When professional development gives you greater perspective on life and work 1

I recently had the opportunity to attend the HRIA Conference in Edmonton, Canada. I always find it fascinating how a professional development conference can provide you with greater perspective on life and work.

I was quite impressed with the quality of the keynote speakers this year and in particular, David Usher and Darby Allen really stood out.

What stood out to me was their charisma, honesty, and ability to get me to pause and reflect on my life, my work and what’s really important.

David spoke about getting people to tap into their creativity. But also that creativity without structure, or focus, is just a ‘bunch of ideas’ and everyone has great ideas. What’s really important is what we do with all the thoughts that come and go; and how we put our ideas into action. This is often a challenge for me as I tend to be an ‘ideas person’ and have what I think are ‘aha moments’. What I’ve found is that we are all more successful when we take a couple of key ideas and focus on developing the ideas. Develop them until they form into something that can take root and grow into a more tangible result.

I had the opportunity to attend Michelle Cederberg’s session on Multi-tasking. It was a good reminder that we are all so busy and trying to accomplish so many things; but the more we try to do at once, the more harmful this is to our brains, and our overall health.

It’s difficult in today’s society where we are constantly bombarded by e-mails, texts, social media posts, etc. Our brains don’t really ever shut down. I’m often accused of being dependent on my phone by my teenage son. Which is quite ironic, but probably true.

Darby Allen’s talk really made an impact on me as well because he was very transparent and honest about the challenges he went through during the Ft. McMurray forest fires. He was forced to make some really difficult decisions. At one point he said that he broke down and all he really wanted was ‘his mom to give him a hug’. This really resonated with me as it speaks to what’s really important.

In this busy, crazy world sometimes all we need to do is stop and really connect with the people that matter in our lives. Life is short and we are so busy trying to keep up with everything that we miss the beauty in the simplest things.

I left the HR conference with a renewed perspective on life and a reminder not to take our jobs, or ourselves too seriously all the time. We need to nourish our spirits, our creative ‘child’ inside and remember to connect with those that are most important to us. Sometimes everything else is just ‘noise’ or a distraction from what really matters.

Author: Katherine Eriksen

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