I was introduced to Gaby about a year ago and knew from the moment we met that she was special. She is wise beyond her years and I consider her an “old soul”. I believe wisdom doesn’t come from age, it comes from core values, how you deal with life experiences and how you choose to live your life. It’s interesting how each person we meet brings with them a very distinct energy. Some people walk in a room and bring sunshine and others bring a monsoon. Gaby, needless to say, brought sunshine. I could continue to write about how impressed I am with her as a human-being, but I’d rather you see for yourself. Enjoy the Q&A session with Gaby:
1.Where did you grow up?
I grew up in the “middle of nowhere” in rural central Minnesota, on 40 wooded acres that became a playground and classroom for life.
2. What were the greatest lessons you learned growing up in your family?
- There is always a way
- Panic kills
- Never give up
3. What makes you happy or what does happiness mean to you?
I love being surrounded by close family and friends and building positive, healthy relationships with them.
4. What is your favorite word and why?
Adventure. So much of development and growth in life comes through exploration and a sense of adventure. There is always an element of challenge and risk involved with adventure, and it’s through these experiences that push me outside of my routine and comfort zone that I’ve seen the greatest growth in myself.
5. What is the most powerful force on the planet and why?
Love. Love in its truest form serves others and does no harm to others. It can heal, encourage, and grow.
6. Share your favorite quote and why it is your favorite.
“What you believe, determines what you will do”. – Unknown
So many people say they have a set of beliefs about God, about themselves, about life… but their actions don’t match those beliefs. What you truly believe, will direct what decisions you make in your life. If more people paused to examine what the roots of their actions and thoughts were, I think they would be surprised by the conclusions they reach about what is driving them. And it probably wouldn’t be what they would have said they believed. It’s easier to say we believe in something that sounds good, and have it as this ‘ideal standard’, than it is to really examine what beliefs and attitudes are behind our thoughts and actions, because that often requires us to see and accept things about ourselves that we’d rather not.
7. Who do you most admire and why?
One of the people I admire most is my mentor Martha, because she exemplifies living each day according to her purpose and beliefs and is unapologetic for it.
6. What are 1 to 3 things in which you are grateful?
Family, friends, and adventures.
9. What has enriched or changed your life the most and why?
Apart from my faith, my travel experiences have been some of the most developmental and life changing for me. Travel takes you outside of the day to day status quo, and often puts you outside of your comfort zone. Especially when travelling internationally, you have to be more aware of what’s going on around you and how you fit in to your surroundings. This causes you to become more aware of your own thoughts. It’s often caused me to rethink things that I take for granted, and question what I do and why. This mental process has carried through to my day to day life, and I’ve learned many lessons from it.
10. What empowers you to take action?
The vision of what can be, and the path to get there from where I am.
11. How do you overcome challenges?
First, I have to accept that the challenge exists, and that where I am, isn’t where I want to be. Then I make a plan of action to move forward. Sometimes, I have to take a step back to re-center and re-focus before I am able to do this. From there, I move forward a little at a time, staying focused on the goal of overcoming the challenge, and using that vision to keep me going when I face setbacks.
12. How do you deal with stress?
I pause. I have to take a step back from the stressful situation or stimulus, to be able to approach it with clarity and respond, rather than react on instinct to what is going on around me. This gives me greater control of my decisions and actions.
13. What drives your life decisions?
My beliefs about life and truth are the framework from which I make life decisions.
Thank you Gaby for sharing your story. There is so much we can learn about each other if we just slow down and take the time to inquire. Consider taking a little bit more time this week getting to know someone better. You might even consider pausing and answering the same questions I asked Gaby. Who knows; your answers may surprise you or even inspire you.