There is a little voice in your head that nudges you to wander left rather than right from time to time. The new path may lead you through a playground of fresh sights that make you smirk, make you giggle, or even make you uncomfortable, but it’s the variety that life has to offer that gives you pause as your body moves in a direction that may not have been planned but feels right – at least for a while.
We all have curiosity. Some of us dismiss it and choose to follow a routine, retreading safe, planned routes that we’re confident we can execute well. Others stray from normalcy and listen more often to that inner wondering voice, giving it volume and clarity the more we accept where it takes us.
A walk with Lauren Carbis may have you running to keep up; the creative director of The Prevail Project has been flexing her curiosity long before the cat. The visual learner’s CV narrates some impressive chapters of her story: she helped Fortune 500 companies successfully develop and implement brand identities; she styled famous Canadian George Stroumboulopoulos, host of CBC’s George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight; she poured her energy into REALgirl, a female empowerment and skill development program in Los Angeles; and she coached and mentored high school students as part of a leadership program.
In 2014, her entrepreneurial spirit led her to Microsoft’s Peel Startup Weekend, a grassroots movement that brings like-minded idealists together to learn the basics of startups and launching successful ventures. It was there, two years ago this weekend, where she was a finalist for a presentation which has since evolved into The Prevail Project.
While it’s hard to precisely pinpoint what has driven Lauren so far, there is a community of women who are glad she has continued on her path and served as a connector and a champion for work she deems worthy. The Prevailers featured on this site share a valuable commonality; they are women who’ve tailored their successes with diverse careers and exceptional lifestyles. Their ability to balance social and professional success – or to continue to strive to – is both interesting and incredibly encouraging.
“This is a platform where there is no judgment,” explains Lauren. “I’ve always asked people for help, and the more I followed my curiosity, the more I felt alive and on the right path. Connections are everything in this world – imagine a place you could come and learn from inspiring women who share their perseverance, their unique experiences and stories, and get to know how they solved the challenges they faced.”
This platform is more of a community: one where you’ll partake in stories that touch on habits, challenges, talents and disciplines from a multimedia perspective through photography, video, and writing. The women on the site testify conversationally and sincerely, often empowering others with the choice to change. Prevailers understand that collaboration, not competition, especially in a world that is more connected each day, is paramount.
“So many people feel lost in their careers and don’t know how to transition into something they would like to do,” says Lauren. “There really is enough room in the world to create the career and lifestyle you want. I also feel there is a lack of time and/or care for self-development. I am always looking to better myself and to find new ways to explore my creativity. It’s crazy how much of a difference it makes to spend some time every day getting clear on what you want and checking in with yourself.”
Starting a conversation with yourself is far from crazy; in fact, you could even say you’d have to be nuts not to. Traditionally this has sometimes been carried out by writing in a diary, but today Prevailers are pushing the boundaries of how this can be accomplished. When the conventional education system doesn’t address self love, creativity, or alternatives to society’s norms it’s up to individuals to actively seek out what works for them; yoga, meditation, or other forms of physical, social or emotional stimulation can be a breath of fresh air – a sort of walk in the park for your spirit.
It wasn’t that long ago that Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love) was slinging coffees at diners and pursuing her “real job” – writing – after hours. Today her choice to follow her curiosity has resulted in a flourishing career as a published and accomplished writer and much sought after public speaker. As she says, “You do not need anyone’s permission to lead a creative life.” While this may not look similar to everyone, as long as we’re clear on what success means to each of us, and we’re open and willing to constantly evolve, connect, persevere and follow our intuition, the women collaborating as part of The Prevail Project will continue to be living proof of this sentiment.