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.