The articles you’ve previously read here have ranged from what it’s like to be a working mom to how to become a digital activist to living life as a short-term dreamer.
These topics may seem random and that’s because they are— I only post when I have an idea or thoughts that I can’t get out of my head. It’s like the only way I can make them stop nagging me is by throwing them out of my brain and letting them land softly on a page.
This past week has brought on some of the most intense emotions in existence for our country and the world— this piled onto a global pandemic almost makes life feel a little too overwhelming for even the most peaceful and positive soul.
Also this past week, I hopped on a plane for the first time since February so that my husband and I could find a place to live as we are relocating to Raleigh for my job at IBM.
During our travels, I have had several uninterrupted hours to think… about my own life choices, about how people are raised and what shapes their beliefs, and also about some conversations I witnessed and participated in recently that have really opened my eyes and mind. (An evolution of the mind that I hope will continue for the rest of my life.)
While my original plan this week was to share some tips on business email etiquette or the best tools to lead productive meetings, that just doesn’t seem important or appropriate right now. Instead, I feel compelled to share something a little more personal and a lot more vulnerable. Because I know that nagging feeling on my heart and in my mind won’t go away until I’ve let it out.
Living with multiple truths
Tarana Burke is the founder of the #MeToo Movement and was recently a guest on Brene Brown’s “Unlocking Us” podcast, where they covered topics like sexual assault and also violence against the black community, especially black women. One of the most memorable comments made during this interview was the fact that we can be living with multiple truths.
We see it so much now with social media and really all media being led by those in power and with money— all forcing us to pick a side. Right or left. Wrong or Right. Black or White. But life is not that cut and dry and sometimes, we have to accept that there are multiple truths. If you don’t quite understand, I’ll give some examples below.
TWO TRUTHS: You can live through adversity and still be privileged.
I recently had a white relative, who did not have the best upbringing, tell me that they didn’t understand the saying “white privilege.” This family member was very sincere in sharing their hardships of growing up poor and having multiple jobs in order to pay for their schooling and groceries. Because of this, they assumed they, too, had the same hardships as people who accuse them of having privilege.
But the truth is, a white person who has seen great hardship in life also still has white privilege. This means that while they may have had to live through adversity, they did not experience any of this adversity simply due to the color of their skin.
They did not have to deal with conscious and unconscious bias that so many people of color do. They could go to the grocery store without being followed around, go for a jog in their neighborhood without being gunned down, and be in their own residence without being shot by a cop in the wrong apartment.
They also were most likely able to overcome adversity more easily than a person of color would in their exact situation simply because of the color of their skin.
They could get a job interview because their name sounded the “right kind of white,” they could be approved to rent an apartment because of the color of their skin, and they could get paid more than their colleagues of color. (Reminder: women of color STILL only make 52 cents to the dollar fo their white male counterparts, who have the exact same education, role and experience.)
MULTIPLE TRUTHS: Black on Black crime is a problem AND so is Police Brutality of the black community.
So many times, people will use the argument that blacks are killing more blacks than cops or white people do. They wouldn’t be wrong, but this does not mean that police brutality isn’t a problem against the black community.
Yes, more black people are killed by other black people, but the same is also true that more white people are killed by white people. It’s because crimes are more likely to happen between people in the same communities.
But another truth is that police brutality is high against blacks and there is systemic racism running rampant in our country. This is not an opinion, there is data that backs this up. You can read about it in studies and books like "Race and Police Brutality: Roots of an Urban Delimma" at this link.
So while all of these points are true, none of them should take away from change that is needed to address each of them. This change could be more strict gun laws, an overhaul of the justice system, and/or many other solutions focused on each specific problem or truth.
ANOTHER TRUTH: Police brutality is high across all races.
According to the 2019 US Census, white people make up approx. 60% of the US population with African Americans making up 12-14% depending on what nationalities you include in the figure. When looking at police deaths on statistica.com, black people make up 22.3% of police-caused deaths compared to 41% of white deaths between 2017-2019. The total number of deaths by police in that same time period is 2,987 for all races.
