I was sitting in a recognition ceremony last night for young leaders and the guest speaker, who had spent the entire day with these young people, shared with the parents and guests what they worked on. It was nothing earth-shattering but a good reminder for both parents and students with all the pressures that continually try to define us and take away our individuality.
Her mantra was, "We are the choices we make." Think about that... We make choices every day and each one of those choices, no matter how small, builds who we are and will become. However, she cautioned everyone to make choices that are truly you and not made to blend in with the crowd. This reminds me of a Dr. Seuss quote, "Why fit in when you were born to stand out?"
The other thing she had us both do was to go and tell each other that we are not only thankful for and appreciate each other but to say I love you. After the commotion of executing that exercise she shared the loss of her oldest daughter in a private plane crash on her way home from skiing in Colorado. She shared this not because she missed out on saying I love you or that she was proud or appreciated her daughter. In fact, it was part of their daily routine. Her point was that she could be at peace because they had those daily communications and knew how much they meant to each other. She knew that her daughter had accomplished what she was put on this earth to do, that she had a greater purpose.
Lesson: Be grateful and appreciative. Make choices that reflect who YOU are NOT who you "think" you should be or who you "think" the judges feel you should be. Let the judges think for themselves and get to know the real you!