Friday, January 30, 2015

Women's Leadership Challenge Conference: Jearlyn Steele and the Generosity of Purpose

This last week my 'normal' job paid for me to go to a Women's Leadership Challenge Conference run at St Catherine's University in Minnesota.  What I thought would be a normal work function turned out to have significant meaning to me and where my career and life are going.  So I thought I would share the numerous amounts of notes I took with others through my blog.

How does this work?  Easy.  As I post stuff, the header will have the same first part of the subject and the name of the seminar with what I learned.  I'll do my best to provide links to the people who gave the talk so that people can trace information back if you want.  By no means am I an expert on any of this, I'm just organizing my notes so others have access to at least part of what I learned.  Also, this isn't a substitute for the program, and dang it if you can go to something like this, do it!

St Catherine's University: website
And here's their event page with more info about the program

The first keynote speaker of the morning was Jearlyn Steel and called "The Generosity of Purpose".

The main focus of this Keynote speech was started with the idea of your gift and your talent.  Basically, your talent is what you're good at and your career, it's what makes you money.  But your gift is your calling and what you were made for.  There's overlap between the two, to be sure, but they are different things and the way to enjoy your life and make the most of it is to find where the two intersect.

You are responsible for giving the gift you have.  It's a package inside you that is made to share and give to other people.  If you squeeze it and hide it inside yourself - for whatever the reason - and don't use it, like any closed off flame it can go out, and then it's pretty hard to relight.  So don't ignore it, share it!  Give your gift to people and let it be alive.

This isn't primarily a religious thing, a spiritual thing, or a mechanical thing - but it can be any of those.  It's different to each person and it takes some searching to find it.  But everyone has it.

Now, with sharing your gift, that doesn't mean give it away for free.  You still have to make the money and pay the bills but share your gift.  But in the same vein, don't let the pursuit of money regulate your gift, this will also stomp it out.

Related to talent - you don't have to be perfect at it.  What you do have to do is combine it with your gift.  Basically, if you're good at something (your talent), putting yourself in a position where you can add your gift like a cherry on top will set you out from the rest and it will make your talent stand out in the best way.

In life - be yourself, no matter how scared you are.  Those butterflies?  Use them.  Take them and turn that shaking into your strength.  If you're nervous or if you're scared, that's a good thing.  It means you're doing something you're unfamiliar with.  It means you're expanding yourself and even if you fall, it's proof that you tried and damnit, one little try might be all you need to get that much closer to what you want/need.

If you don't know where your gift is taking you, if you don't understand how to use it, be patient.  Just use it and listen - it will show/tell you what to do and where to go.

If you are stuck and at a plateau - find your filling station.  Think of what makes you happy, what fills you with comfort and job.  Now, think of what you have to do to get to where you want to be, and there should be one or two places where those things intersect - do them!  You can't forget to fill up and relax, because you will wear yourself out like a car.  You have to change your oil and re-energize.

Create a mantra for yourself - a realistic one and repeat it to yourself each morning.  The reinforcement will work.

Silence is speaking up. When you come up to an issue and you say nothing, you are actually saying something: you're basically just saying something you don't want to physically say.  So silence is not an escape, never use it like that.

What you do in the morning will affect your entire day - from the music you listen to, your mood and what you do.  So do calming things in the morning and uplifting things in the morning and that will define your day.   Hand in hand: what you do before bed can infect your night. If you go to bed feeling guilty, it will be hard to sleep.  Things like that, so keep that in mind and use those two things to improve your days and nights.

Listen to your inner voice - it doesn't always communicate your needs.  Sometimes, it tells you how to fulfill others.  There are needs that everyone has that they might not be able to fulfill themselves, they might need you, your inner voice will direct you to these people.  Just go with it and it will come back on to you when you need it as well.  Be open and follow your inner voice.

You should enable others to act - give them permission.  You are here to encourage other people - no one lives in a vacuum.  Humans are social creatures and we work best when we are exactly that.  So use your gift and interact with others.

What is your gift?  Ask yourself, if you never had to worry about getting paid or paying, what would you do for the rest of your life.  Your gift can be found there, in the thing you really enjoy. Then expand from there.

Getting over jitters and plateaus - Listen.  If it's a crappy day out and you don't want to do it even if you have to, just open up and listen.  There will always be someone who will give you that little push you need.  It might be a post you see online from a quick glance, a word from a passing stranger, a stray thought as you get in the car or a simple smile from a spouse.  Look for it and be open and it will help you move forward.

Your purpose, your gift, will accommodate your quirks.  It's you, so it is made for you.  And you are made for it.

That's it for this one, I'll be posting more next week ^__^

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