No matter how you look at the numbers, that is a high fatality rate from interactions with police for both races, and an overhaul of the current justice system is needed.
Some good news out of Minneapolis yesterday is a civil suit was filed against the MPD that will result in an investigation into their practices over the past decade. This could be used as a basis for other states and cities to launch their own investigations on police practices, procedures and protections they receive from being part of a union. Read about the suit here.
And yes, another truth is that there are good cops along with racist and unethical ones. But Chris Rock says it best, "Here’s the thing, man. Whenever the cops gun down an innocent black man, they always say the same thing. “Well, it’s not most cops. It’s just a few bad apples. It’s just a few bad apples.” Bad apple? That’s a lovely name for murderer. That almost sounds nice. I’ve had a bad apple. It was tart, but it didn’t choke me out.
Here’s the thing. Here’s the thing. I know being a cop is hard. I know that shit’s dangerous. I know it is, okay? But some jobs can’t have bad apples. Some jobs, everybody gotta be good. Like … pilots. Ya know, American Airlines can’t be like, “Most of our pilots like to land. We just got a few bad apples that like to crash into mountains. Please bear with us.”
TWO TRUTHS: All lives matter AND Black Lives Matter is a critical movement working to eliminate racism.
Let’s just get this straight— Black Lives Matter is in no way saying that black lives are more important than any other life. Black Lives Matter is drawing attention to the injustices to the black community and the loss of innocent lives at the hands of police.
The “All Lives Matter” response to Black Lives Matter is hurtful and shows that the people saying it either 1) do not understand the point of BLM or 2)are blatantly and ignorantly saying they are racist. Yes, someone can be racist even if they think or say they are not.
Here’s an analogy if you’re having a hard time understanding:
Let’s say your house is on fire with a family member inside. You would say “My House Matters” and expect the fire department to hurry along to put out the flames and save the life inside.
But then along come people who are not willing to understand the experience of the person inside the burning house nor the urgency of addressing the out of control flames, instead they say “All Houses Matter” and demand that the fire department water every house on the block instead of focusing on the one burning to the ground.
My advice on this one is that if you feel the need to say All Lives Matter in response to the BLM movement, you need to take a hard look at your motivation along with what you might be missing by not truly listening before you speak.
TWO TRUTHS: You can be anti-racism and still have racist prejudice inside of you.
This one hurts the most as a thirty-something white woman writing this knowing I am guilty and responsible for my own prejudice against people of color.
While I am fully committed to doing my part to end racism and fighting for the equality of minorities everywhere, I must first acknowledge the conscious and unconscious bias that lives inside me from all of the things I’ve learned throughout my life— especially in a predominantly white Southeast Missouri town where I grew up.
It’s not enough to seek equality, but we must also acknowledge our biases along with hardship put on minorities in the past and present in order to move to a more just future.
In my new favorite book, “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle, she touches on her continued need to learn and unlearn what is the right approach to shine a light on injustices against the African American community. It’s been a learning experience for her as I am convinced it will be for anyone looking to take action after what happened to Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and so many others.
And you should know that we white people, who are speaking out against racism... we will fail. We will be ridiculed for speaking when we should listen. We will be told we are ignorant and clueless to what it’s like to be African American in this country. We will be laughed at and yelled at and will get it from both sides of the fight.
And it will all be true.
But we must do it anyway. We must not be silent. We must try and fail and try again. Because it’s up to each of us to continue to learn and unlearn our own bias and prejudice in order to create a world all of our children deserve. And we will do this by working every day to better understand the black experience and what actions we can take to make it right.
You can see these kind of multiple truths in everyday situations— like with my family, we can be extremely sad to leave our family and friends in Missouri while also exclaiming with glee that we get to start a new adventure in North Carolina next month.
