I was lucky enough (or smart enough?!) to attend The Big Ready conference in Vancouver last weekend.
I've been to a lot of conferences, and I'm not exaggerating when I say that the Big Ready was INCREDIBLE.
Awesome speakers; friendly and welcoming atmosphere; perfectly planned and executed... and the only conference I've been to that had a 'midnight momentum' session! (Night owls, you're not alone ;)
I took a TON of notes from the conference, but here were my five most important takeaways:
1. The power of questions
I knew questions were powerful, but I didn’t know they were magic as well. Scott Rose shared a simple but amazing exercise using "magic questions" that everyone can (and should!) try:
1. Think of a magic question.
Rules of magic questions:
Examples of magic questions:
2. Write your question on a post-it note, and stick it on your bathroom mirror. Read it aloud every morning… and let the universe and your subconscious do the rest.
3. Keep your question on your mirror until it has been achieved. (Note: aim for 2-4 questions max, or it gets too chaotic and overwhelming… as I’m sure you can imagine!)
Scott’s talk was inspiring, hilarious, and left us all pondering our magic questions. I think I have my 3 questions figured out and ready to go… and I’d love to hear if you try this exercise too!
2. Deeper, not wider
Marc and Angel Chernoff gave a fantastic presentation on truth. They talked about going deeper, not wider (minds out the gutter, please :)
What do we mean by this?
So often in our personal lives we aim for wider - with social media, for example, we want more friends, or more likes.
But what if we aimed for deeper social connections instead?
What would you prefer (honestly): a handful of close, treasured friends, or 300 acquaintances?
I know the best times I’ve had have been with the right people, rather than the biggest group of people.
(In fact, as someone once wisely told me, “You can have a good time in a pigsty, if you’re with the right people”.)
So have a think:
How could you go deeper, not wider? (Are you spreading yourself too thin somewhere?)
What connections would you like to strengthen and develop... and how could you do that?
3. Don’t forget to rest!
“Balance your energy with rest” – Angela Crocker
I go on about this all the time :)
My readers are probably sick of me talking about it!
But rest is SO important. And often overlooked.
It’s not “weak” or “lazy” to rest. We need it.
Our bodies need it.
(And actually, our minds need it too.) I find it physically impossible to be creative without rest in my life.
How often do you take time to rest?
(I mean, properly rest... not just slump in front of the TV or scroll mindlessly through your phone.)
What does resting look like for you? What energizes you?
...don’t aspire to go without stopping, like a Duracell bunny.
Think of a machine: it runs much better if it has a chance to rest. As humans, we're not that different.
Allow yourself to rest, so you have more energy to do things you love.
Sounds good, huh?
4. Priority… or not?
“What is your priority, and - maybe more importantly – what isn’t your priority?” - Russel Lolacher
It’s great to know what your priorities are.
But it’s just as helpful to know what your priorities aren’t.
(Or what someone else’s priorities are.)
There’s nothing wrong with helping people. But, as the saying goes, “You can’t pour from an empty jug”.
If you don’t take care of yourself and take time for yourself, you’ll have no energy to give other people.
So figure out your priorities in life.
And determine what isn’t a priority.
I use this tough-but-useful analogy...
If you were in the hospital and had 24 hours to live, what would you concern yourself with: checking emails, or spending it with family and friends, laughing and enjoying each other’s company?
[Something else that can help with this…]
5. Not everything has to be huge or amazing
Last but not least! Mike Vardy (the conference organizer) snuck this nugget of wisdom in at the end of the conference, and I absolutely love it:
“You don’t have to do something big; just do something that might lead to something big”.
More often than not, we get tied up in the bigger picture. The end result we’re aiming for seems so scary and huge that we give up.
But, as Mike says, it doesn’t have to be a big, dramatic action. Just do something.
The funny thing is that we usually don’t know what will lead to something big; it could be something seemingly insignificant at the time.
A few years ago, one of my readers asked if I could add a Twitter button to my site so she could share my posts on Twitter.
It took me a while (I’m not very tech-savvy), but I finally figured out how to do it, and thought no more of it.
However, a few months later, someone saw one of my blog posts on Twitter and asked me to work in her online community as an accountability coach.
Now, two years later, I’m speaking at the community’s annual conference, and getting to know AWESOME new contacts in my field.
It doesn’t always have to be huge. But you never know where it might lead.
What small thing can YOU do today, or this week, that might lead to something big?
5a. A bonus tip...
I'm sneaking this point in at the end, but it might be the most important takeaway of all.
I wouldn't have met all the awesome speakers, connected with such interesting people, learned a ton, and laughed and made new friends, if I hadn't taken a risk.
The biggest wins and growth I've experienced have come from times I said yes to something scary. (I mean "out-of-comfort-zone" scary, not "walking down a dark alley" scary ;)
If you want your life to change, you have to do something to change it.
Join a group. Team up with like-minded friends. Sign up for something new. Go on a voyage of self-discovery. Do something that makes you feel a teensy bit uncomfortable. And enjoy the growth that comes from it.
The "Big Ready" ethos isn't about waiting until you're ready to do things:
It's about knowing you'll never feel fully ready...
But forging ahead regardless, using tips and tools that move you closer to the person you want to be.
A huge (BIG) thank you to Mike, Vanessa and all the amazing speakers for an exhilarating, informative day.
And thanks to you for reading. Hopefully I’ll see you at the next Big Ready conference! :)