Because one of my main goals is to inspire you, each week I will be posting about a positive personal experience as part of an ongoing series I’ve named Inspiring Ideas. Now on to this week’s topic…
Photo by Mackenzie Kern
Just about a month ago, I attended the two-day Making Things Happen conference in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Never heard of MTH? It’s one of those events that is so difficult to put into words, but the way I explained it to family and friends who were slightly unsure is it’s essentially a day of self-betterment combined with a day of branding. It’s a time to focus on yourself, your goals, and how to best let go of your fears in order to focus and be a better version of you. And I renamed it Making LIFE Happen because that’s exactly why I wanted needed to attend.
The main question I wanted answered at MTH: why do attendees call this event life changing? Prior to attending, I felt as though I was rolling though the motions. I was frustrated, confused, and just plain exhausted. Ever been there? It’s not fun, and I obviously needed to change. I’ve also stalked MTH for two years via their blog, Twitter, and Instagram feeds each time Lara, Emily, and Gina go out on tour. This year I decided to put my best stalking efforts aside and attend the first two day conference with 100 other attendees and five additional speakers (Emily T, Nancy, Stefanie, Amber, and Michelle) because going had to be far better than wondering what would have been.
So I went and learned I had made the right decision.
Photo via Pinterest
For two days, I wrote more than I ever have in a journal as I was asked to answer the hard questions and discover who I am at my core. It’s so hard to narrow this list down, but here are the top three things that really resonated with me:
- Be brave: One of my most vivid memories of those two days happened in the first 15 minutes on day one when I stood up to introduce myself. I stated my name, where I’m from, why I attended, and that I was petrified. Because I really was. I’m a planner. I think and analyze before doing things, and in this case we weren’t presented with an itinerary for the event. Initially that frustrated me. What are we going to DO? But I think that was part of the point because I learned far more by traveling through the unknown rather than being able to plan out my answers. It also should be noted that I traveled to a city I had never been to before to spend two days with people I had never met before in order to learn things about myself that I was afraid of knowing. Being uncomfortable elicits more results than doing what is safe. Push yourself because you may learn so much more than you thought possible. And you’ll be proud that you did it.
- Perfection does not exist: I am a perfectionist by nature. I want to find that perfect moment to do things the perfect way because both just have to exist, right? Wrong. Lara’s saying is “progress not perfection,” and Amber said, “be patient in the process.” I have found myself saying both of these phrases to myself so many times. The biggest thing I learned at MTH is that doing is far better than wondering or waiting until everything lines up just so. Did I have everything put together before I went to MTH? Not at all, but that was the point. Did I find the perfect time to launch this site? No, but I’m so happy I pressed publish. Will I train perfectly to run a half marathon in December? Negative. I work hard (oh, yes!), but sometimes I just want things to be awesome right away. But do you know what’s better? Making things awesome as you go and fighting the urge to just do that thing tomorrow. Go and DO and surround yourself with people who will help to keep you positive and on track.
- Do what you love: One of the most fun aspects of MTH was writing down the big list of what fires me up. Some of the things I love most are pink, fresh flowers, and running. Because I know I seriously enjoy each, I’ve made it a point to incorporate them purposefully into my life. I love wearing pink. I purchase a new bouquet of flowers each week to display in my room in my favorite Mason jar vase so I can wake up to colorful blooms. I also make time to run and listen to music to let go and regain focus. Along those same lines, I gained so much clarity about my career and what I love about certain aspects. Writing, design, and interacting with others are really important to me. Rather than oscillating between two different paths, I’ve decided to stay on the path I’m on and keep those aspects at the forefront. Just making that decision makes me happy. Take time to do what you love because life is far too short.
Photo by Lara Casey
I’m so grateful for everything about this experience because I was brave and started. The best part of all – I found clarity in the process. Because it’s fun and I really would love to know your thoughts, tell me: what FIRES you up?