And we especially see these multiple truths in the very real issues our world is facing today… with civil rights and even the pandemic. I hope that you realize you don’t always have to pick one truth over another… that you can fight for equality and want a better world for minorities while also acknowledging the multiple truths of any situation.
After all, it’s on each of us to identify actions we must take to right any truths that are unjust in the world. Racism exists and it is on white people to eliminate it.
Additional Resources to help you take action today:
75 Things White People can do for Social Justice
White Fragility: Why it's so hard for white people to talk about racism (Digital Book)
The impossible standard
Over the weekend, as I was scrolling through Facebook in an attempt to ignore the eleven thousand things on my to-do list, I saw a fellow mom in a "Mommy Group" ask the question I've seen a million times before.
At first I thought it must be rhetorical, but then I realized that she truly was seeking advice on how to make this happen:
I went on to read dozens of comments with suggestions from "time-boxing" to waking up before the sun to hiding from your kids in the closet as you sob into your dirty clothes. They were well-intentioned (and funny) suggestions, but I couldn't help feeling that we moms are completely missing the mark.
We truly think that if we just wake up a little earlier or better manage our time that we can conquer it all, and with a perfectly fed family, clean house and booming business to show for it. Not to mention navigating this new normal of homeschooling and keeping your family healthy in the middle of a global pandemic. Moms think they should be able to do it all.
But we can't.
My top four
What we can do is reset expectations of what is and is not possible for one person to handle while staying sane. But why settle for just staying sane?
Each of us deserves an enjoyable life that fulfills us, not just getting through the day. (Though some weeks, it absolutely is a miracle to just get to Friday.)
When thinking of how I would answer that mom so desperate to get it right, I came up with these four suggestions for any working or stay-at-home mom, who may be feeling pressured to do it all.
1. Shared Responsibilities:
Yes, I'm going there. The number one thing you can do is have a "come to Jesus" meeting with your spouse, partner, significant other, and/or roommate. I understand there are many single moms out there managing all this on their own, and this point sadly won't help them much.
But if you do have someone at home, you must force the conversation and come to an agreement on shared household responsibilities. It is a proven fact that women do the bulk of housework even when working full-time and caring for their children.
This recent Lean In post stated: "This pandemic is pushing women to their breaking point. And it's no wonder women feel this way.
Consider the conronvirus-era schedule of at typical woman who works full-time and has a partner and kids. She's now spending 71 hours every week on housework and caregiving, including the new responsibilities of the pandemic, according to survey data. That's nearly two full-time jobs-- before she starts doing her actual full-time job.
Meanwhile, men in the same situation are doing 20 fewer hours of labor every week. For women of color and single moms, the demands are even greater."
How can you improve your situation? Work with your partner on a plan that sets you up to succeed while sharing household chores and caring for the kids.
One of the most overlooked facts when discussing women's equality is that we will never be fully equal in the workplace until we have equal responsibilities in the home.
This one may not always be possible depending on your situation, but one of the greatest things you can do when you are spread too thin is to ask for help.
Is your house too much to handle? Hiring a housekeeper can be a game-changer, if you can swing it. Even if it's only on a monthly or bi-weekly basis, not having to worry about deep cleaning can allow you to focus on other priorities like your business or kid's schooling.
Don't have time to cook healthy meals? Look into meal prep services in your area or explore options that are delivered to your door; the same goes for grocery store pick-up or delivery services.
Can't keep up with your business website or social media? There are tons of consultants out there with expertise at doing this very thing, and usually aren't too pricey!
While outsourcing may not be an option for you, asking for help from friends or family when you're at your breaking point is something you must do when it all feels like too much. It's because it is, and you are completely normal for feeling that way.
3. Delegate to your kiddos
Unfortunately, my toddler is a little too young for chores, but we are counting down the days to when he can start pulling his own weight around here by emptying the dishwasher and dusting the furniture.
If your kids or roommates are old enough, make sure they are pitching in by giving them tasks to complete on a daily, weekly and/or monthly basis. There are plenty of chore charts online like on Pinterest here.
