Consider the following tips for introducing a little SXSW into your life:
Stumble into the Unknown (AKA Ditch Your Plan)
The best way to find out what is going on at SXSW, beyond the public schedule, is to stumble into stuff. Walk into places that seemed strange, fun, or interesting. Follow a group of people headed in a different direction than you originally intended. You never know where stumbling may take you.
Blur the Lines Between Passion and Play
The networking at SXSW is crazy. So are the parties. So are the happy hours. So are many of the panels. So is the random conversation with people on the shuttle. SXSW blurs the lines between business and play in a way that seems so natural, where one isn’t fighting for attention and you’re not chasing the elusive concept of balance. Let it all blend.
Experience Life like You Only Have a Week to Do So
I was at SXSW for five days. And because of this limited time, I wanted to do as much as I possibly could. Not in a way where I completely exhausted myself, but in a way that was meaningful. I wanted the moments to count; I didn’t want to waste any. And “waste” took on a new meaning. Sometimes standing in a long line wasn’t a waste at all; it was an opportunity to stumble. More so, at SXSW, it was easy for me to measure the quality of my time there in experiences versus the default: money and material things.
Lose Some of the Limitations
Being at SXSW helped me see how often I put limits on myself in my normal day-to-day. How often I stopped myself from striking conversation with a stranger or stayed at home instead of attending an event alone. I let go of normal modes of operation and loosened up limitations. In the process, I allowed more of me to surface.