If you spent the weekend listening to inspiring talks and connecting with great minds at TEDxMileHigh Imagine, you may feel a “what am I doing with my life?” hangover as you return to your daily grind. Here are some ideas for a post-Imagine hangover cure.
After I attended my first TEDxMileHigh event, Monday morning arrived with a case of post-TEDx talk blues.
Over the weekend, I listened to big ideas from bright minds, met fascinating people doing cool things, and had conversations that were a dream in a world of boring small talk. I listened to speakers who not only had a purpose in their lives, but they had put their purpose into action and even did a TEDxMileHigh talk about it. The day and even weeks after were filled with existential questions and thoughts like:
- What am I doing with my life?
- Do I have a purpose? What am I good at?
- Will I ever feel as passionate about anything as the speakers?
- Should I change my path (I mean, redesigning spacesuits sounds way more important than the path I’ve chosen)?
- I need a new job, like yesterday
Okay, so this gives you a glimpse into my psyche, but even if your questions are less dramatic, the post-event blues still have a cure.
A Cure for the Post-TEDxMileHigh Imagine Hangover
Here’s a recipe to help you find some respect for your meandering and feel some movement in the right direction (select your favorite ingredients below):
1. Give Yourself a Break
Have a little compassion for yourself—and respect for the process. Everyone arrives at their passions and purposes at different times and in different ways. While the speakers all seem to have their sh*t together, you may find that many of them have taken circuitous paths along the way or even that they still have questions about the next steps. Read about how Ruth Soukup quit law school on her path and get advice from Marcus Doe on how the fear of success can hold you back.
You don’t have to figure out your life today: let your experience at Imagine sink in and integrate. No matter your age, you still have time to course-correct and pursue your passions.
2. Join a TEDxMileHigh Adventure
Each year, TEDxMileHigh works with speakers and the local community to create engaging, educational, and meaningful adventures. (Paula Stone Williams and Jovan Mays will each be leading adventures in the coming months.) You get one-on-one time with the speakers and can connect with others who share your interests. These adventures are free, with limited spaces available (sign up now).
3. Look for a New Job
This is a bold move but in some cases, you might not need help with discovering your passion (either you know it or you don’t feel pressured to have one), but the talks made you realize that you aren’t living with purpose. It might be time to search for a new job. If you want a remote job or part-time work so you can continue your side hustle until it is financially viable, explore FlexJobs. If you want to work for a mission-driven organization or non-profit, check out Indeed.
4. Find a Mentor
A mentor can give you sage advice on your journey. Connect with people in your ideal industry in a meaningful way on LinkedIn: let them know that you are passionate about their industry and would love guidance on your own career path. In some cases, you may find people that crafted your ideal role from a hodgepodge of experience. You could reach out and ask for life advice. I’ve found that, in exchange for tea or coffee, most people are eager to help others on their path. If the connection is a good fit, you could ask one to be your mentor.
5. Watch Past Talks
Here’s one thing you can do today: watch past TEDxMileHigh talks. Let these talks continue to inspire you as you craft your own passions. Here’s one from Imagine speaker Paula Stone Williams:
Did you know that two-thirds of the jobs that young kids will hold in the future don’t even exist yet? That is a hopeful number for any Gen Zers reading this. Here’s an interesting talk from Sarah Werner Konradi on redesigning playgrounds:
You could even share a few talks to start a conversation with friends and family. Stay tuned for the Imagine talks online!
6. Get Involved
There are many ways to get involved. If you were moved by a specific talk, you can get involved in that particular issue. At Imagine, César García Hernández spoke about immigration reform and offers ideas here for impactful involvement and volunteer work. Check out the blog for more ideas on how to get involved in specific issues. You can find your own meaningful ways to volunteer in your community: reach out to local non-profits in your area of interest and ask how you can help.
7. Connect with the Online Community
TEDxMileHigh has over 93k followers across all its social media platforms. These online platforms are a great avenue for connecting with attendees, speakers, and other curious minds. After the talks, intriguing conversations ensue online. Start with Facebook and Instagram.
8. Create a Plan
This cure is for people who have an idea of what they want to do (hello, anyone who wrote on the “before I die” wall), but maybe just haven’t actualized their passions. First, if fear is getting in the way, explore ways to overcome fear from Ruth Soukup. Next, it is time for an action plan. Here’s some great advice from Imagine Adventure presenter R. Alan Brooks: sit down and write out all the steps needed for you to meet your goal. Then, give yourself due dates for the first five steps. When those are done, return to your list and add due dates for the next five.
Remember to be yourself: don’t mistake your excitement for someone else’s contagious big idea for your own passion.
9. Audition for TEDxMileHigh
If you know your purpose and have a fiery passion, and you’ve actualized a big idea, you can audition to talk at TEDxMileHigh. The deadline to apply is December 15, 2019, and auditions will take place in Denver, Colorado on February 8-9, 2020. Check out these tips for what makes a great TEDx talk.
10. Attend TEDxMileHigh Journey
One cure for the post-talk blues is to plan your attendance at the next event. (Each time I return from an adventurous or overseas vacation, I start planning my next trip.) The next event is scheduled for June 27, 2020, and the theme is Journey. You can even start early and convince your boss to send you.
Ride the Wave from Blues to Action
Whatever you do, the surest way to avoid current and future TEDxMileHigh blues is to turn your frustration and malaise into action. Some of these steps are simple and will ease your return to the daily grind. Some of these steps will set you on a path for your own TEDxMileHigh talk. Like you, we care about our collective future and know how important it is to live meaningful lives. We want to see you each living an inspired life.