Not only will this help you out around the house, research has shown, as discussed in this article, that kids who do chores tend to turn into successful adults.
4. Give up on the idea of Work-Life Balance
While I do believe moms can "do" most everything they put their minds to, it doesn't have to be done perfectly, and especially doesn't have to be perfectly balanced. Many people consider the term "work-life balance" to mean that they must do all the things every single day. For me, it comes in waves.
For example, last week I put in a solid 70+ hours working my full-time job. I was up before the sun and burning the midnight oil every single night to meet all my deadlines after taking some days off the previous week.
While I was working full-time, I was also still a mom. But you wouldn't find me doing fun activities with my son or even playing with him for more than ten minutes at a time-- I knew I had work to be done and that was my priority last week.
This week, while I am still working all day and again when my son goes to bed, I am spending quality time with him in the evenings. We even worked in a few craft projects over the past few days-- but you should know this is definitely an exception to the norm around here.
But my point here is that last week, my job was my priority. And this week, my son is getting more of my time. Does that make me a bad mom? Hell. No.
That makes me a sane, happy, and extremely fulfilled mom, who is driving incredible business results at work AND making magic happen at home with her baby boy.
So while I may not spend quality time with my son every hour or even every day, the time I do get with him is that much more special and real and memorable. When he grows up, he's going to remember the times we did have together and when he looks at me, he will see one badass woman, who in his eyes, "can do it all."
If you get anything out of this article, I hope it is the realization that the standard we as women and moms have set for ourselves is just not achievable.
The crafty mom on Facebook who is always taking her kids on fun adventures? She is struggling. The stay-at-home mom who is out-touched and hasn't had a break in three years? She is struggling. The single mom who just got furloughed and is worried about how to care for her kids during this challenging time(or even when we are not in a pandemic)? She is struggling.
If you find yourself struggling, too, I hope you will remember this list and lean on those around you. We aren't meant to do it all alone, but we are meant to get through it together.
How do you "share the load?" Comment what works for your family below!
The truth is, the statement above doesn’t really describe what I do, it’s just the fastest way to answer the question and move on with the conversation.
In fact, if someone were to say to me “Let’s have a lengthy conversation about what you do for a living and what it means to the world,” well I’d instantly get heart eyes and pour my soul out to them on what it’s like to be a Digital Activist.
Since I don’t have anyone beating down my door asking either of those questions, I decided to be proactive and share my experience here in an effort to help others better understand the critical role a Digital Activist plays across businesses, teams, and the world. Let’s start with the basics…
What is Digital Activism?
By definition, digital activism is a form of activism that uses the internet and digital media as key platforms for mass mobilization and to drive social and political change.
Some examples of this could be campaigns like Black Lives Matter, the #MeToo movement, or the Blue Campaign focused on raising awareness on how to identify and respond to instances of Human Trafficking.
All of these are considered social or political campaigns that are working to drive awareness and action to fight for their causes.
But digital activism isn’t just for the world of politics. For me, I use digital activism to create communities of people to move missions and society forward at IBM and with innovators around the world. Still not sure what I mean? I’ll break it down for you in the next section.
Five Steps to Become a Digital Activist
1. Declaring your mission
Digital activism starts with the need for change. This could be political and societal change like the examples above, or in my case, the need to drive cultural change across an international corporation.
No matter the cause, you need to have a very clear mission on what change you want to drive and why. By declaring your mission statement, desired outcomes, and measurements for success, you can begin to plan your digital activation strategy.
A Personal Example: At IBM, I have created and executed many digital activation campaigns for various programs and missions I have been tasked to lead. One of those campaigns focused on the mission of “Driving a culture of innovation and storytelling across the IBM Services organization.”
The outcomes we were looking for were 1) new, innovative solutions that would solve our clients’ and world problems, 2) a platform to enable a growing community of innovators to engage and collaborate, and 3) business growth through partnerships with these innovators. Some of our measurements of success were revenue growth, community size, and engagement.
