I remember being asked once, "If you had the chance to have dinner with anyone, who would you choose?" My response, Maya Angelou.
Maya Angelou's grace, humility, work in the world, and her words have been a source of inspiration. And since I can't sit across from her and pick her lovely brain, I often read her quotes.
She has hundreds, but here are my top nine. The nine that remind me, support me, and show me how to be epic in what I do and the life that I live.
"Not everything you do is going to be a masterpiece, but you get out there and you try and sometimes it really happens. The other times you’re just stretching your soul."
Many years ago my mentor coach sent me a card with this quote on the outside. That card hangs on the wall of my office where I can see it every day. It reminds me that it's OK if some of my work in the world falls flat. That each time I create something, each time I put my heart into something, I'm not only doing what I love, but I'm continuing to grow as a person, as a leader, and as a coach. And nothing supports my epic-ness more than growing and stretching my soul.
What stretches your soul?
"When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time."
So true! Even when a person is "showing" me a side of themselves that they think I want to see, my gut instincts are always on point. Anytime I've ignored or missed what my instincts have tried to tell me I've been sorry. Valuable lesson learned. Now not only do I pay attention to what someone is showing me about themselves, but I pay close attention to what my instincts are telling me.
How do you tell when someone is being their most authentic selves?
"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you."
Stories connect us. They make us feel understood and seen. And in telling them, we not only create connection, but we make it OK for others to tell their stories. While I still have some work to do when it comes to telling mine, I'm committed to sharing them. It is my hope in doing so that they help another in not only finding support, but in sharing their own.
What's your story and how willing are you to share it?
"If you are always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be."
Welcome to my life growing up. A life of trying hard to be "normal" so that I would fit in. In doing so, not only did I deny the qualities and characteristics that made me, me, but I made myself feel even more "abnormal".
(Thankfully a certain astrology reading changed all of that.)
I am a firm believer that we were all born to be epic (by our own definition). Not some cookie cutter version based on someone else's definition of normal.
What is normal any way?
"I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
This quote brings to mind a question; how do you want people to feel in your presence?
I want people to feel supported, cared about, accepted, understood, seen and heard. To accomplish that, it's important for me to listen with an open-mind and to always be curious. Curiosity (to me) opens the door to learning about another person, which equates to seeing them.
"You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you."
When I first started coaching 14 years ago, money became my goal. It didn't start out that way, but as a single mom, trying hard to make ends meet, it certainly became that way fast.
I learned rather quickly that having money as a goal only created a desperate vibe. And that desperate vibe not only repelled people, but made me forget why I became a coach in the first place.
I love what I do and it's my goal to keep loving it. Which means making my work in the world about being of service.. helping others to own their epic-ness so that the life they live and the work they do is also epic.
What do you love doing?
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”
YES! YES! YES! This, to me, is epic living.
"When you know you are of worth, you don’t have to raise your voice, you don’t have to become rude, you don’t have to become vulgar; you just are. And you are like the sky is, as the air is, the same way water is wet. It doesn’t have to protest."
I think this is why one of my core values is authenticity.
Do you know your worth? If you don't, please do not stop trying to figure it out. The world needs you to show up in all your worthy splendor.
"Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option."
We teach people how to treat us based on what we will and won't allow…and most importantly, by how we show up.
I used to show up as an option, putting other people's well-being ahead of my own.
Now (as a recovering co-dependent) I understand that the only person's well-being I can be responsible for is my own. Which means that I'm not showing up as an option any more, because I'm not treating myself like one.
How do you treat you; as an option or a priority?
There they are...my top 9. I hope they inspire you to stand in your own epic-ness, as much as they inspire me. At the end of the day, we were all meant to live and work from that epic sweet spot.
Until next time, I wish you much ...