Austin Speaks to Me

Austin is a fun place to live. There’s so much to do in the city that keeps it weird. It’s a chameleon and transforms to each crowd it attracts. South by Southwest (SXSW) is no exception.

As I walked around this year’s festival, I saw lots of art. I had to stop in my tracks when I happened upon words spray painted on the sidewalk: “Stop staring at your screen.” I thought to myself, “Was the universe talking to me again?”

Reflection And Perspective

I turn forty in just two months and each day I learn something new about myself or I reflect on something which gives me a new perspective. The neon pink letters jumped off the concrete and spoke to me, and I was transported to 2014.

It took about four years to scale my team at work from 7 to 30 across six states. I remember this period like it was yesterday all too well. One year to plan and hire. One year to show proof of concept. One year of plenty of screw ups and turn over. And one year to get the machine going.

During that time, the team of government relations and grassroots professionals I manage exceeded goals passed some life savings laws and created best practices.

I still took on leadership roles in the community serving as Membership Vice President for an organization of 2500 women. Quite frankly, I should’ve taken that time off. My daily schedule went something like this: I would wake up, work at home, get dressed, work at the office, run to a community meeting, eat dinner, work at home until early morning, take a nap and do it again.

Finding My Voice And Truth

There was little time for family, and my friends gave up on inviting me to life events. To many, I was living the dream, and I have tons of awards to show for those four years. To me, it was all a mirage and a hamster wheel. Looking back, it didn’t fulfill me, and it was even lonely at times, which is why my 2017 was so life-changing. When my father died, life stopped and a reset occurred. I went from living by chimes of an outlook calendar to understanding myself, aligning my life’s mission with daily living while allocating time for what mattered most to me. Two letters became my most powerful sidekick: N-O. No, I can’t do that project because I want time for myself. No, I can’t lead this because it’s not part of my personal work plan for this year. No, I can’t focus on those because I’m working on My shift to the conscious lane is where I have found my voice and my truth. And less time looking at a screen plus balanced time at the office equals more time for living.

So what are you doing to live your best life? Are you ready to make a monumental shift? Do you want to do something big? Spend less time looking at the screen and more time focused on your dreams. When you do it, it’s amazing what you might find within yourself.

Copyright (c) 2018 Williams Strategies, LLC. All rights reserved.