“When we are fearlessly who we are, we don’t need external validation, just an opportunity to express ourselves, live fully, and serve the world.” – Arianna Huffington, Founder of the Huffington Post.
I read this quote, re-read it, paused to ponder, then compared it to another quote I stumbled upon from Aaron Levie, CEO at Box, Inc.:
“A great (company) mission will attract like-minded individuals that want to go on the same journey…Be on a mission that doesn’t suck.”
The combined essence of those two statements basically sum up how revitalized I felt following a trip I recently took for work.
I documented my leap of faith earlier this summer when I decided to finally leave my old job. I’m happy to say I’ve gone through the awkward and exciting acclimation period with a new company, new coworkers, and new mission.
I’m not sure if what I’m doing today will be the same job I’m doing 10 years down the road, but today, well today it simply feels right.
One week ago, I was sitting in a room full of marketing professionals and realized it was the first time in my professional career that I was surrounded by people who didn’t generally look or think like me. Even better…despite our variances…the notion of serving others over ourselves was a unifying belief we all held close to our hearts.
Near the end of a jam-packed multi-day session of strategy development and information sharing on how to help each other move our company forward, our group leader asked us to pause.
To close our eyes and place our hands at our sides.
To breathe deeply and imagine being in a room with family and friends.
To come to a startling realization that everyone around us in grieving deeply.
To imagine that our life has ended and we are watching our own funeral unfold before our very eyes.
To see the person we love most dearly attempt to collect themselves as they pull out a piece of paper to address the crowd.
To imagine the words we would want them to say to describe how we lived our lives.
Were we there for them? Or did we shove them behind other priorities like work, drugs, possessions, power, etc.? Did we use our life to build more than our bank account? Did we falsely assume there would always be time to not only achieve our own dreams, but also help others fulfill theirs?
This simple exercise forced me to think about my own mortality. I share it with you so that you may do the same.
Created by Heidi Woodard