Wednesday, August 19, 2009

So Many Thoughts

I'm so tired... I really shouldn't be blogging right now. It honestly feels like it's at least 3 am, but no, it's only midnight.
The last two days (well really, if you count retreat, it's been four) have been spent as a facilitator at my school's Aggie BLUE (Building Leaders for University Excellence)conference. Last year I attended as a participant, but this go around had such a different impact on me! I feel like I need to get these feelings and such out now while they're still fresh in my mind :)
Aggie BLUE is such an incredible experience. I thought I loved it last year but this year I got so much more out of it. Being the one to direct conversation and point out the leadership qualities in the activities we did made it so much more real to me.
One of my favorite parts of the conference this year was when Larry Gelwix, the coach of the Highland Rugby team (made famous by the fabulous moive Forever Strong), spoke to us. He spoke for an hour but then the Q&A time turned in to another half hour. He gave us his 6 Keys to Success. For him it's how they are such a successful rugby team. (Since they started 34 years ago, they have gone 392-9!) However, we don't play rugby. We are leaders at our university and so he related the steps to us.
1. Lead horizontally
2. Don't play with snakes
3. See the finished product
4. Focus on the final score
5. Get out of the boat and drive the wagon
Now, to those of you who weren't there, some of those may seem odd. I'm don't have the energy to really explain those in depth, but if you want to know more let me know. A few other very impactful things that he said:
"It doesn't matter WHO scores, what matters is that WE score."
"Practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent."
"Don't eat the pizza first, and sweep the floor."
"Go do something differently!"
This man is incredible. If you ever have the chance to hear him speak, make sure you take that opportunity.
Another part of the conference that I really love is one of the last things we do. We all stand in a circle around the ampitheatre in the canyon. It's a beautiful location and we're surrounded by those we've become close to over the last two days. We go around the circle and everyone takes a turn saying "This year, I will..." and fills in the blank with something they plan to do this year. Whether it's to better themselves, better others, or make them a better leader, each person's response varies. This year I committed to take chances. And that my friends, is exactly what I'm going to do. I'm going to put myself out there even more. I'm going to continue to discover myself. I'm going to run for office. I'm not going to have any regrets.
It's amazing to me how much I've grown in the last year. I look back to this time last year when I was a participant at Aggie BLUE. That was where I met many of the people I work with and spend a lot of time with; some of my best friends. It was where the fire inside me was lit. It was the point where my life as I know it now began. I love the person I am today. I love where I am at in my life and I know I can only progress from here. I love the faith and confidence that those I work with have in me. The greatest feeling is knowing that you're doing well at something and I feel like that's where I'm at right now. I was worried going into this week that I was going to have a hard time initiating conversation and asking questions about the activities we were doing. I didn't know if I'd do very well in sharing experiences and thoughts that I have. However, things went so differently than that! I'd be sitting there as a discussion was going on thinking frantically on what I'd say next when all of sudden, before I knew it, I was talking. Things were coming out of my mouth that I hadn't even thought of. I was making a point and the students in my group were hearing it and taking it to heart.
I am so incredibly excited. The fire inside me is burning stronger than ever before. I can't wait to see what this year has to hold. I can't wait to see where I'll be at this point next year. Taking chances, no regrets. That's what this next year is all about.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Lifestyle Choice

We all hear the classic one-liners on optimisim...
"Look at the glass half-full"
"Look on the bright side"
"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade"
Things like that.
However, how many of us really take them to heart?
This last week, so many people how commented on the optimism that my best friend Erin and I have on life. Why are we so happy? Why do we laugh so much? How can we always be having fun? Those are the questions we've been asked, and really, it's a lifestyle choice. Marjorie Pay Hinckley said
"The only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it. You either have to laugh or cry. I prefer to laugh. Crying gives me a headache."
There's a comedian/magician named Tim Gabrielson. He performed at our school last year (and he's coming again next week!) and he said some things that I let truly imapct my life.
"When something happens, you can either react or respond."
Abraham Lincoln said
"In the end, it isn't the number of years in your life that matter, it's about the amount of life in your years."
I didn't necessarily love the movie Rumor Has It, but it had a great quote:
"Life SHOULD be nuts! Otherwise it's just a bunch of Thursdays strung together."
I love 30 Rock. Kenneth is my favorite. He said:
"I believe life is for the living, I believe in taking risks, and also biting off more than you can chew."
James Dean:
"Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today."
And finally, President Gordon B. Hinckley:
"In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured."
It's all so true! Why waste our time being miserable? Have fun, laugh a little, live it up.
*p.s I'll post all about my Baltimore/D.C trip next time... oh, and college football and how excited I am...