Every December, Tracking Wonder gathers a dynamic group of individuals for a free online program we call Quest: 12 days of collective envisioning with 12 inspiring influencers, providing instigations and insights for those on a quest to do business as unusual in the new year. Together, we seek meaning, integrity, and impact in life and career while remembering that Do It Together beats Do It Yourself.
The Quest community includes hundreds of bold Business Artists: writers, teachers, artists, healers, entrepreneurs, and more. Each one has a different reason for Questing – a different fire that drives them to pursue a new way of doing life and business. As we prepare for Quest 2017, which begins on December 1, we asked a few of our veteran participants to share #WhyIQuest and what Quest has meant to them.
Today, we’d like to introduce Jennie Benjamin, writer and founder of Realizing Connection. Jennie has been running with us for a while now. On the Quest last year she strengthened her commitment to developing and helping others to develop meaningful and valuable connections. She discovered useful tools and invaluable support from fellow questers along the way that would allow her to powerfully communicate her vision and ideals throughout the year. With the help of her peers,
Jennie was able to meet the challenges that come with fear and insecurity head on and to envision a year in which she would go beyond them.
Why did you join Quest?
I joined Quest in December 2015 to challenge myself to consciously envision the year ahead. In the past I’d created a list of goals at the end of each year, but I longed for a context to help me project into the next year in a deep and meaningful way. Almost as important as the challenge was the desire to be in a supportive, diverse and power-packed online community. I met Jeffrey Davis, grand-master of Quest, earlier that year and was wowed by his natural ability to gather thinkers, makers, and entrepreneurs engaged in work that strived to reach the heart and make a difference. I wanted to run with that pack!
What role did community play in your Quest experience? How did you benefit from (and/or contribute to) the power of DIT over DIY?
I’ve always loved teamwork, and so the idea of DIT was right up my alley. At the same time, I can be pretty competitive. Sometimes I push potential friends and allies away because I fear that we cannot all be successful, or that they are better than I am, or that they will think I have no idea what I am talking about… all tired, old, run-down stories. What I knew in my heart, and re-learned as part of Quest, was that there’s a space for each of us at the table. I’ve made some amazing connections and new friendships in Quest. We’ve stayed in touch and supported each other all year. My work is better, my reach is wider, the way I present my work is more nuanced and considered, and my “connection bucket” is full due in great part to the community I’ve found and enjoyed in Quest.
What was the biggest surprise of last year’s Quest? What about the biggest challenge—and how did you overcome it?
I’ve had so many “aha” moments, but there’s one that keeps on giving. On the second day of Quest last year we were asked to come up with a question we’d be willing to be devoted to for the following year. Well, my life has been pretty full of answering other people’s questions. Mom, wife, school volunteer, co chair of a local non-profit… I’m good at helping others with their big questions, but not so practiced at looking at mine. I decided I wanted to create a video to express how I’d been feeling about my place in the world and how I’d like to show up. It became my theme in early 2016 as I planned and promoted my work in the world. Not only did it mean a lot to me, but it had loads of positive feedback from the Quest community. Gratitude, stories of others’ own hopes and dreams, happy tears shed, memories shared. A few hours with Quest and Quicktime reminded me of the vision for my business, and allowed me to see that so many others wanted what I hoped to create. Flash forward to this Fall, when I was on a Mastermind immersion with Tracking Wonder. I’d forgotten about the video midyear, when I was caught up in great activity and feeling
pretty purposeful. We were asked to present our current project to the group and I’d struggled with a way to succinctly express where we’re going with Realizing Connection. On a walking break an hour before my presentation, I remembered the Quest video. I was heartened to watch it again, and then to blissfully realize I’d been on this track all year long. When I shared it with the group, as an introduction to my work, again there were tears of recognition and longing. It was magic. This Quest “aha” moment really lasted the year, and keeps on going.
How has Quest continued to play a role in your life or business throughout 2016?
The biggest surprise of last year’s Quest was deciding to host an online, virtual pilgrimage while leading a group on the Camino de Santiago in the north of Spain called “Walk to Reconnect”. Though I’d set my sights, and calendar, on leading the tour in Spain last July, the idea to invite friends from anywhere and everywhere to join us virtually on that reflective and connecting walk didn’t come until a few weeks b
efore we left for Spain. With the help of the Tracking Wonder team and the support of the Quest community we had a fun, insightful, and successful virtual pilgrimage with a short turn around and more people “pilgrim-ing” than many expected! I heard from magazine editors who wanted to learn more about our work. I collaborated with professionals across many fields and built skills I wouldn’t have otherwise. It was deeply rewarding to be part of connecting people who wanted a container and community for purposeful walking and reflection. The stories and testimonials afterward made my heart sing! My Quest pals were among the ambassadors, participants and even contributors. This dream come true was a true Quest DIT, a blissful surprise and a great platform for building my vision doing business as unusual and growing Realizing Connection.
Join Tracking Wonder this December for 12 days of collective envisioning with 12 inspiring influencers and a crew of fellow Business Artists: those on a quest to do business as unusual in 2017. Together, we’ll seek meaning, integrity, and impact in life and career while remembering that Do It Together beats Do It Yourself.
Join the Quest at http://bit.ly/quest2017 – then, join us on social media and share your reason #WhyIQuest.