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Meet Trailblazer Heidi Siefkas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Heidi Siefkas.

Heidi, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
As an author, speaker, and adventurer, I’m proud to say that every decision that I’ve made in life NOW makes sense. Whether it was living abroad in Spain during college, getting my Master’s while training for the Boston Marathon, or writing not one book, but three. Along the way, many of my decisions were questioned by my friends and family. In fact, sometimes I wasn’t quite sure what would be the outcome of my choices, especially my adventures in Cuba.

I have chosen to write non-fiction books because my story is what I know best. Plus, Hollywood can’t make stuff up as good as real life. To compliment my writing, I’m also a professional speaker. You can check out my TEDx talks on YouTube or catch one of my talks onboard a Carnival cruise to Cuba. My decision to take a trip to Cuba turned into several years of leading educational tours across the once forbidden island, which in turn led to having enough material for my most recent book, Cubicle to Cuba. It is a fun read, which teaches readers about Cuba, but also inspires readers to think outside of the cubicle, head for adventure, and embark on their own Life 2.0.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Oh, I had a major bump in the road. Most know that accidents happen within five miles of your home. In my case, it was five steps. As I took out the trash and the last night’s pizza box, out of nowhere a thousand-pound tree limb struck me and knocked me out cold, breaking my neck. The next thing I remember is waking up in the ICU five days later. After a very painful, but a revealing year, where I not only fought to regain my health but also got divorced and lost my high-powered travel job, I had a choice: to rebuild the former life or architect a new one. Needless to say, I am one lucky woman to be here today in what I call my Life 2.0. It has been nearly ten years since my When All Balls Drop moment, but the experience has affected every aspect of my life.

What I learned or perhaps rekindled from my experience was the powerful life tool of perspective. I had no control over my accident or some of the ripple effect life changes that came my way; however, I did have the opportunity to switch how I looked at each obstacle. That’s why I created the Look Up Mantra. I share this powerful story with the world. Look Up reminds us all to: 1) Be in the moment, appreciating the beauty around us as well as hazards and 2) Find the upside in any situation. All hurdles, hiccups, and wounds turn into a lesson and wisdom.

Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I’m known for being an adventurer. I’ve hiked Torres del Paine in Patagonia, swam with glow-in-the-dark manta rays in Kona, Hawaii, whitewater rafted in Alaska, jumped out of more than one plane, and the list continues. Throughout my life, I have actively sought out adventure; however, it has been over the last ten years that I have honed my definition of adventure and inspire others to add more adventure to their lives. I define adventure a little bit differently than a traditional dictionary. To me, adventure is any new activity, perhaps fearful, that puts you in the zone. Adventure can be physical, mental, emotional, or a combination of all three. A first date can be an adventure. Learning a new sport like paddle-boarding is an adventure. Certainly, traveling can be an adventure. What every adventure gives us is a heightened sense of clarity and increased energy, two benefits of a buzz word nowadays, meditation. In fact, I believe in an adventure so strongly that I wrote in With New Eyes, “Adventure is my meditation.”

I encourage all to mindfully inject adventure into your routines. Doing the same thing over and over again doesn’t allow you to evolve to your Life 2.0. In fact, I think Einstein called it his definition of insanity. Honestly, I don’t recommend being hit over the head with a thousand-pound tree limb; however, you can tap into the power of perspective by choosing adventure. The more times you do it, the better and faster you get at shifting your perspective when life serves you a curveball or a When All Balls Drop moment.

What’s the most important piece of advice you could give to a young woman just starting her career?
Don’t be afraid of failure. To achieve great things, you must work hard, fall down hard, but most importantly, keep looking up!

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Getting in touch: VoyageMIA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Heidi Siefkas

    April 29, 2019 at 11:17 am

    Thank you Voyage MIA for including my story.
    Until our paths on an adventure…
    Here’s to looking up!

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