"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
One of our first courses is on leadership. We were assigned a project called a "Reflected Best Self Exercise", a way to understand our strengths and contribution through a story-telling, feedback-seeking approach and analysis. Strength-focused development and performance has been all the hype in the large body of leadership development research and growing more popular in business and management theory.
By reaching out to people who know us well (and can provide honest opinions), it allows us to expand our understanding of who we are and what we do when we are at our best.
Reaching out to people and asking them to write three stories about you is one of the most uncomfortable and burdensome feelings. Seriously...who has time the take precious energy, emotion, and moments from their day to sit down and write three stories about me?
I'd see email notifications and would get nervous...oh god did they have anything to say? What if this cost them too much time?
........ I would get stories back and not only be blown away with the thought, thoroughness and detailed kindness in each response that truly gave me perspective and served valuable in understanding myself – almost EVERY email ended with something along the lines of “I actually really enjoyed doing this!”
Not only were these individual responses incredibly special to me, but for others as well.
I realized...we shouldn’t wait this long to hear how we’ve impacted the lives of others and where we best add value.
Never would I put this upon anyone to write about me had I not been forced to for class.
This gave me an idea.
SO for the next year, once a week I am going to send someone three stories.
I want to not only help others find their strengths, but also reap the value as the one writing - to reminisce, grow a sense of gratitude, and adopt a mind frame looking at the world in terms of what others have done for you.
It took me 4 weeks to realize that we don't own a stove-top pan/skillet/anything except for a pot. Got a cast iron pan, a tray and a pot 'doh.
I'll mention the two cast-iron pan recipes because it was super easy to do and clean up (score.) Side note: I apologize in advance for the vague directions (i.e. dash, scoop, sprinkle) I tend to eyeball when I cook ...so from here on out I'm going to do a better job with taking notes so I can replicate and share :)
1. Breakfast Cake
- Set oven to 350, put the pan in with a scoop of coconut oil
- Combine 1/4 c Almond Flour, 1/2 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder, 1/2 tsp Baking Soda, dash of salt, and some sprinkles of ground flax seed, with the liquid mix of an egg, a couple splashes of almond milk, tiny scoop of melted coconut oil, and a squirt of agave,
- When the oven's ready, pour it in the pan, put a handful of frozen blueberries on top and cook it for......honestly…I'm so bad…don't even know how long I cooked it for..I just smelt it and knew it was done. Let's say about 20 mins
Trader Joes has this incredible PB that has flax, chia seeds and is crunchy! Opened up a fresh jar and put a very generous "scoop" on top
2. Sizzlin' Breakfast Hash
- Roast chopped cabbage and potatoes drizzled with olive oil at 400 until crunchy (usually around 20 mins)
- In the pan coat with olive oil, drop in a handful of kale, add the roasted veggies, crack an egg, top with sliced tomatoes and put in the oven for another 10 mins
- Enjoy warm! (I topped mine with salsa for a little kick)
Kickin' off the week, Hayley and I head out for Barre...pull out of the street and get a flat tire.
We sure as hell didn't wake up at 5:30 for nothing. And what else was there to do while waiting for AAA than get that werk done.
*Cue spontaneous, full body kettle-bell, dumbbell, and stability ball circuit in the parking lot.
4 exercises, 4x - one for legs, one for arms and one for core...each round followed by a lap around the block.
We were wet. It was bad-ass. But it reminded me of a story my dad told me growing up..and soon I realized I'm not near as a bad-ass.
The flat tire was a slight reminder of an important lesson. As a kid, each morning my Dad would get up before 3am for work so he could drive and hour and half and get their before 6am…over an hour before he needed to be there. Why? The reasoning for this is you never know what is going to happen. Being late is the one thing you can control. We can't control how others act, traffic, situations around us but we can control being on time.
One morning on his way to work he got a flat tire. At 4:30 am he pulled over on the side of the road, fixed his flat and still got to work before everyone else. No one would have any idea that before they even arrived he had changed a flat and still got there early to get started on work.
....SO while Hayley and I may not have changed the tire ourselves (however, she did do a workout, meet with AAA, get taken to the tire shop, get a new tire, have breakfast and coffee (team effort), and be at school by 9), and I'm clearly not a grade-A bad-ass - it did remind me of the lesson to always do everything in your power to control what you can - being early and prepared, showing up with character, taking care of yourself, constantly improving yourself. With all the unexpected occurring day-to-day there are things we can control in our lives and that is where champions are made.