Wow, the jet lag has worn off and I'm finally starting to process the whirlwind of the last few weeks. Last Sunday night I arrived home after 2 weeks in San Francisco, working on an incredible event called Ocean Hack. It was a 48 hour hack/design sprint based on 4 of the biggest challenges our ocean is facing right now. We brought together an amazingly diverse group of about 50 or so scientists, technologists, storytellers, strategists and creatives to work together in finding innovative solutions.
If you'd told me 5 years ago that I'd be invited to attend an event like this I would have been over the moon. Seriously stoked. But if you'd said I'd be part of the team running it ? I probably would have laughed and said,
'Yeah, maybe in my dreams'.
But somehow this is what work looks like now. I've got 2 weeks at home and then I'm off to Italy to run another Protect Blue gathering. It feels like, in the last 18 months, all the dots have started connecting and each of the different projects I'm working on feel like a massive YES.
And honestly, there's no better feeling.
So as I was flying home I was starting to explore how these things have come about. What has helped get me to this place. And I think it comes down to these three things :
Integrity - I'm a big believer in just showing up as who you are. Even when you feel like perhaps you should act a certain way or say a certain thing in order to get the job/seal the deal/sign the contract. In fact, in those moments I think it's more important than ever.
So for me, integrity, in regards to your work, means being honest about where you're at and what you know. Showing people that you're willing (and eager) to learn. Being willing to be the dumbest person in the room. And equally, being able to show people why you're worth working with and what skills & experience you bring to the table.
I've worked my ass off for the last few years in pursuit of this type of work. I feel like I've earned my stripes.
Community - Community is vital if you want to grow. Surrounding yourself with the right people is super super important. In fact, I think, in the last few years this has been one of the biggest game changers for me. I've invested time, money and energy in spending time with the right people. Whether that's been taking part in events, joining meet ups or just allocating time to catch up with folk who really matter (read- inspire/influence/motivate/educate).
Intentionality - Ok I've left this one till last but it's really the most important. It's quite honestly the one thing that has made all the difference in the last year. Intentionality can only come from clarity - you need to know where you wanna go in order to be intentional about getting there. But holy smokes, once you've got that ? It's pretty powerful. Mindfully seeking out the right opportunities. Being proactive about building relationships. And of course, committing to ridiculous amounts of hard work ha ha. Side note on the workload issue : I guess the thing I always remind myself is this - If you want to make a serious dent in something (a cause you care deeply about / a project / a career opportunity) then you have to be realistic about the amount of work that will take.
I'm laughing as I type this because it's Sunday and I have a stack of work to get done today ha ha. So yeah, the hustle is real.
But you know what ? It's damn worth it.