This past week, I had the good fortune to attend the 19th Annual Conference of The Professional BusinessWomen of California conference. According to the organization, “The annual conference is PBWC’s main forum for women leaders to mentor and role model, foster upward career mobility and gain instant access to a large network of other professionals.”
For certain, the conference was a great networking opportunity with leaders from all professions in attendance and on the speaking platform. Some of the more notable speakers included Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State of the United States; Cokie Roberts, a political commentator for ABC News and National Public Radio; Jackie Speier, the newly-elected Congresswoman representing the 12th District of California in the U.S. House of Representatives and founder of the Professional BusinessWomen of California; Martha Beck, a life coach and columnist for O:The Oprah Magazine; and numerous other leaders from businesses in a myriad of fields. It was a thoroughly enjoyable conference and I was delighted to attend.
A particular highlight for me was Martha Beck’s keynote presentation. She spoke about focusing on “doing what makes you happy” which is the core message of her recent book Steering by Starlight: Find Your Right Life No Matter What! As I am always on the go, it is great to have someone like Martha offer a moment within which to reflect about what makes one happy. Too many people get caught up in the routine of daily living and lose sight of what makes them truly fulfilled. They become desensitized to the world around them and march through life like robots carrying out their daily chores. To have had the chance to hear this remarkable woman’s story and message, was a great way to start the day – thinking about what makes me content in life.
One particularly remarkable thing about Martha is that when she was pregnant with her son, her doctors informed her that, without question, her baby had Down’s Syndrome and recommended that she abort the pregnancy. She chose to have her baby despite the advice of many others because, as she stated, people with Down’s Syndrome can certainly be happy. Knowing full well the burdens that come along with having a special needs child, she decided to have her son. He has been the source of so much inspiration in her life that she has never looked back with anything but joy.
Fortunately, I have a life that I truly love. Like everyone, I have good days and bad days, but without question, my family, my company, my job, my “village” and the opportunities afforded me sincerely make me happy. It is not often we get to take such a moment to think about such things … I mean really think about them. This conference gave me that chance, as well as the opportunity to meet many interesting, accomplished people. I look forward to attending the 20th and beyond.
Nina nets it out: Conferences such as this allow for networking opportunities that our busy schedules don’t often permit. Don’t pass up such opportunities as the doors that can be opened from chance meetings that can occur at such events are potentially rewarding. Please take a moment to share things that make you happy.