“What are you passionate about?” That’s what I asked over 100 thirtysomething women who are breaking barriers in business and beyond — women who are driven by an inner fire. The top two things they are passionate about are:
Being a good daughter, mother, sister, wife/partner, aunt, granddaughter, friend and member of the community… and living a life filled with meaning and finding the “balance” to enjoy their lives.
For Dr. Christina Greer, an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Fordham University, a last minute decision turned into a wake-up call: “When I was getting my PhD I would miss important events with my friends and family because I was ‘getting the PhD’. Now I’m saying no because it’s summer and I’m not tenured or I have another book to write. There will always be something that will get in my way of spending time with friends and family, if I allow it. Recently I declined an invitation to my close friend’s wedding because of work, but I decided to go at the last minute. Not only was it the most beautiful wedding I have ever been to (including my own), but it was the last time I saw my uncle who died unexpectedly a few months later. Had I let work get in the way, I would have missed these important moments in life.”
Sloane Davidson’s motto is “She was never bored, because she was never boring.” As she was approaching the big 3-0, her life was going down the wrong path and she did something outlandish to fix it — something that many people dream of doing, though others may think is crazy. She Eat, Pray, Love-d her life through Argentina, Columbia and Ecuador. Now 34 years old, here’s a look at Sloane’s balancing act as she lives a life filled with meaning:
“I have big dreams and big plans but I need to be practical to put one foot in front of the other. That’s hard; it’s a hard place to be. I worry I won’t do everything I want to do in time. I worry I’m not making the right choices and that I should be doing more. Even with all the work I’ve done on myself and on creating positive relationships and being confident in my decisions, I still worry about that. Life is funny; some of us will live to be 90 and some won’t see their 30th birthday. We don’t know what will happen and if I’m being honest, I worry I won’t make the most of the time I have. I worry about the world. I worry that I’ve seen too much to ignore what is happening around the world and that even with so many of us working on local and global issues we’re too little, too late and we’re squandering this beautiful planet. I believe that I have to live for today but that I shouldn’t be reckless and that I should plan for the future but not wait for tomorrow to do what I can do today. It’s a balancing act.”
What else are these women passionate about? Here’s what they said:
1) Health – nutrition, sleep and exercise
2) Professional success – align passions with work, be an impactful leader, be financially successful
3) Connecting people and ideas
4) Gender equality and helping other women be successful
5) Learning — personally and professionally
6) Developing their children to become impactful, global citizens
7) Supporting causes that are meaningful to them, especially children, education, and racial and gender equality. They want to create legacies and impact in the world by leaving the world better than they found it.
What about you? What are you passionate about?
Denise Restauri is the author of Their Roaring Thirties: Brutally Honest Career Talk From Women Who Beat The Youth Trap now available