In one-two sentences, what do you do?
I’m a social media strategist at BuzzFeed Motion Pictures. Basically, this means I make sure we’re creating super-awesome video content that is impactful and shareable and makes people feel good. But when I’m not at work, I’m a hiker, design enthusiast, wine lover, and personal finance geek.
What’s your philosophy on work-life balance?
I work to live, not the other way around. When I’m at work, I give it my full attention and effort, but when 6 p.m. hits, I’m offline and out of work mode. I’ve always been this way, even when I was freelancing because I find it really hard to give the “life” part of “work-life balance” the attention it deserves when you start to blur those lines. Burnout is real, and it’s hard to live a healthy life (physically, mentally, or in your relationships) when you’re constantly thinking about work.
How do you make your big decisions?
I trust my gut. The more I mull something over, the less clear things become. I think we’re hardwired to know what’s best for ourselves, but sometimes we let outside forces get in our head and cloud our judgment. So if I have a good feeling about something, I usually just go with it. It’s rarely failed me in my career or personal life.
How do you commit to an idea or decide to pursue it further? Any advice?
Commitment has always been hard for me, and until recently, it’s been difficult for me to even admit that I don’t often stick to something long enough to call myself an expert on it. I like to do a lot of things, both personally and professionally, and it can sometimes be frustrating because I’m constantly dropping one interest in favor of another.
If this rings a bell to anyone reading, I would highly recommend the book Refuse To Choose by Barbara Sher. It talks about how some people are “scanners” — that is, they like to scan the surface of a lot of hobbies/jobs/ideas instead of digging deeply into one thing. It’s taken me years to come to terms with the fact that I’m very much a scanner and therefore my path is not linear or traditional in nature, nor can my success be measured by excellence in just one area.
But now that I’ve accepted that this is the type of person I am, I give myself permission to do a little bit of a lot of things, and it makes me a happier and (bonus!) more well-rounded person overall. So while I might not be working on the same stuff I was working on last month, I am being active and enjoying myself, and in that way, I’m staying committed to my goal of happiness and health.
What’s your definition of success?
Success means something different for everyone and is often best defined and measured internally. When we care too much about how the people around us are doing—or how they think we’re doing, we discount our own priorities and progress. Success is not measured by income or career progress alone.
Sure, some of us are career-focused. But some want nothing more than to have a big, happy family. Some could care less about all of that so long as we get to climb mountains or run races or do art projects every weekend. Who are we to say which of those people is most successful? Their paths aren’t even comparable. But each knows when they’ve reached their personal goals, and that’s what matters in their journey to success.
How do you Simply Kill It Every Day?
I love this phrase! It makes everyday achievement seem attainable. My go-to SKIED tactic is to remember that I’m in charge of my own life. If I don’t like something, it’s almost always in my power to be the one to change it. It seems kind of overwhelming, but it’s actually super empowering to address your problems from the driver’s seat.
Any favorite passages or a quote/words you remember each day that guides your life?
My favorite quote is“No true fiasco ever began as a quest for mere adequacy.” Click To Tweet
It’s from the movie Elizabethtown and I actually have it tattooed on my arm! It means that taking risks is worth it, even if you mess up along the way. We’re conditioned by society to believe failure is awful and scary, but it’s actually healthy to fail every now and then. Failure is proof that you tried something new, even when you didn’t have it all figured out yet. And you ask me, that’s about as admirable as it gets.
Too often we lose focus on creating better relationships with the people around us when we become consumed by our own ambitions. But we all have great life experiences and stories to tell.
And connecting with those we admire is a beautiful thing.
Major influencers are not the only people in life that can help or inspire us to find the right path. In fact, when we look only to influencers, it forces us to find the gaps in our lives and focus on what we lack. This is an unfair comparison and a sure way to drive ourselves insane. Yes, we should be ambitious but we must remember to adopt our own version of success.
Who would you feature in your life?