Search Results For : perspectives

As it turns out, I am not only multi-national, multi-lingual, but also multi-passionate (passional – if I could take poetic license). Passionate about communication, raising aware children, practicing yoga, peace-building, cultural awareness, gender equality, the environment, open-ness, sharing…the list goes on. This may be a “if, then” conclusion, I don’t know. If you grow up speaking many languages, traveling many countries, then you will also have many passions. Yes, no? Or “if you are a women, then you will have many passions.” As I find this phenomenon more readily a feminine trait than a masculine. I happened across this Marie Forleo video which I felt was directed AT me. I couldn’t believe that the one thing she said she would do differently – was exactly the one thing that has been tormenting me the past couple of months, perhaps years:

I don’t have an elevator speech.

Just as I was envious of people who had ONE hometown, I am envious of people who have ONE occupation. And can therefore have ONE easy elevator speech. The conventional way. You grow up somewhere, you go study something, and then you become a professional in that one thing. But how many people today can still fit in that box? And furthermore, how many people IN THE FUTURE will fit in that box? Our children’s generation is going to be full of the “multi” people – and they may even be in the majority. I have two nationalities – our children have three. In the family I was raised, we were all born in the same country, one country. And in the family I am raising, we were born in four countries. If I thought the speech was difficult for me, imagine the struggle for our children.

Below is curated advice based upon what I have read and have been thinking:

Depending on the time and place, the speech will change. So as opposed to those who have ONE “in the can,” we “multi’s” need to think on our feet and develop MULTI-speeches. And our past and present experiences should help us to be able to do that pretty easily. So, if I am asked, “what do you do?” and it’s a more casual, social setting, I will answer

There are a lot of things I do, and this is what I’ve been working on lately…

and I will genuinely pick whatever is hot on my plate.

And if it’s a professional setting, I will try to assess what of my many passions could be relevant for the person asking and answer the same way, but pick whatever is hot on his/her plate.

So, I guess I am following Marie’s recommendation and ending the self-torture of the one speech. I still believe I need one and fully appreciate the reasons why. But it’s gonna come out of the “hat” rather than the “can.” And there is a lot of space in that hat of mine.

Today, I met with my freelance network and we were discussing the way in which creative design and other artistic crafts are being “traded” in today’s marketplace. Open borders via the internet have made made creative services incredibly accessible and very low-cost (see Fivver where you can purchase any gig for $5). Is there still a market for original design? Who is will to pay for it?

Designers are also having to recreate themselves. Someone like Ayse Birsel a product designer turned systems- thought- life-designer is an excellent example of someone who has gone beyond her traditional vocation. She is adapting to the new age where thinking is designed just as well as her JCPenny kitchen collection. The same processes/journey can be applied. I had the privilege of attending her workshop “Design the Life You Love” in NYC in November, 2014. It was simple and authentic breakdown of a complex subject: life.

Even though there are logos are being bought/sold for five bucks, we still believe adamantly that there is a market for original work. Work that involves research, analysis and collaboration. There will be people who will appreciate this just as there will always be people who appreciate music that is recorded with real instruments vs computers or photos that were taken on a manual camera vs photoshopped or clothes made by hand vs mass-produced in cheap factories. The success of platforms such as etsy and dewanda are proof of this. There is something to be said about owning something truly original. A craft remains a craft. The perceived value is perceived.

As I’m going through this very challenging process of refining my professional self after having raised two babies into toddlerhood, I am realizing the struggle is compromising, or feeling like I am compromising.

From the author of “Path of Least Resistance” Robert Fritz:

“If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is a compromise.”

Yes, what I want seems totally unreasonable. I even think it is unreasonable and tell people that it’s not possible to “have it all.” i was wildly nodding my head in agreement while reading Indra K. Nooyi, PepsiCo CEO’s interview with The Atlantic on why “Women still can’t have it all.” I have come to the conclusion that if we are viewing life from the perspective of the social mammoth and not our authentic voice, we definitely cannot have it all. If we define our professions based on salary, social status, number of direct reports, awards etc, then truly we cannot have it all. So then the question is…what does my authentic voice say?

I love learning. I am addicted to it. My parents, both academics, instilled this in my brother and me very early on. My father’s text to us today: “Learn something new today. Be happy.” ‘Nuf said. I took pregnancy and motherhood with the same thought in stride. I tried to learn as much as I could about how to care for and guide our children. Starting with what to eat when I was pregnant to how best to stop my son from sucking his thumb. My mom said that I was “making a science” of it. Yes, this is how I problem solve. I look stuff up, I talk to experts, I analyze what how to best apply that to my life, and I share my experience with others. Oh, and by the way, this process is very similar to how I solve problems at the work place. So if “learning” is authentic to me. In fact, it’s been injected since my childhood, so few things are as authentic, then I must be “having it all.”

I listened to this story on NPR this morning. Lynda Blackmon Lowery was 15 years old when when she joined Bloody Sunday, the 1965 civil rights march turned confrontation with state troopers turned passage of Voting Rights Act. She wrote a book for young readers called Turning 15 on The Road To Freedom. When interviewed about why she aimed her message to a young audience, she said this:

“I would like for young people to know that each day of your life is a journey into history and that you’re making that history. And you have the ability to change something each day of your life.”

EACH DAY OF YOUR LIFE IS A JOURNEY INTO HISTORY. I had never heard it put that quite that way before. I felt so inspired. What if I used this mantra to start my day every day? How would it change my day/my week/my life? Would I be more fulfilled? I have no illusions that my changes will lead to something as grand as securing the voting right for minority peoples. Maybe it’s seeing the little ways in which we “change” things around us. Who are we affecting? I am reading a book called the Moral Intelligence of Children whose author Robert Coles expounds on how every single on one of us are examples of how our young treat other people. Anyone who has spent time with children knows how quickly they pick up on the littlest details of what we do, how we do it.  I want my children to know that they will write their own journey – their lives will affect others – and they DO have the ability to change things. So I will need to model that change. Sounds daunting but it doesn’t have to be. I’m writing this today. Maybe someone will read it and also feel inspired. I will read to a room full of toddlers in about an hour’s time. Maybe my words will stay with them and they will feel inspired. And tonight I will sit with my husband in our Chinese lesson and – ok, that will not inspire anyone but the two of us – but it’s SOMETHING. And “something” could have perspective.

an end and a beginning in morocco

Fatima, Minerats, Dust, Sunsets, Oranges
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