Saturday, March 8, 2014

Imposters and Moons

Today, a woman came up to me at the author's table at the WAI conference in Orlando and thanked me for my talk yesterday.

She said, "It was during your presentation that I had an epiphany, I realized 'I am an imposter.'" She went on to explain how she had held a whole string of illustrious jobs in the aviation world and she hated every one of them. She had only followed that path because of her father's nudging. What she really wanted to do was write. She said, "Thank you. You have given me the inspiration to pursue my own dream instead of following someone else's dream." 

That is pretty powerful stuff.

Whether talking to grade schools, high schools (the toughest audience!) or adults, the commonality is that we all have dreams, some of which have been unrealized because of fears, or external pressures, or uncertainties about how to proceed. I don't pretend to be the queen of dream-makers. There are amazing women and men out there who have conquered the world in truly extraordinary ways. But it's not about conquering the world or making lots of money; It's about doing what you love and find rewarding, whether it be running a Fortune 500 company or quilting for homeless people. Despite what the world may try to convince us about success, the only true definer of your success is your own heart.

Whatever it is a person wants to do, I tell them "Shoot for the moon." I say, "Even if you miss, you'll land on a star."

Last week, I saw a card with that exact saying in a bookstore. Darn! I thought I had made that one up!

Happy dreams to you all!

xo, Cate

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Happiest Place on Earth

Today marks my third day at Coronado Springs Hotel in Disneyworld, Orlando. I came for the Thursday-Saturday Women in Aviation International Annual Conference. And I came a day early to enjoy a little Florida sun, which has remained shy at showing its face. My sole regret, however, is that my baggage decided to take the long way here, only just arriving today, and leaving me for two days with yoga pants, a jean jacket, and no makeup. Lovely. But I try to look at the bright side - I was forced to obtain some new duds at the outlet mall yesterday, so as to be ready for today's presentation.

Speaking of the bright side, I asked the gift store attendant if everyone here got special training to be smiley and friendly. He said no, it was just expected. And isn't that a wonderful thing? Although I have
occasionally scoffed at Disney properties for their facade of life as a clean, happy, whistling-a-tune-as-I-go kind of place, I rather like the concept. For a while anyway. I am not suggesting that we all go around with foolish grins or Pollyanna attitudes, but imagine how we could alter our realities if we each made a little more effort to be friendly, attentive, kind, and considerate.I don't think it would take away the raw edge of life, but it might blunt it a little bit.

This picture is of me (in my baggage-lost-had-to-buy-it new dress) and new friend, Kathy, from Connecticut. Kathy is a flight instructor and aspiring writer. We talked about flying, airplanes, writing, dreaming, universal guidance, and life philosophy both before and after my speech. She is such a nice person, she almost puts Disney employees to shame. At 26, she's already conquered so much of the world, and with a smile.

Best part of my job, as author and speaker: 
The awesome people I meet.

xo, Cate