Why it may be good to be confused: Mary Lo Verde’s Motivational Discussion at Oracle

Why it may be good to be confused: Mary Lo Verde’s Motivational Discussion at Oracle by Olivia O'Connell

Last week, we were treated to a call with Mary LoVerde, a renowned Life-Balance and Motivational Speaker. This was one of many events organized by Oracle Women’s Leadership (OWL). Mary made some major changes to her life when she decided to free herself of material positions and take each day as it came. Her life balance strategies have led her from working with NASA to appearing on Oprah.

Mary’s MO is “cold turkey is better than dead duck!”, in other words, knowing when to quit. It is a surprising concept that flies in the face of the “winners don’t quit” notion and focuses on how we limit our capabilities and satisfaction levels by doing something that we don’t feel passionately about.

Her arguments about quitting were based on the conception that ‘“it” is in the way of you getting what you really want’ and that ‘quitting makes things easier in the long run’. Of course, it is often difficult to quit, and though we know that things would be better if we did quit certain negative things in our lives, we are often ashamed to do so.

A second topic centred on the perception of Confusion Endurance. Confusion Endurance is based around the idea that it is often good to not know exactly what you are doing and that it is okay to admit you don’t know something when others ask you; essentially, that humility can be a good thing. This concept was supposed to have to Leonardo Da Vinci, because he apparently found liberation in not knowing. Mary says, this allows us to “thrive in the tension of not knowing to unleash our creative potential”

An anecdote about an interviewee at NASA was used to portray how admitting you don’t know can be a positive thing. When NASA asked the candidate a question with no obvious answer and he replied “I don’t know”, the candidate thought he had failed the interview; actually, the interviewers were impressed with his ability to admit he did not know. If the interviewee had guessed the answer in a real-life situation, it could have cost the lives of fellow astronauts.

The highlight of the webinar for me? Mary told how she had a conversation with Capt. Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger who recalled the US Airways Flight 1549 / Miracle on the Hudson incident. After making its descent and finally coming to rest in the Hudson after falling 3,060 feet in 90 seconds, Sully and his co-pilot both turned to each other and said “well...that wasn’t as bad as we thought”. Confusion Endurance at its finest!

Her discussion certainly gave food for thought, although personally, I was inclined to take some of it with a pinch of salt.

Mary Lo Verde is the author of The Invitation, and you can visit her website and view her other publications at www.maryloverde.com.

For details on the Professional Business Women of California visit: http://www.pbwc.org/

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