2. Knowing your target demographic
Once you know what change is needed, then it’s time to understand who are the demographics that need to make this change along with any other stakeholders that could influence them or the current culture.
There are several Design Thinking exercises you can do to better understand your “users” or different personas, but it basically comes down to understanding their wants, needs, influences, and goals. If you can learn to think like your user, you can begin to see what will motivate them to act in this new way to drive your mission forward.
A Personal Example: In my campaigns at IBM, I have had many target demographics I was trying to reach. In one campaign focused on reskilling and upskilling our workforce, we used cognitive analytics to map our supply (our professionals) with the demand (skills our clients needed.)
We were able to use those insights to identify IBMers that could be trained to take on new and important jobs for our customers while also investing in their professional development and careers. Our “target demographic” was the employees we needed to take action to reskill and upskill to better serve our clients.
3. Finding your champions
This is likely one of the most important steps as you get started as champions are mini digital activists, who will help lead the charge towards this new society or world you are working to build.
For many organizations, people feel the “trickle down effect” works best to drive awareness— this could be executives sending out mass communications, guidance and mandates to employees or a Governor declaring a “Stay-at-home” order, which I think we can all relate to at the moment.
In many situations, top-down change management is important, but for a successful digital activation campaign, the most effective way to drive change is through a grassroots movement.
By creating a network of champions, you now have mission evangelists who take on the role of advisor, advocate and coach to your target demographic. These are people on the ground working with your audience to build trust and relationships.
A Personal Example: With every new mission or program I take on at IBM, one of the first steps I take is to create a small community of champions to help me. I start by recruiting colleagues I’ve worked with over the past ten years to join in a collaborative space. At IBM, a very useful tool to do this is with Slack, where you can create channels for different projects and communities. Another real-life example of creating a group of champions is through Facebook Groups, as seen with Lean In Circles.
I typically start with 50 or so people that I personally invite to be champions, and then I challenge or incent them to invite collegues from their network or teams, who would be interested in our mission and helping us accomplish our goals, to join our cause.
The past two digital activation campaigns I ran grew from approx. 50 to over 2500 IBMers around the world in a matter of months. These champions were there by choice and ready to help drive culture change across their teams and company.
4. Creating meaningful content
Now that you know your audience and also have a community of champions to help you reach them, it’s time to create meaningful content that can help tell the story and inspire action. This content takes many forms— it can be a blog like you are reading right now, a video posted on social media or dedicated youtube channel, a podcast, or even a hashtag like we saw with #metoo.
Some things to consider when creating this content are: 1) Is it clear on what change is needed and why? 2) Will it resonate with your audience? 3) Will it inspire them to take action? 4) Is the story being told in a concise and compelling way to make the audience feel a certain way?
A Personal Example: One of the best ways to get people to share personal experiences or to take an action is for them to see others doing it first. When working to drive a culture of innovation and storytelling across our Services organization, the first thing we did was start finding and telling stories of innovation that could be used as examples of what we were looking for.
We started creating videos of IBMers innovating for our clients and even started a podcast that featured IBMers and clients around the world, who are disrupting markets through innovation and technology. Soon after we went live with this podcast series, our target audience started bringing forward their own stories and engaging within our the community space we created for them.
By sharing examples of how you want people to act or behave, it will show them the path forward to begin to act in that new way.
5. Executing your digital activation strategy
The final step in driving real change is to create and execute a digital activation strategy leveraging the foundation you’ve put in place with your champion network and content-sharing channels.
You must have frequent, consistent, and compelling content being shared in order to reach all of your stakeholders. This includes having a communications schedule, retrospectives on what is working and what is not, a feedback loop that allows your champions and stakeholders to share what they are hearing on the front-lines, and the willingness to adapt when results are not meeting expectations.
