Fulfilling what YOU need – no matter what anyone else thinks

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Last week I cast my vote in the Minnesota primary and got an unexpected life lesson that had absolutely nothing to do with politics.

The voting started normally – I checked in, got my ballot, went to the cubby, and filled in the bubble to select my candidate. Then I took my ballot over to the scanner. That’s where I met the life lesson giver.

The woman manning the scanner was pushing 80 years old and perhaps the jolliest person I’ve ever seen. She made small talk as I submitted my ballot and I made small talk back.

And then, without any prelude or transition at all she said to me, “You know, I’m old enough that I just don’t care anymore. I know what I need.”

She wasn’t talking about voting or our government or anything having to do with politics.

She was talking about what SHE needed. On a personal, human level.

She needed to be around people. She needed the interaction.

She used to fulfill that need through teaching. Last week she fulfilled the need by volunteering to watch over the scanner – and probably chit-chatting with every voter like she did with me 🙂

I don’t know if this was a new realization that she could stop caring what other people thought and meet her own needs or if it’s something she’s been practicing for a long time.

Either way, I know with certainty you don’t have to wait until you’re 80 to unapologetically fulfill your needs.

You get to do it today, no matter what anyone else thinks.

What makes you come alive?

Woman leaping

In my blog last week I shared my favorite quote of all time by Howard Thurman: “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

I 100% believe this quote is true. You will have the most impact when you do what makes you come alive.

So how the heck do you know what that is?

Here’s a short exercise to help you figure it out:

  • Get out your journal
  • Write down at the top of the page, “I feel most alive when…”
  • Set a timer for 5 minutes and start writing!
  • Don’t pick up your pen until the timer goes off. Just keep writing. Don’t worry about grammar or if any of your responses are embarrassing or weird. You don’t have to share them. Just write.

Now’s the moment of true. Look back at what you wrote. Are you doing what makes you come alive now? Are those things a part of your life?

If not, what’s one small change you can make to get some more aliveness in your life?

I’d love to hear your reflections from this exercise – comment below or send me a message with your takeaways!

My favorite quote of all time

Howard Thurman Quote - Do Not Ask What The World Needs

Any other quote lovers out there?

I LOVE quotes. There’s something about them – so short and simple, but they hit right at the heart. There are many quotes I’ve gone back to time and time again over the years, but there is one that rises to the top above them all:

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Howard Thurman

I love this quote because it reminds us that you have the biggest impact when you tap into your true inner voice, follow your curiosity and do what makes you come alive.

You don’t have to suffer through a painful job just because you think that’s what you need to do to make a difference.

You can live in aliveness and joy.

It is possible.

What’s your favorite quote? Comment and let me know!

Brussel sprouts and learning to change your story

Brussel Sprouts and learning to change your story

I was conditioned from day one of my life to hate brussel sprouts. My mom HATED them.  She had an open vendetta against brussel sprouts.

She was unwillingly served them once at a restaurant and not only did she not eat them, she packaged them up and brought them home to prove to my brother and I just how disgusting they were.

I had a story in my head about brussel sprouts and it was in me DEEP.

For years I avoided brussel sprouts like the plague. It wasn’t hard to do – no one was making them in my family and they weren’t exactly on every menu in the 90s and early 2000s.

But then brussel sprouts made a resurgence. They started showing up at dinner parties. I saw people carrying around stalks of them at the farmers market. I noticed, but still didn’t make the move to try them.

And then I ate Thanksgiving dinner at a friend’s house and his cousin made roasted brussel sprouts. They were doused in olive oil, lightly sprinkled with salt, and roasted to perfection. They were crisp and tender and absolutely amazing.

The story I’d been telling myself for years was destroyed in a single meal.

That was two years ago. Today I legit CRAVE brussel sprouts. I buy the CostCo sized bag and eat them all myself.

By now you’re probably realizing this story isn’t just about brussel sprouts 🙂

It’s about all the stories you tell yourself. The rules you were taught growing up and are so deeply engrained now that you sometimes don’t even realize you’re following them.

I had a coach several years ago that told me in one of our calls, “The good news is you’re an adult and you get to change your story.”

You also get to change your story. You get to let go of the rules you’ve been following and create your own set of rules for life.

What’s your brussel sprout story? What rule do you need to let go of to have a life you love living?

 

Heather Whelpley is a coach and speaker that works with high achieving women to get out of their own way so they can have the life they want while making an impact. Click here to learn more about coaching.