Ginny Wilson-Peters' Blog
“It’s not about the direction you take. It’s about the direction you give.” Mr Holland’s Opus
I felt better the moment I began sharing with Greg, my husband. “ Honey,” I said, “I have been consumed the past few weeks with a desire to win this upcoming leadership award.” There—it was out and I could finally discuss it with him and begin to move forward. I knew I’d been operating from a place of anger and frustration for a period of time and that wasn’t how I wanted to be.
As I said, I had been consumed with a desire to win a coveted leadership award, and I found myself thinking about it throughout the day and especially at night before I went to sleep. I knew it wasn’t healthy, and I knew it was all about my ego attachment to winning an award. One of my teachers used to talk about the “Small ego” and the “healthy ego”. The small ego is the place where we attach our worth to other people’s opinion of us. The healthy ego is where we operate from our purpose, our mission in life. My desire to win the award was definitely coming from the small ego place.
Shortly after my talk with Greg I talked through my feelings with a group of close girlfriends. Thanks to my “Z” sisters, my movement out of the small ego and back toward the healthy ego continued. Throughout the ensuing week, I found myself interacting with person after person, and group after group from a more purposeful place. And the week culminated with a powerful experience on Friday.
Friday morning I met with a group that I’d met with several times prior. I thought I had the session planned out until I got in the shower that morning. I’ve learned to trust my intuitive insights, especially ones that come in the early mornings at shower time. As I thought about the group, I clearly heard a message to do the passion exercise with them. “Really,” I thought, “I’m pretty sure they’re going to resist that one.”
But, as I said, I’ve learned to trust my intuition. So, as I met with the group, I explained the exercise. In a nutshell, I asked each member of the group of eight to take 15 minutes and write an impromptu speech about a passion of theirs. Once done, they would each stand and give their speeches to the entire group.
“What if you don’t have any passions?” said one of the participants. I responded by gently telling her that I’d never met anyone that wasn’t passionate about something—their kids, a sport, or something. She continued to put up some resistance for a period of time, and I continued to gently ask her to give it her best shot. Within about five minutes, I saw her beginning to write some notes.
After about fifteen minutes, I invited each member of the group to share their speech with the group, and I was BLOWN away. The first person to volunteer was the woman who initially said she didn’t have a passion. She talked for almost five minutes about her passion around preventing teenage pregnancy. She talked candidly about how her own experience as a teen mom had impacted her life and how important it was to her to share her experience with others. A few of us were in tears before she was even done.
Another person talked about his dream to participate in one of the Honor Flights to Washington DC to accompany our veterans in viewing the World War II memorial there. Another person talked about her desire to be a role model for her children and how that also manifested with her role as a supervisor. Story after story that was shared was heartfelt and moving.
In hearing those stories, and experiencing the growth from that session, I knew that my purpose in life has nothing to do with winning awards, but really is about finding ways to nurture and inspire others to reach for the stars. To the authors of the passion stories, I say a big thank you. And a big “thank you” to so many people that have also changed my life in so many positive ways.
Oh, and I didn’t win the coveted leadership award.
“Of all the lives he changed, the one that changed the most was his own.” Mr Holland’s Opus.