A Personal Example: In March, I began a new cross-IBM role focused on enhancing our IBM Client Experience through quality initiatives. As I’m sure you’ve gathered by now, I started by understanding the mission and my target audience, began building a community of champions, created content, and am now finalizing my strategy.
To give you a view into what a strategy looks like, for me, it is very similar to a communications plan. It lays out all mediums we will use to reach our stakeholders, who those stakeholders are, how frequently we will communicate with them, and how we will measure each workstream's effectiveness.
Once you have determined all of these aspects in your strategy, the best way to begin is just that— begin. You will start to see what is working and what is not, which will allow you to course-correct, as needed.
As industries and society continue to move to a more digital world, we will all see a rise in the need for digital activism and those leaders who can truly ignite change across large groups of people.
My hope is by laying out what digital activism is and how it can be used for good, one day when asked what it is that I do for a living, I can speak the truth from my digital activist heart and people will smile... not because I’m speaking gibberish, but because they understand.
They understand that by igniting change, I am helping lead us to a smarter and safer world.
Today was a rough Monday. I'm not one of those people who instantly hates Mondays, but this particular one was far from great. It was full of meetings where a decision couldn't be reached, stalls and roadblocks surfaced for almost every project, and we left with more questions than answers.
For someone whose obsession is productivity and progress, today was not my day.
But as I performed a self-retrospective of what went wrong, I realized how few and far between these "hard" days are. And that's mainly because of the rules and practices I started implementing many years ago when I first began working from home.
Now that the world has been turned on its axis, I imagine many others have found themselves in the same place that I was back then asking, "How do I remain productive and manage my time in this new normal?"
If you are currently in this situation, I hope these five steps can help you as they did me.
We've all been there...
We’ve all been there— that dreaded conference call that drags on and on, and when it’s time to hang up, you have nothing to show for it. No issues were resolved, action plans created or decisions made. The only thing the call resulted in was an agreement that a follow-up meeting was required.
The good news is you don’t have to participate in this madness any longer. Take control of your calendar, your time and your sanity by running meetings in an effective and productive manner. Here are five steps you can take today to make it happen:
1. Prepare ahead of time
A way to prepare ahead of time is by using your calendar as a way to prioritize your work. If you find yourself unmotivated to work on a proposal, go ahead and schedule a review of it with your boss for a day or week out so you now have a deadline to work towards.
Once reviews and cadences are scheduled, I typically spend a couple of hours on Sundays looking at my week ahead and identifying if there is any preparation required for my meetings. I also make time at the end of each day to reflect and look forward to ensure that everyone is prepped and materials are ready for meetings on the following day's schedule.
For example, if you’ll be sharing your screen for a demo or presentation, be sure everyone has the right access and links to materials prior to the call. That way, you can get right into the agenda without any delays.
For brainstorming or working sessions, you should create a collaborative workspace ahead of your meeting. There are plenty of agile and social tools available to enable file- and screen-sharing, document collaboration and effective virtual brainstorming sessions. Making use of these resources will take your meeting’s productivity to a whole new level.
A few of my favorites are the collaborative tools like Mural and Trello, and file/notes sharing with Box.
While preparing for a meeting may require more time than the meeting itself, just think of the time and effort you’ll save when you’re able to accomplish in one meeting what usually takes four.
2. Determine a clear objective
If you’re not sure what you want to accomplish during a meeting, how will your audience know the objective?
Clearly stating the purpose of the call in the meeting invite, in an email or on a slide will set the tone for attendees. Consider providing more information in an email beforehand to give insight into what you will discuss. Doing so may even identify a need for additional people to be added to the discussion if the meeting subject is their area of expertise.
3. Set an agenda and stick to it
Keeping to a schedule may seem simple, but it can be hard to do. I use either a PowerPoint or an agenda posted in our collaborative space to keep attendees on track. If you know that certain individuals tend to overrun your meetings by going into too much detail, be sure to go over the agenda with them up front and assign time frames to each item.
