I was interviewed by the lovely Karmyn of Dreaming What Ifs...
#1 - You have been writing about living Fearlessly. What is the biggest obstacle you face to accomplish this?
Well, the most obvious answer to that would be “fear” is the biggest obstacle. But to get a little more specific, I think a lot of it has to do with self doubt. When I’m afraid to confront staff members, it’s mostly because I doubt whether I am blameless enough to have removed the log in my eye before addressing the speck in theirs. And I doubt whether I will offer as much grace as I need to. And I doubt whether I’m strong enough to handle their rejection and their calling out of my own flaws. When I’m afraid to try new things or take risks, it’s because I doubt my own abilities and I convince myself I will fail. When I’m afraid to take risks on new friendships, it’s because I doubt whether I’m an interesting enough person to make it worth their while. To be honest with you, I think self doubt is also a little about pride. I don’t want to tarnish my image by falling flat on my face. So this year is as much about challenging my own self perception (and recognizing how that gets in my way) as it is about fearlessness.
#2 - What is the most important lesson you wish to instill in your children about life?
There are a lot of things I want my children to learn, of course. One of my first responses to this kind of question is often “boldness”, but lately I’ve been thinking that integrity is more important than boldness. If they can live with integrity, being true to their values, true to themselves, and true to the global community, I will be happy. I think integrity is a pretty big word, because I think it also has elements of humility and servitude that are really important for each of us as global and community citizens. If I have to pick an area that I was particularly influenced by both of my parents, I think it would be integrity, so I just want to live in a way that passes that on.
#3 - If money were no object, where would you travel to?
Oh… there are SO many places I want to go. It’s always tough to narrow this one down. I’ve been lucky enough to already go to many of the places I’ve dreamed of, but there are still lots more. I just finished reading Honeymoon with my Brother (about 2 brothers who travel around the world after one of them is jilted at the alter), and it instilled a whole lot of new dreams in me and made me relive the really pleasant memories of backpacking in Europe with my sister (back in 1992 – can you believe we’re that old ccap?). One of the places that intrigues me (partly because I did a science fair project on it somewhere around grade 6, and more recently because of the book) is Brazil.
#4 - If you could meet any Leader, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
Hmmmm… This is another tough one. I’m trying to think of someone who wouldn’t intimidate me – who I could sit with in a congenial manner and have a really good inspiring conversation. I really hate those stilted conversations when you meet somebody who’s a celebrity or significant leader, and you just feel stupid and tongue-tied because you feel some pressure to be brilliant and live up to the moment. (In my past job, I met several big muckity-mucks like the 2 former Prime Ministers, Ken Follett and John Ralston Saul, and I didn’t enjoy it that much.) So my inclination is to pick someone who’s pretty down-to-earth. I think someone like Rosa Parks, who was just an ordinary person who made a decision one day that enough is enough. I am most inspired by ordinary people who make bold steps toward change. (I love the quote on this t-shirt.)
#5 - What is the one meal you cook that your family RAVES about?
Well my kids LOVE my homemade oven-baked mac ’n cheese. My husband is pretty tired of the mac ‘n cheese (as am I), but he loves my Thai noodle stirfry. (And if he reads this, he’ll probably beg me to make it for supper tonight.)
Anyone else want to be interviewed? Leave a note in the comments, and send me your email address if I don't already have it.