Setting My SXSW Intention

I’ve been doing a lot of yoga lately. At the beginning of class, we sit cross-legged, with our eyes closed, and our instructor directs us to “set an intention” for that day’s class. It could be something as straightforward as feeling more stable in a challenging pose, or it could manifest as a little more abstract, like working for greater happiness or a deeper knowledge of oneself.

I take intention-setting seriously, in yoga and in my daily life. I’ll be attending SXSW for the first time in a few days, so I’m going to consciously set an intention for my experience there. Here it is: I will reconnect with my passion for creating and sharing content, and be inspired by big, big thinking.

As a creative, the daily realities of working in the social space can at times feel granular–and truthfully, they can feel small. We start with big ideas, but the output ends up being a stream of pithy witticisms and pictures in little boxes.

Tweets, Facebook posts, Instagrams–they’re all fleeting. Here today, gone today. The voracious maw of social media opens wide each new dawn, hungry for more content. So we write the tweets, post the posts, and feed the beast.

But while creating always-on content can sometimes make us feel like a modern Lucy Ricardo in the candy factory that is the internet, social media at large has a tremendous impact on people’s daily lives. The things we create are seen by millions, and they share space with the people and things our consumers love. That’s a big deal–and it’s why our day-to-day work deserves big idea thinking.

Just as sitting cross-legged and focusing on nothing but breathing draws me into a state where I can reconnect with my own priorities, I’m hopeful that the SXSW panels I’m attending will pull my thinking away from the daily grind and into a big-idea mindset.

As a SXSW first-timer, I’m awed by the staggering diversity of the conference. But while social media-focused panels span a wide range of topics, not a single one of them has to do with how to craft the perfect 140-character tweet. There’s so much more to social than creating clear, concise pieces of communication, and I can’t wait to find out what the best minds in the industry have to teach me.

As yoga practice comes to a close, we sit cross-legged, with our palms open and facing upward toward the sky. This calm, open-palmed posture is symbolic of receiving all that we learned throughout class, so that we can receive the maximum benefit from our practice. I’m going into SXSW with my palms–and my mind–wide open.



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