Mission 101: Satisfy As Many Passions As You Can …

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Career, Happiness, Maria, Personal Mission, Side Hustle, Uncategorized

 

~ by Maria Katrien Heslin

As a career coach and teacher of two career-related courses at Indiana University, I spend a lot of time helping people explore some of life’s biggies:

What matters most to you in life?
What do you do well that you really enjoy doing?
How can your strengths translate into meaningful work?
What big issue do you ache to solve?
If money were no object, how would you spend your time?
What’s your mission?

And many more …

The goal of this self-exploration is to help people identify (and then attain) the type of work that will make them feel like leaping out of bed with enthusiasm every morning, or at least most mornings!

For some, this professional bliss is just a dream, a luxury. But for many of us, it’s a delightful reality. And naturally, helping people achieve this success is incredibly satisfying work!

What’s even better is that when we feel content and fulfilled by work, we often find that our minds and energy are free to pursue even more interests either as hobbies, side hustles or purely for pleasure. Doing so can allow us to add a bit of lagniappe to our personal mission.

For me, this includes serving as a volunteer State Council member for the Humane Society of The United States (I love animals); contributing to publications such as Governing magazine, HuffPost and my team blog, Thrivers (I enjoy writing); and co-lauching a new organic T-shirt line called Quite The Tees (this one encompasses oodles of my interests!).

At first blush, a T-shirt line might sound like a pretty straightforward pursuit. But with Quite The Tees, my mother/artist/cofounder and I infuse a little humor, sass and smarts, while celebrating empowerment, education and the environment. Let me explain.

First, each tee features a specially chosen word or phrase intended to prompt curiosity and discourse, and each is accompanied by a compelling, short, short story that tells the tale of a woman who embodies the word on the tee.

For example, one of our words is “bibliophile,” with its accompanying story:

So Many Shelves To Fill …

No one recalled when, but it began the first time a librarian discovered a $20 bill in a copy of An Honest Thief. Sporadically, many more $20 bills would appear on the bookshelves. As time went on it was noticed that various books were missing; a lot of them.

Across town an elegant woman is putting the finishing touch on her table for a dinner party — fine china, ivory damask linens, silver gleaming in the candlelight. She surveyed the lovely room, taking particular pleasure in the hundreds of books on floor to ceiling shelves surrounding her.

bibliophile … one who collects or loves books

Next, we didn’t want our words to grace just any old boxy, stiff tee. We looked long and hard to find T-shirts that felt soft and cool, had a flattering shape and collar, and were good for the environment. Ours are made from an all-natural blend of 70% bamboo and 30% organic cotton.

Bamboo is one of those amazing kind of plants because it produces a 100% biodegradable fiber and it’s one of the fastest growing plants on earth. It also can be grown without pesticides and harvested sustainably. Bamboo requires less energy and water to grow; it absorbs moisture; provides added protection against the sun’s harmful UV rays; and it contains a naturally occurring anti-bacterial agent.


Bamboo also feels incredible on the skin. It’s an especially soft and breathable fabric — cool in hot weather and a great insulating layer in the cold — so it works year-round. What’s not to like about that? The cherry on the cake is that the shirts are Made in the USA, which holds several earthy benefits, too.

The fine art of conversation is languishing as all too often we reduce it to 140 characters or we flagrantly choose the company of our smart phones over the person right before us. This T-shirt line is designed for discerning women who appreciate colloquy. We feature little known or underused words in English and other languages because we’re one world, and sometimes things are best said in French. Or Portuguese. Or Swahili.

Wear a shirt that says “limerent,” and people will talk! You’ll look smart, you’ll inspire curiosity, and perhaps some actual communication and connection will spark.

A portion of profits from the sales of our Tees will go toward supporting the missions of organizations that benefit three of our favorite Es: empowerment, education and the environment. If you are part of such a group and would like to explore a partnership, we’d love to connect with you.

Quite The Tees is a fun and meaningful pursuit that allows me — when I’m not coaching, teaching, advocating or writing — to indulge in a little creativity; share my fondness of fashion, comfort, communication and language; and support some causes I care about deeply.

Mission accomplished.

