#2 – Connie Mckeage – Self-resilience, Balancing Life, Leading from the Heart & Trusting Your Gut

I’ve con­scious­ly learned to trust my first impressions/thoughts when doing a record­ing (before our old friend self-doubt creeps back in after a day). This time my gut told me ‘YES! Now that went deep and it felt right!’…Thank you very much, gut, now let’s write up some reflections…

I actu­al­ly strug­gled to sum­ma­rize the sheer amount of themes Con­nie and I delved into on Episode 2 — there was so much gold! 

From the chang­ing def­i­n­i­tion of what a ‘man’ is, to the very def­i­n­i­tion of hap­pi­ness, to men­tal health, decen­tral­i­sa­tion of the work­force, com­par­i­son to oth­ers vs per­fec­tion, impor­tance of one’s voice and bal­ance in life. Most promi­nent­ly, how­ev­er, we vis­it­ed and revis­it­ed the notion of hav­ing sus­tain­able bal­ance in life.

Although we did some great prep pri­or to the record­ing, one nev­er real­ly knows exact­ly where an episode will go. Which is total­ly fine — after all, the intent is to not pre-script and speak from the heart, see what hap­pens on the day. But it’s still a road that isn’t clear, and for some­one that tends to live in the ‘mas­cu­line’ (pre-plan and cook the hell out of a plan before going live) this can lend itself to quite a bit of ner­vous­ness if one is still pret­ty new to all this (put’s hand up).

I’ve always had a warm but busi­nesslike rela­tion­ship with Con­nie. That tends to hap­pen when you work for some­one. There’s trust and appre­ci­a­tion, but you’re still on the pay­roll to work. 

Look­ing back, I nev­er thought we’d con­nect on such a deep and mean­ing­ful per­son­al lev­el togeth­er. So Episode 2 was real­ly spe­cial because we tran­scend­ed between the busi­ness and per­son­al worlds, and did so with authen­tic­i­ty and poise.

To have had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to hold space with some­one of Connie’s cal­iber — an inspir­ing, award-win­ning, super-suc­cess­ful entre­pre­neur and CEO — was just mag­ic. To hear her speak with such impact and insight on such an abun­dance of top­ics rein­forced all the tribu­la­tions and doubts of my own in get­ting here. It felt right. 

And in my opin­ion, these are exact­ly the sort of con­ver­sa­tions we need to have as a society.

As we weaved through many inter­est­ing top­ics, the notion of liv­ing a bal­anced life real­ly stood out to me as the key theme. 

More and more West­ern soci­ety is real­is­ing that ‘sta­tus’, mon­ey and titles are only com­po­nents of the over­all ‘hap­pi­ness’ or ‘ful­fil­ment’ pic­ture. Although for gen­er­a­tions we’ve been col­lec­tive­ly mar­ket­ed to, both overt­ly and sub­lim­i­nal­ly, that that’s all ‘it’s’ about, peo­ple are wak­ing up. There’s more to it. These things may give you sat­is­fac­tion for a short amount of time, but the nature of the human exis­tence is to always want more. Need more. Yearn for more. Deep­er stuff. 

Whether it’s hav­ing those clos­er con­nec­tions to fel­low humans, or giv­ing back to oth­ers through your time, mon­ey and atten­tion — Con­nie high­light­ed and bril­liant­ly sum­ma­rized what made her life ful­fill­ing through ‘four slices of the pie’ (in the last 10 min­utes of the episode). 

After all, humans are social crea­tures, and even though in the West we’ve grown apart from our ‘tribe’ with our col­lec­tive focus on indi­vid­u­al­i­ty, one could argue we’re still hard­wired to yearn for a sense of belong­ing, of giv­ing back, of feel­ing con­nect­ed not just to self but to oth­ers as well. What bet­ter way than to give agency and choice back to peo­ple through char­i­ty that allows them to tread their own path in the future. And what an exam­ple for all of us.

I would also like to rec­og­nize and pay trib­ute to Connie’s ear­ly life sto­ry. Expe­ri­enc­ing a tough upbring­ing at the hands of a vio­lent alco­holic father, and need­ing to find your own strength and for­ti­tude to swim rather than sink — this is wor­thy of great respect. 

Own­ing your life, your deci­sions and your path, trust­ing your gut, lead­ing from the heart and not blam­ing any­one else for the bumps in the road — now THAT resonated! 

With the pletho­ra of chal­lenges await­ing the cur­rent and upcom­ing young gen­er­a­tions, to hear a fig­ure like Con­nie share her sto­ry and inspire strength via gen­uine, action­able advice can have an incred­i­ble rip­ple effect on those that watch and listen. 

After all, we are not in con­trol of many ‘macro’ events in our life, but we CAN con­trol our inter­pre­ta­tion and reac­tion to them. To this effect, I hope Connie’s mes­sages can tru­ly inspire young women (and men) to seek bet­ter and over­come their own neg­a­tive cir­cum­stances on their path.

It would be awe­some to chat with Con­nie again and delve even deep­er — hope­ful­ly she’ll have me again 😉

Also, I did­nt for­get to clean the cam­era lens this time!

I hope you’re enjoy­ing lis­ten­ing, watch­ing and read­ing with me…let me know your thoughts on all this, and as always, may suc­cess be with you!