At Alt, there were so many inspiring things all whirring around us.
There was a sense that we were all there and in on the same secret:
that all of us were truly passionate about this dream that we could see and hear and feel on the pulse of the horizon.
We had the most amazing keynote speakers. I got the chance to meet two of them up close.
The First was Ben Silberman, the Pinterest founder:
Ben spoke to us after lunch on the 2nd day of Alt. He seemed nervous before he started speaking, and looking out around the crowd, he said something to the effect of: "Wow. there's a lot of people here." and he smiled a large, nervous smile.
As he spoke, telling the story of Pinterest from an inspired view of the internet to a seed of a dream to a phenom, I scribbled down the things he said that jumped out at me (these are all as close to quotations as I could scribble and apologetically without context) :
"I want to be known for the things that I make, not for the things that I say."
" This was the story of my time, and I was doing the wrong thing."
"Even if you don't really have a specific plan. . . being close to people who inspire you is a really important thing."
"People succeed because they don't stop and eventually something breaks."
"Make one thing perfect."
Their motto at Pinterest in the early days:
"Move fast and break things."
"In technology, it's like Highlander. there can only be 1. . . "
It was epic.
That same day, we had the chance to heard Gretchen Rubin speak. I read The Happiness Project a few months ago, and I found it fascinating and very motivating. I was very excited to see her name on the program. About 30 minutes before her talk started, I was chatting with a new friend when I looked up to see Gretchen standing right next to me.
and, being the very smooth talker that I am,
I said something pretty close to:
"holy crap! You're Gretchen Rubin."
and she said, "Yes."
and then I started rambling and talking about how much I really enjoyed her book. It was a lovely 60 second talk. really.
Gretchen was as inspiring as I imagined she would be. She shared her tips for us to embrace our happiness:
"It is almost more important to think about being happier, than in achieving happiness."
"Some people are born tiggers and some are born eyores."
"If it's selfish to want to be happy, we should be selfish if only for selfless reasons."
"Technology is a good servant but a bad master."
"You manage what you master."
"The days are long, but the years are short."
and for me hearing her speak like reading her book brought me back to a place of peace with myself. The key to happiness (it seems) is obtainable but not without serious reflection and thoughtful effort. and, no matter what, the key remains that everyone's happiness is different because it can all be summed up as
That's me and not Gretchen in case you were wondering. 🙂
Next up: a short break in alt recaps to share some wedding inspiration.