Last week I flew to DC to attend a three day conference held by the Jewish Federations of North America. During the conference I was able to reunite with friends and mentors, hear from some incredible speakers on topics concerning the Jewish community, and last but not least be reignited and inspired in my goals and dreams to move to DC and work in a Jewish organization.
Here are some of the best thoughts, ideas, and quotes I gained during the conference.
- It is easier to act your way into a new way of thinking than it is to think your way into a new way of acting (A.J. Jacobs).
- As a leader you have to be really good at repeating yourself. After sharing your message a thousand times it still needs to sound as exciting and inspiring as it was the first time (Eric Fingerhut).
- Challenge all assumptions (Scott Brown).
- Designing better futures starts with designing better conversations (Lisa Kay Solomon).
- Making a difference starts with making a connection (Chris Westfall).
- The best conversation is about what your listener is thinking. How could your organization help or affect them? (Chris Westfall)
- Ego is a real hindrance in development work, its never about you (Richard Bennet).
- Update your thinking to represent the changes around you.
My own realizations:
- At conferences the real learning happens in the hallways, person to person.
- Never be afraid to ask for help, people love to share their story.
- A portable phone charger is a must!
- Listen more than you talk.
- Show up to meetings prepared.
- This is exactly where I am supposed to be. I feel an unmistakeable, irreplaceable, unfaltering connection to the Jewish people and over time my passion for this community continues to grow.
Stepping back from real life and completely immersing myself in DC, was exactly what I needed at a time in my life when the future seemed so uncertain. It is incredibly surreal to me that in just a few short months I will be graduating from college and finally entering the real world. The future that I have been working so hard for all this time is right around the corner and I plan to enjoy every moment of the ride as I continue on this JOYous journey!