This year, the theme of Women's Leadership Day is "Lead with Purpose". I had no idea what to expect because it was my first year attending, however, I am so glad that I took the time out of my day to be a part of it.
Recently, my 2-year long distance relationship ended abruptly. My world seemed to be falling apart - it felt unfair. I was really heart broken and it felt as if I was struggling to get out of a swamp - the harder I try, the deeper I go. In today’s conference, I was shocked to hear the stories of others and to realize that life was actually kind to me. I had all the support I wanted from friends. It was not an easy relationship and relationships are supposed to be empowering for both instead of continuously feeling fatigued at the possibility of being closer. I have finally come to the realization that I can live my life more fully without him and that it was a great decision after all.
Life is choices. - Stephanie Smeriglio Latham
I was really inspired by Stephanie with her optimism when it comes to facing hard problems. There are times in life, when shit hits the fan, how we react to it can change a lot. We can chose to react with negativity and have a whole world of sadness and sorrow. Or, we can chose to look at it from another angle - that things didn't actually get worse. And we may realize that we should be grateful. And then proceed to kick the shit out of option B.
In the short exercise today, we were asked to choose if we were more connected to A or B. One of the questions was if we were more connected to the future or the present? Both my friend and I went with the word 'future' - which got me thinking why present is that less exciting.
Very often, we keep thinking about success for hours on end (if not days) and get very focused on imagining a non-existent successful future. That’s because the future is exciting, unknown, full of possibilities and imagining it, is free and effortless. The problem is, we don't nearly focus enough on the present. To get to the future, we need to work on it NOW, in the present. It is only through making baby steps can we finally get there.
Of course, all of it is based on knowing what your passion is and some people spend years discovering it. Very fortunately, I recently came across this ted show by Larry Smith. He mentioned that we, as human beings, are REALLY good at making excuses to put off finding our passion, which essentially makes the difference between having a good career and a GREAT one. It is a very hard problem, but just as any problem, we can solve it with dedication NOW.
Doing what you love in life really matters- not just to you - but also to the world and those around you.
Do the job you do if you didn't need a job. - Warren Buffett
Next part should be the easy one. Once you found your passion. Do it. And do it ALL DAY EVERYDAY. Because then it will not feel like work. It will feel awesome, liberated and purposeful.
Focus on the work (read: passion), not the success. - Mellody Hobson
Don't optimize for success- optimize for happiness! The success will come along.
Traditionally, in literature, women have fantasies about heros rescuing them. But it is important to know that, in reality, no one is coming. - Mellody Hobson
I am lucky that growing up, my mom taught me not to be dependent on a man.
As women, we are expected to be in many roles at the same time. It is really easy to be stuck with worrying too much. I’ve learned today from Mellody Hobson that instead of worrying, We should be empowered in our normal daily lives to handle challenges when they come our way. Always be prepared and proactive about it.
We need to speak up in meetings more. Be Bold. There will always be people who have more knowledge of the matter, more education, more life experience than you do. But it does not mean that your idea is any less important. So speak up when you want to.
Some men tell me that it is hard to talk about women in tech. It is really easy to make mistakes and when you do, it is usually quite embarrassing. :P It makes sense to me. I, a woman myself, make mistakes too. Expressing is very hard. What we think often is mismatched with our words and allows for misinterpretation, but it does not mean that we should not talk about it. It's quite the opposite. I honestly won’t get offended if you make a mistake in your wording. As long as you are open and willing to learn about how and what women feel, to accept feedback and do better next time. WE ARE HERE TO HELP!
There were so many moments in the conference when I felt like I teared up on the inside. I was so lucky to have that roomful of sisters there to tell me that it is okay. Things are going to be okay. Life is going to keep going. And, honestly, looking ahead and looking at where I am now, I have a feeling that it is going to be a hell’a great life. ROAR!