From information to transformation: entering out from the conference experience.

Author:Whitecar, Michael
Position::Conference news


There is a saying that one needs to go out onto the balcony to look inward from outward to reflect on their lives and surroundings. I am one for going out to my own balcony, but I did not realize that it would take a balcony over 8,000 miles away to appreciate truly and be thankful for who I am and what I have.

Upon accepting an invitation to attend and present at the University of Botswana, I did not realize that my one-week journey would have such an impact on my own life. When returning from Botswana, I stood on yet another balcony reflecting on the previous week. The feelings of gratitude, appreciation, and acceptance of diversity continually resonate in my mind as I think about my own reflections, the people of Botswana, and the children who make their country smile.

With that said, I am reassured that my family and friends know their place in my heart. Yet I feel the need to recognize publicly the people of The Chief Information Group (TCIG) who have been with my business partner Mike Green and me, for over four years. I am appreciative of their loyalty, character, and commitment to serve our clients.

Reflection is very important in life if we want to understand who we are, where we are, and where we want to be. One might think reflection is relatively easy; yet traveling halfway around the world to a far off continent causes a different and deeper experience of reflection. First, I obviously knew that I was no longer in a customary environment. Different types of people, their behaviors, their native languages: these all surrounded me. I was enveloped by a terrain of nature that is one of the most spectacular one can see. For a brief yet important week, I was jarred out of my regular life and catapulted into something vastly different. This moved my native ways of reflecting on life into new territory of its own. This altered my view on life and thrust me into a different perspective.

My first step to authentic and meaningful reflection is to be open and welcome all the things different around me. Living in America, I like to believe that I have the perfect life, but by widening my lenses during the conference, I was able to see different angles of the world. Seeing far better places does not mean that I wish to alter my life, but instead it changes me. Everything we do in life starts with a single thought and I am in control of the path to which the thought leads. It is with this thought that I was able to be open to this new-found awareness and to digest my new surroundings; I was able to grasp the person that I am and accept the person that I was to become.

I reflected in the hotel, as I walked a busy street en route to the University, and in the evenings as I attended dinners with some of the most interesting people I have ever met--some of whom only live but a few miles from me at home.

There was one particularly interesting moment. I was challenged with getting over jet lag when I was...

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