Going Back in Time!
Last week, I went to my 45th High School Reunion at St. Paul’s School for Girls in Baltimore. I realize now that I was clearly privileged to get the opportunity to attend this school where their mission is: St. Paul's School for Girls educates the minds and hearts of girls in a supportive and intellectually challenging community that encourages respect, integrity, creativity, and spiritual growth, preparing them as independent and confident young women to embrace the extraordinary opportunities of our complex world.
What a cool example of a great Mission Statement (HINT, HINT for those of you working on your 2012 Business Plan!) and I’d have to say in my case, Mission Accomplished! Thank you St. Paul’s!
I was asked to address the morning assembly (Prayers) and spent some time revisiting memories! First, where has all this time gone? Oh my goodness, so much seems like just yesterday. Twelve of the 27 remaining of us (We still miss you Linne Bray and Lannie Seamans!) attended a wonderful dinner with the amazing Headmistress Dr. Gillespie and it was nice to see we haven’t changed a bit!
We were the mischievous class and I got to share some of our mischievousness with the students- I think shocking them when I told them one of the benefits of being a Senior was getting to smoke in the Senior Lounge!
As I wrote my speech, I thought of what life lessons I learned from being there and since then. Here’s part of what I shared:
“I know we are each unique and my answers are not your answers but I’d like to share a few ideas that have helped me along the way me very happy and satisfied.
Have a Vision and Dream Big! My husband and I haved loved staying at Kona Village,a special resort, on The Big Island of Hawaii. Unfortunately it was devastated by the Japanese Tsunami this Spring. On one of our visits, Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, who passed away last week was also there. As I passed by the surf shack where they beachboys gave us towels and sunscreen, I overheard him asking one of the boys…so what’s your vision for this place five years from now. I loved that…as much of my work is helping others define and then live their vision.
One of my favorite quotes by Steve Jobs described how I romantically see myself and the other members of the Class of 66. He said:
"Here's to the Crazy Ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers. The round pegs in the square holes.The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status-quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world - are the ones who DO!"
His Stanford Speech is also full of wisdom and if you haven’t seen it, watch and then start to connect the dots in your life
Now, I can’t say I’ve changed the world in the scale of Steve Jobs, but I have had the opportunity through my coaching to help myself and others change their lives to be happier and touch others
Take total responsibility for your circumstances. Don’t blame others, but find what you CAN do and then move forward.
Mother Theresa said 'If everybody cleaned their doorstep, the whole world would be clean'.
I ask my grandchild, Lily, each day what she has learned and who she was kind to. If we each do that every day: learn something and make someone else feel good, we can make a huge difference in the world.
I have realized none of us need to be famous and do great acts to make the world a better, and perhaps, kinder place.
Trust Your Heart and Have Faith. This has been a hard one for me. I am soooo impatient. The sign in my office says, “God Grant me patience and I want it right now!” I want to MAKE things go my way, but I have begun to understand that God’s plan and mine may not have the same timeline.
Another Theresa, St. Theresa, also called Saint of the Little Ways believed in doing the little things in life well and with great love.
Her prayer always gives me comfort:
"May today there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others. May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are. Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us."
And, lastly, always remember: You cannot afford the luxury of a negative thought. While you can’t always control your circumstances, you can control your reaction to them. Quantum Physics tells us what we focus on expands. I feel exceedingly rich and fortunate to have had the opportunities my education and my country have afforded me.
Every day above ground is a good one. In my personal world today, there is an abundance of food and water. I’m safe and there is no shooting going on around me. Life is good and I try hard to remember be appreciative and do what I can to live every day giving thanks and spreading love.
Last January, in my neighborhood, a crazy man shot our State Representative Gabrielle Giffords, along with killing 8 other people including a 9 year old little girl. As my town, Tucson, grieved, our President Barack Obama and his wife visited. His speech was one of comfort and hope. I was inspired by his thoughts when he said,
“What matters is not wealth, or status, or power, or fame –
but rather….. how well we have loved?
And what small part we have played in bettering the lives of others.”
And so…..I am grateful to be back home, appreciative of the lessons learned so far and curious of those to come in the next 45 years!