I recently had the opportunity to attend the Home Care Association of America’s 2019 Annual Leadership Conference in Tucson, Arizona. It was great to hear from industry experts on key trends and issues facing the home care industry right now. However, one of my favorite takeaways from the conference was from the keynote speaker, Pete Smith, author of the book, “Dare to Matter: Choosing an Unstuck and Unapologetic Life of Significance.”
During his presentation, Smith touched on a very important topic: What’s the point? I found this presentation to be extremely captivating because most people don’t think about their lives in this way. People usually just do what they think needs to be done. In his book, Smith has taken the extra step to ask and then clarify what the point in all of this actually is. And the answer? Significance. It’s clear that people are most happy and feel accomplished when they are working towards something of significance and depth. Smith then went on to explain his answer by narrowing down how to find the significance in one’s life in what he describes as six pillars.
Pillar 1: Always a Choice
It’s easy to look back at the choices you’ve made in the past, usually bad choices, and rationalize them as decisions chosen by others. You didn’t have a choice or if it had been up to you, it would have been done differently. Smith explains that in every situation you have a choice, and that often you simply don’t like any of the choices. The take away from this is to stop blaming or making excuses. Own your decisions. They will not always be right, but they are yours and they will take you places.
Pillar 2: Rooted in Identity
Do you know what you stand for? If you were to ask someone close to you if they could explain who you are, do you think they could? Understanding and aligning your decisions and goals with your identity will help to create focus and clarity not just in your life, but in the lives of people around you. One statement from Smith that has stuck with me since the conference is, “Your job is the avenue you choose in order to impact and drive your purpose.” If you are able to take a step back and really look at what you are trying to accomplish, your job and the work you do there should be leading forward in fulfilling what you stand for. Reflect and define this purpose.
Pillar 3: Address Fear
I know. Easier said than done, but it doesn’t make it any less true. Fear plays an important role in our lives. It appears when we feel unsure or at risk. What’s overlooked in times when we decide to let the fear take over and avoid what we are unsure of is all of the opportunities available to help us grow. Address the fear, conquer it, and watch how far you can go!
Pillar 4: Letting Go
There are a couple takeaways from this section. The first is the idea of just letting go of what doesn’t matter, including the past and sometimes people. After addressing pillars 1-3, you can start to understand that letting go of past relationships or forgiving yourself and others for past decisions can help you positively change. The second part is the idea of letting go of patterns and ideas. Giving up the idea of always being right, or doing something the same way every time just because it’s how you’ve always done it are examples of this.
Pillar 5: Embrace the Crazy
Here’s where things really get fun! You’ve decided to stop making excuses for your actions and own them. You’ve explored your stand and feel good about it. You’ve tackled some barriers you’ve been hitting due to insecurity of the outcome and you’ve let go of toxic personnel and poor practices. Now, embrace it! Go for your goals and be who you want to be, no matter what others might think. Use your purpose to create and live out the life you dreamed of.
Pillar 6: Impact on Others
The decisions you make and the life you choose to live have an impact on people, regardless of you living out your purpose or simply working to live. The goal is to be and feel significant. The subject of each pillar should always be changing. Growth happens when we own our choices, analyze our purpose, overcome our fears, let go of the things we cannot change, and embrace ourselves wholly. We become significant when we are able to project our purpose onto the lives of others in a way that inspires and promotes others to explore and grow.
Did you attend the HCAOA conference as well? What were your favorites takeaways? Leave us a comment below.