 

by Maria Katrien Heslin | website | email | Twitter | LinkedIn

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Don’t Let The Big Dogs Scare You

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Career, Communications, Interview, Olivia, Public Relations, Skills, Uncategorized

by Olivia Humphreys ~

A Tale about Communication, Adoption and The NFL

My boyfriend and I recently adopted the world’s sweetest dog, Flora, from the Clay County Humane Society. According to the shelter, she is a lab/terrier mix, almost two years old, and was brought in as a stray by the police.

She’s actually as sweet as she looks!
She’s actually as sweet as she looks!

Now that we’ve had Flora for a few months, we know what she likes and what she doesn’t like.

What she likes: snuggling, terrorizing the cat, chewing on bones and sticks, Puggles (her best friend at the dog park is a Puggle named Roxy), and playing chase and wrestling with small dogs.

You don’t even have to be sitting down for her to want to snuggle.
You don’t even have to be sitting down for her to want to snuggle.

What she doesn’t like: being left at home, retrieving balls, being introduced to new people, when new people try to pet her, and big dogs.

For the most part, she gets along just fine with bigger dogs. But about once a month, typically when she’s chasing a Puggle, a few big dogs will start to join in the fun and Flora’s reaction is to become incredibly submissive, roll over and cower.

When this happens, the other dogs will pick up on her energy, begin nipping at her and refuse to let her run away. There’s typically a lot of barking, yelping, teeth baring, and people trying to corral their dogs when this happens.

So far, she’s come out of each attack unscathed physically. Mentally, she’s set back a few weeks and it takes a lot of coaxing and interactions with nice big dogs to get her comfortable with them again.

So at this point, you’re probably like, this is a nice story, but what does this have to do with me?

If you’re a person who can go through life completely confident in every social situation you’re ever in, then absolutely nothing. You can stop reading now because you probably won’t learn anything else.

But if you’re like the rest of the world, chances are there are situations that make you wish you could cower and run away to your happy place.

For a lot of people, this situation occurs when you do something Flora doesn’t like to do either: meet new people for the first time.

Going up and talking to someone is incredibly terrifying. Trust me, I know. But if you’re a person working in the communication industry, you have to learn how to overcome it in order to start networking.

There’s one experience that helped me overcome my fear of talking to people, and it didn’t happen in college. It happened at Super Bowl Media Day in 2012, when I was a senior in high school.

Me with the other contest winners.
Me with the other contest winners.

I won a competition for high school sports journalists that enabled me to go to Super Bowl Media Day. I assumed it would be set up like a regular press conference and I would sit there and watch all of these professional journalists interview Tom Brady and Eli Manning and a few of the other players and coaches.

Man, was I wrong.

Basically, the event takes place on the entire field. There are booths set up for the star players to sit in and everyone else on the team wanders around the field with all of the journalists.

Andre Brown from the NY Giants
Andre Brown from the NY Giants.

So, picture this in your head. I’m an 18-year-old tiny girl surrounded by these giant football players, a lot of them stars, and I can just walk right up to any of them and start talking to them.

 

Brian Waters from the NE Patriots in one of the special booths
Brian Waters from the NE Patriots in one of the special booths.

Much like Flora is now, I was a terrier in a pen full of German Shepherds, Great Danes and Rottweilers.

It was positively terrifying.

Until I realized one extremely important detail: they were people, just like me.

They were all just as excited to be there as I was and were so happy to talk to me. You can see how excited and friendly they were in the video I made for my internship at D3TV at DePauw University.*

Danny Woodhead may have been the only player on the field who was my size
Danny Woodhead may have been the only player on the field who was my size.

Although I made a fool of myself by asking absurd questions the lesson learned that day is the one that has been the most valuable to me in my career as a public relations professional. I understand that not everyone can go to Super Bowl Media Day and interview football players to get over their fear of talking to people. But for anyone in the communications industry, it is so incredibly vital to be able to talk to anyone about anything at anytime.

And when you start to see people as actual people and not their titles, it makes it substantially easier to do that.

Yes, I still get butterflies in my stomach sometimes when I talk to “important” people, but it doesn’t ever stop me from actually talking to them. It definitely takes a while to get comfortable just walking up to people and talking to them, but don’t be like Flora and let bad experiences discourage you or set you back.

So you have a choice, continue to be the terrier that cowers and only ever plays with Puggles, or be the terrier that learns to run with all of the dogs at the dog park.

*You can also read about my experience at Super Bowl Media Day here.

 

flora

 

by Olivia Humphreys | email | LinkedIn | Twitter

Olivia

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