We had the good fortune of connecting with Christine Galib and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christine, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?
“You will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free” John 8:32. This is one of my favorite quotations, because it inspires and encourages me to keep seeking and knowing the Truth. Knowing the Truth enables me to think and act in ways that align to the Truth – because I am set free from being held hostage to what is not true. Sometimes, it is hard to see the Truth: it can get covered up with too many distractions. Or, our brains will try to invent things that it thinks are true — such as trying to fill in our blind spots or filling our minds with the worries or anxieties that may tell us we are not worthy or not enough. But, these are just thoughts, and not all thoughts are true. So how do we know what is true – how do we know the Truth? Well, Truth-seeking and Truth-knowing become very, very important work. The Truth is always true (by definition, that’s what makes it the Truth), no matter where we are or what we find ourselves facing or in what system we find ourselves. The Truth is always there, we may just have to work a little harder to uncover it and see it. Once we know the Truth, we are set free from the lies that might try to cloud our vision — we see right through these lies, recognizing them for what they are — and we set our sights on the Truth. John’s writing always reminds me to set my sights on that which is the Truth, so that I can align my thoughts and actions to it. When I think of the Truth, I always think of Inception. In Inception (such a great movie!), the totem serves as a mechanism to help individuals discern the difference between their dream and their reality. I think to help us navigate the challenges we face in this life, it’s important to have our own totem to help ground us in reality – in the Truth. Once grounded in reality, we can move forward to accomplish our goals and create change that is not just different, but better.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My career has been a non-linear adventure from Day 1! After graduating from Princeton University, I co-founded an investment management group on Wall Street. We managed money for non-profit institutions. We sought to do well by doing good. While on Wall Street, I founded Plan My Plate and became an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. Plan My Plate offers leadership, management, creativity, innovation, and wellness consulting. I then joined Teach for America, teaching science and health and wellness. I also pursued my M.S.Ed. from the University of Pennsylvania and learned from professors with whom I would later co-found Bridges to Wealth. As Senior Director of Programs at The Ion, I am responsible for The Ion’s Programs and direct The Ion Smart and Resilient Cities Accelerator. The Accelerator supports selected startups as they develop and deploy technology that connects ideas, people, and communities in Houston. I received my doctorate from Drexel University and my speaking, writing, and research interests include entrepreneurial mindset development, creativity, innovation, leadership, mindfulness, wellness, and apologetics. One of the things I’m most proud about is contributing a chapter to The Wellbeing of Women in Entrepreneurship: A Global Perspective! My non-linear adventure was definitely not easy and it is definitely 150% worth it – I absolutely love what I do and I am very blessed to be able to do it! Along the way, I have learned many important lessons, including how to be an empathetic listener and a life-long learner. Being an empathetic listener helps me deepen my own self-awareness, uncover an individual’s or situation’s actual, underlying need, and pivot – realize when, why, and how to change course. Being a life-long learner helps me cultivate my curiosity by stimulating my mind, deepening my expertise, and taking me out – way, way out – of my comfort zone. The thing that always keeps me going, especially when the going gets tough, is “my why.” Once I found something worth dying for, I knew that every moment of my life, I was going to live for it. We get only a handful of moments on this side of Heaven to make our world not just different, but better. I know how I’m using mine – How are you using yours?
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If you have a friend visiting town for a week, what are some spots you would take them to?
A week-long trip to Houston! Well, we would walk and run in the parks and neighborhoods everyday. I love being outside — yes, even in the Houston heat. Houston has some great parks: Buffalo Bayou, Memorial Park and new 100-acre Clay Family Eastern Glades, Hermann Park, Discovery Green, Terry Hershey Park, and so, so, so many more. So every day, we’d explore a different park or neighborhood. A trip to Houston would also not be complete without visiting The Ion! Right now, the old Sears building is being renovated and is under construction – slated for opening in Q1 2021. Seeing how the past, present, and future come together at The Ion, and observing the construction progress, are incredible and make me very excited for what is to come for The Ion and Houston’s Innovation District. When we open, I’d love to welcome you at The Ion! The Ion is the anchor of Houston’s Innovation District, which will introduce a new kind of urban district to Houston – prioritizing street life, public space, and a mix of uses that embrace technology, community, and sustainability. (ionhouston.com) No trip to Houston is complete without visiting our incredible museums and of course NASA! We have so many and a great starting place that would help us plan our visits is: https://houmuse.org/. I have too many favorites, but one in particular that I love is Houston Museum of Natural Science – I could (and have!) spent hours there! We’d also go on a tour of Houston’s murals: https://houstonmuralmap.com/ Also NASA, which for me is in a class of its own. I love learning about outer space and Houston’s history of space innovation and exploration. Technology — and medicine, healthcare, and energy — is in our DNA. I just finished reading Prophetic City (pick up your copy if you have not already done so!), and am inspired by the fact that we are at a very exciting time in our history as a city. Prophetic City articulates everything I love about Houston, spotlights the changes we still need to create, and charges all Houstonians with an ambitious call to action to do the work ahead of us the Houston way: by rolling up our sleeves, coming together, and getting it done. The worst kept secret among Houstonians, but perhaps a little known secret among non-Houstonians, is that Houston is quite the foodie capital. There are so many great places here, and you can find whatever food you want in Houston. One of my favorite restaurants is Sixty Vines – their hummus is superb. To help us find places, a great resource is: https://houston.culturemap.com/news/restaurants-bars/ Also, because I’m from PA, we would have to go to Rita’s Water Ice when we explore the Heights! I know water ice is not really a Houston thing, but nothing beats walking around the Heights with a water ice to keep us cool in the Houston heat. Speaking of beating the heat, we’d also head down to Galveston for the day if we wanted to get to the beach and the wema (http://www.downtowngalveston.org/wema.html) district! Houston has so much to offer – it’s a matter of wandering around and exploring to find the hidden gems!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
It is very difficult to pick one person, so I’ll pick two. My parents. who instilled in me the value of faith, a strong work ethic, and an insatiable intellectual curiosity, and never dampened my creativity and entrepreneurial inklings.
F. Carter Smith (Credit for me holding the microphone in front of The Ion sign inside). Christine Galib (all other images)