You all know I love my Instagram proverbs. I recently scrolled across a quote from Novelist Anne Lamott’s April 2017 TED Talk:
Lamott is a speaker, activist, and faith based supporter of all things good. This quote came at a time in my life where I was at an interesting intersection between results and work. On one hand, I was super proud that I decided to kick out motivational content every single week – sometimes more than once a week. From YouTube Videos, to blog posts, to eblasts, to sound bites, to social media content…your girl was a content machine this year. Producing most of it as a one woman show, I used this year as a test of dedication and simply told myself, “You’ve got to do this.”
The investment was nothing short of amazing. I created connections with people on a deeper level, met so many new people who reciprocated my energy, and even received positive feedback from people telling me how something I said or did helped them in life.
And to be honest, that’s all I have ever wanted.
I’ve always wanted my pain, missteps and pivot points to help other people in life. I figured if people were going to ask me for advice anyway, I might as well be useful. There’s no sense in both of us making the same mistakes – learn from mine!
However, there’s a danger that comes with always being readily available to help. You can become so wrapped in your routine that you forget to check if you’re still being genuine.
When I first started blogging in January 2016, I had a full time job, was in grad school full time.
I had no website.
I had no e-blast list.
I had no subscribers.
It was simply me, my ideas from God, my notes in my iPhone, and my 5 year old HP Pavilion laptop. My laptop battery was shot and I would have to carry around the power plug everywhere and find a wall to plug into. I mean, at that point it was basically a desktop! I would fall asleep with the laptop on my leg, trying to balance my two loves: naps and blogs.
Whenever I received a feature, I would take a selfie, turn it into a promotional graphic and mass text out the link to my friends. I did that once per month for 12 months straight. I still remember when my first blog on Blavity’s Facebook page received over 100 shares in two days. It was 9:15pm on January 17, 2016. I have the screenshot to prove it.
For those who know my story, you know I ended up leaving that job and free-lancing my consulting services. Before I ever launched anything on my own, I remember praying, “God, let my motives and my intentions be pure in whatever I do.” That same year I went on a spiritual fast from anything (and inadvertently anyone) that was not conducive to positivity. I was in such a pivotal space that I needed to be intentional about protecting my energy. I’m now convinced that same prayer continues to save me in more ways than one. It has served as a powerful measuring stick for any new venture, partnership, or idea I place into action.
Early one Monday morning, while prepping to send out the #MoxieMonday eblast, I asked myself, “What are you doing this for?” The underlying current is that I have a servant’s heart and truly believe there’s room for all of us at the table. But, I’m so careful to serve out of purpose rather than obligation.
To check my motives, I went back to the basics.
So, that brings me here….typing on my now nearly 7 year old HP Pavilion laptop, noticing the worn keys and the loud sound of the fan moving a mile per minute inside the hard drive. If I can be honest, it feels like home.
I’ve decided to power down a bit in December from my personal social media sites. I still have work to do, especially with the holidays continuing, but I want to always remain conscious of my “why.” For me, that’s staying in tune with the beauty of this life and making sure I position myself to experience it all.
Whatever your gift to the world is, whatever you’re going to leave us with…I pray that you continue with zeal and intensity. Build in ways to check your motives against your ordained purpose. If you don’t know what it is, ask the Big Man Upstairs, ensuring the line of communication is clear when He downloads it into your spirit.
And if you need to unplug for a bit to make sure you’re on track – do it. You’ll start working again when you decide to plug back in.