After a two-year absence, South by Southwest returned to downtown Austin, Texas for a weeklong conference on thought leadership, tech, film, comedy, music and more. Though the majority of the events haven’t even happened yet, this past weekend was the opening of the conference, bookended by panels and seminars that brought light to new marketing techniques, the latest wellness trends and a surprise spotting of “Better Call Saul” star Bob Odenkirk in the lobby of the J.W. Marriott.
Odenkirk is a man with a purpose, and so he walked straight past us to promote his new book and the final season of “Better Call Saul,” which we’re not complaining about. Instead, the past weekend taught us that there was one collective movement animating each seminar we attended.
It’s that finding your community and connecting is important. And once you do that, no matter what the project might be: Take your time, do it right and don't stress. This purposeful mantra served as the interconnected theme across tech, healthcare, business and creation. And it additionally connected us back to the past two years, when SXSW was first canceled in 2020 and then virtual in 2021.
Now that the conference is back, it’s less about rush, rush, rush to do everything and more about taking your time to enjoy what you’re doing around people that nurture your purpose.
And to achieve that end, Amazon Prime Video Global Chief Marketing Officer Ukonwa Kuzi-Orizu offered up a mental wellness challenge. A challenge that she shares with her fellow employees at the beginning of each week.
She asks her co-workers how they are doing. BUT, her co-workers are not allowed to answer with a simple “Good.” And what she found was enlightening. Instead of a customary form of polite communication, she discovered a new level of interaction that was eye-opening and allowed for her to better identify sore spots or troubling issues in her organization. Essentially, she became a better coworker by elevating interaction, and she fostered community in the process.
So, in summation, find your tribe, create with purpose and try not to stress too much about things you can’t control. Now take that wellness hack and run with it. And don’t forget to ask “How are you doing?” along the way.