It's a new season and the muse is hard at work producing a series of short posts and an e-book titled, 100 Time Hacks for the Insanely Busy Woman!
As always, I am thinking about what is next for me as a scholar-practitioner and consultant, but writing is about so much more than that! I called this page Tonya Today because I realize that, like most of us, what I do or write about changes from one day to the next, from season to season, from year to year. We all go through those phases and changes in life and work as we strive to discover who we are, what we really want, and get better and better at really living by those principles we consider important. For me it has turned into a quest for clarity— for myself, for my students, and for the companies I work with. We need to get clear about the big picture and then tie that to the goals and activities that fill our precious waking hours. Sometimes it feels like my own struggles in that arena were meant to fill up my toolbox as a consultant and teacher.
So where am I headed with this blog right now, and why?
I'm SO glad you asked!
Since March, I've been working with an amazing bunch of people to produce a TEDx event in my home town and the theme of the event, which is next weekend (Yikes!), is "To Be of Service."
I originally chose the theme when I applied for the license because it speaks to my community. I live in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The city is home to over 2,000 nonprofits, five military bases, and a significant commercial sector as well. I figured that, while we may disagree on many things here, we all want to be of service in some way. That has proven to be true, as some incredible speakers with powerful messages came forward to audition. Wonderful, dedicated, and reliable volunteers came forth and I was reminded of what it is to really enjoy a leadership role once again. We are an all volunteer organization, comprised of professionals and problem-solvers who really do care about the community we live in. It's humbling and inspiring to be at the helm of an organization that is becoming better and better as the big day approaches, one that steps quickly past obstacles before I have the chance to worry about them. We aren't perfect by any stretch, but it is amazing to see so many talented professionals giving freely of their time and talents.
The funny thing about devoting all of one's spare time to a cause like that is that it sinks in!
You start living the theme! Doing that work has deepened my own idea of service and how it fits into not just life, but business as well. I've been listening to audiobooks and reading about service in that context, how true success is born of giving in excess of our compensation and really, truly focusing on what the customer and the community need. I don't mean giving in ways that make you feel like a doormat. I don't mean overextending and always saying "Yes" to everything that pops up. I mean giving in ways that enrich everyone concerned— ourselves included!
That concept applies to work and it also applies to personal relationships, by the way!
It has driven me to listen more, and to produce writing that is really focused on you, the reader, that speaks to your daily challenges and is meant to be a gift— something new to put in your life-work toolbox, or a new take on something you already knew.
To that end, the new series will launch in early November, just in time for your busy holiday season! In the meantime, I wish you well.