.

  • Prep Work: Before anyone stepped foot on the beautiful grounds in California, we reviewed a lifesaving document that broke down the week day by day. Each day listed the sessions occurring, who was in charge, who was helping, the materials needed, the location and the time frame. This thing was the Bible for the week. If you had a question, you just checked the spreadsheet to find the answer. No need to bother anyone else. It was the main reason why our team functioned so well.
  • Plans on Plans on Plans: There was a contingency plan for technology issues, weather issues and anything else you can think of. We even had ponchos for every participant ready to go in case the skies opened up. Every ‘what if’ situation was considered and possible solutions were evaluated all before the event took place. A detailed crisis communications plan was sent to the entire team the week before as well. Everyone was familiar with protocol and knew what steps to take in specific situations.
  • Devil’s in the Details: The attention to detail was evident in every aspect of the program. From the type of seating at open session, to the layout of each dinner, everything was intentional and was thought about beforehand. It was also clear who the target audience was throughout the program. You knew you were dealing with millennials based off of songs played, topics discussed and games selected. In my opinion, this was the most crucial part of why the program was/is successful. Conscious decisions were made in order to deliver the best possible program for attendees. Without every detail, small or large, the experience would not be the same.
  • Common Purpose: Our entire team, internal and external members, believed in the goals of the event. Each member was passionate about executing a meaningful program that would impact participants. That passionate was contagious and kept everyone motivated and energized.

I am so fortunate to have worked on such a giant event this early in my career. There were so many things I learned; the above list is just the most important. What do you think makes large-scale events successful? Add to my list!

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