If you've been clear about the meeting objective and prepared an agenda ahead of time, you should have no issues moving the discussion along to reach your desired outcome.
4. Document, document, document
Another common mistake people make is not capturing what was discussed during a call. Meeting notes are not optional. It’s critical to recap each working session by highlighting key discussion points and next steps.
Take your notes a step further by listing owners for each action and due dates as discussed during the meeting. As common courtesy, don’t assign an owner without confirming with them first. Summarize at the end with information on when the team will reconvene to continue the conversation or review progress.
5. Follow through
To build strong relationships with colleagues and customers, the most important thing we can do is what we said we would do. Be sure to fulfill the actions you own, and provide a heads-up if anything will be late or different from what was agreed to during discussions.
Continue to look for ways to go above and beyond. Maybe you can get something done in two days instead of four, or perhaps you can provide additional recommendations on how to resolve ongoing issues.
What really matters isn’t what you said during the conference call; It’s what you do afterwards that can make or break your reputation and business relationships.
There you have it — sounds easy, right? That’s because it is!
To run an efficient and productive meeting in any industry, and yes even from home, all you need to do is take control. By ensuring everyone understands the objective, what needs to be accomplished, and has access to the necessary materials, you will start to see progress and productivity across all of your projects immediately. It’s that simple.
What ways do you stay productive and manage your time? Share your experiences in the comments below!
While listening to an audio book recently, a super energetic author started talking about dreams-- or more specifically, why people give up on them.
She starts by asking the listener, "What is your dream? What do you want out of life?" A question I instantly hated.
It's my least favorite interview question and I'd go as far as saying it makes me angry when people act as if in order to be successful, you need to have an answer ready to go.
I've never been one of those people who had a five or ten-year plan. While I am SUCH a planner, I have just never been able to see that far in advance and know what was likely to happen, or even what I wanted to happen.
After all, five years ago... heck, two years ago, I would never have imagined I could have the life that I'm living today. Not that it's super glamorous or extraordinary by Hollywood or history book standards, but it's a tremendously fulfilled and happy one nonetheless.
But happiness isn't really what I'm talking about here. I'm talking about planning for the future, which right this second in the middle of a freaking Pandemic is pretty much impossible to do. And is probably why I started to freak out a little while listening to this book thinking, "Holy shit, I need to know what my dream is."
But here's the thing... I just don't. I know that I aspire to be better, to do better and create something bigger than myself. I just don't know what that is.
So I decided the next best thing I can do is think of smaller goals that I have for myself that may or may not be related to what I really want in life... since that is still to be determined.
When I asked myself, "What little things do I want to accomplish in the next few years?" I instantly rattled off a handful of goals with no issue. It seemed much more manageable than asking what my "purpose-for-life, why-I'm-here-on-this-Earth, I'm-pathetic-unless-I-reach-the-stars" dream is.
One of those smaller goals I listed off in my head was something I've wanted to do ever since childhood when my father would give me a funny title and ask me to write a story to go along with it-- I want to write a book.
When I was younger, I thought I'd write fiction novels with witty characters and brilliant leading ladies, but since becoming a fairly successful professional working in Corporate America over the past eleven years, I've realized that the stories I really need to tell are the the very real lessons and insights I've gained that could bring value to other people's lives.
But I've tried this writing thing before and have always gotten overwhelmed not knowing where to even start putting together all these thoughts and topics into one cohesive story or book.
So last night, as I continued to hear this bubbly author's voice ringing in my ears, taunting me to DARE to have a dream-- I realized maybe what I need is to start small and check off one goal at a time until, one day, I finally have some inkling of an idea as to what I really want out of my life.
So that brings us to today. It's the first step of me becoming a book author. Oh yes, I'm aware that this is a blog, not a book. A blog that no one is even likely to read, but it's where I can pour my thoughts, ideas, rants, and hard lessons so that one day, when I'm ready, I will get closer to knowing and achieving my dreams.