Pursue What Matters
Episode 53: One Year Anniversary!
Please excuse any typos, transcripts are generated by an automated service
Dr. Melissa Smith 0:00
Wow, I can’t believe it. It’s been a year since I’ve launched the podcast. Maybe it’s not that big of a deal to you. But it is a big deal to me and my team. And I’m so grateful that you’ve joined me along the way.
Dr. Melissa Smith 0:38
Hi, I’m Dr. Melissa Smith, Welcome to the Pursue What Matters podcast where we focus on what it takes to thrive in love and work. A year has been a year of bringing you a new podcast every week on how to thrive in love and work, I certainly hope the podcasts have been useful for you, I hope they have definitely helped you to thrive in love and work, and to see that you are meant to lead and you are meant to thrive. So that’s definitely my wish for you. And I hope that you will continue to join me as we look forward to the next year. So let’s let’s jump in. So you know, I spend so much time talking to individuals who are leading in so many important ways in their lives. But here’s the thing, they don’t always recognize the many, many important ways they are showing up and leading every single day in their lives. So if I had, you know, a wish, I have a lot of wishes. But if I had a wish, for many of these strong and amazing women and men who are leading out in their lives in so many important ways every single day, I wish that they could see the ways that they are leading. And I wish that they could appreciate it. Because for many of these people, they don’t recognize the ways that they’re leading, they don’t see themselves as leaders. And so they they don’t always, they don’t always step into opportunities, and really embrace, you know, their potential and purpose. And so, you know, one of the hopes that I’ve had for this podcast is that it could be a vehicle to really, you know, inspire and guide individuals to really step into that purpose and, and help help you pursue what matters and to develop the confidence and the courage to really step in to some of these opportunities. So that you can, you know, lead where you may be called to lead, and to recognize the ways that you’re already leading in really important ways. So, because, because that’s one of the things that kind of makes me a little sad when I see people leading, but they don’t always recognize that. So why does this matter? You know, like, why, why is this? Why is this a problem because, you know, sometimes it feels like a problem to me. But, you know, when we fail to see ourselves as leaders, we fail to understand our gifts and the ways that we can contribute, and serve and bring our best gifts into the world. And to me, like I just, I see that as a problem. Like I just, I really firmly believe that we are all here to contribute our best gifts. And that as we do that, we really, right, like we pursue what matters. And when we when we work to our purpose, recognizing that we each have a unique purpose, that that we bring out the best gifts in each other. And that that is like it’s the most incredible thing. And when we when we fail to understand our gifts, right, it becomes a loss not only for ourselves, but it’s a loss for the world. It’s a loss for those around us. And I just feel like that’s too high of a price to pay. So I I get really passionate about women and men, and really women especially coming to understand their true gifts and realizing their potential so that they can live to their full purpose. Because what I know that’s true is this. Right? We need your gifts. And we need what you can give us. We need your perspective. We need your understanding we need right like We need your irreverence, we need your laughter, we need your passion. And like I said, I firmly believe that each of us has unique gifts to bring into the world. And here’s the other thing, I actually believe we have a responsibility to cultivate those gifts, and to live to that potential and to contribute at our highest capacity. And I want to be really clear about this, that, you know, when we contribute at our highest capacity, this is not about ego. And I think this
Dr. Melissa Smith 5:37
is where a lot of people get it wrong. Like, I think sometimes people think that this is about ego, it is not about ego. It’s not about getting more followers. It’s not about stardom. It’s not about money. It’s not about fame, like it’s not about any of that, like that’s all just garbage. And I think that’s the that is the false counterfeit. And I think that’s actually one of the reasons, a lot of people shy away from moving to their potential and moving to their purpose, because they do not want to be seen as chasing ego. But here’s the thing, it keeps them from pursuing purpose. And that is just as undermining as pursuing ego. And so right, that’s just as problematic. And so what I want you to see, and hopefully, hopefully, we can take a look at today is that when we are talking about pursuing purpose, it is about service. And it is about living to purpose. So it’s about living may, I dare say, to your divine potential, to whatever that is for you, whether that’s God, whether that’s presence, whether that is your higher purpose, that at the end of the day, you learning to lead in your life, in whatever capacity that is, right. And that’s not for anyone else to determine. But that that is about fulfilling your calling to a higher purpose. And again, whether you call that purpose, God, presence or universe, this is the work we are called to do. And that is my invitation. That’s my invitation every single week with the podcast, that’s my invitation to you today. That is the call that I invite you to, again today on the year anniversary of the podcast. And you know, my hope has been that I can help you to hear that call in your own life, whatever the call may be. And I don’t ever want you to feel pressure, you know, for me or anyone else, that that call should look a specific way. Right? That it needs to be leading a big team that it needs to be working outside the home that it needs to be this it needs to be that because the call is so personal, the call is so unique. It’s so specific to you. But let’s let’s talk a little bit about what it means to hear that call in your own life. So, I’ve got I’ve got a few thoughts about this. So first of all, to learn to recognize what that call may sound like in your own life, right? And that really requires us to get so quiet. It requires us to get still it requires us to to push out all of the sounds that are competing for our attention. You know, and if we never, if we never turn off the sound of everyone else, how on earth will we know? What is calling to us internally? So a couple of questions for you to consider around hearing that call in your own life. Is it that little nudge to pay attention to an interest? Right? Like even like the slightest little nudge of like, this is interesting. Is it a thought that won’t go away? I’ve had those thoughts. I have had those thoughts for years. I don’t know about you, but like those little nagging thoughts of I describe it as the tap on the shoulder that won’t go away. You need to do this. Oh yeah, here it’s me. Again, you need to do this. You need to do this. You need to do this. And I’ve had that experience over years. So is it a little thought that won’t go away? Is it a passion that keeps you awake at night? Is it a hobby, something that just excites you that you just enjoy? Right? So it might not be a burning fire? But maybe it’s just it’s a hobby, it’s an interest. It’s something that you really enjoy? Is it a skill that you recognize in yourself? And instead of dismissing or minimizing or comparing, you begin to say, yes,
Dr. Melissa Smith 10:34
you begin to say, Hey, I’m good at this, I should continue on. Right. So for women, especially, we have this really undermining tendency to dismiss, minimize compared to say, it’s not that big of a deal. It’s just a hobby. I’m no good at it. This isn’t important, right? We have all of these limiting beliefs, all of these cognitive distortions, all of these stories that we tell ourselves that do not service and undermine our ability to hear the call in our own life. And so in that way, we become our own worst enemy. Don’t do that, we don’t want to do that. Because that call is so quiet in the first place. And when we start dismissing it, minimizing it comparing, right, like, we kill that voice. And we don’t want to do that we need to nurture that voice, we need to learn to listen to it, and pay attention to it and heat it. And so I really want you to challenge the ways you might be dismissing minimizing or comparing it. Okay, I’ve got a quote here from Steven pressfield, who I adore, oh, he is a truth teller. So he’s written several really great books, one of my favorites, which is boy it is it is truth telling of the first order. And it’s entitled, The I always have to think it through because it’s, it’s a play on, of course, in ancient text, but it is the War of Art, and it’s on writing. But it’s also it’s really for any creative endeavor. So good. And it’s a book actually, like I just reread, it’s not that big, but I reread it like every year, whenever I feel like I need a kick in the pants, which is pretty much all the time. But anyway, it’s really good book. He’s also written a lot of really great
Unknown Speaker 12:49
Dr. Melissa Smith 12:50
but great nonfiction great fiction writer. Anyway, this is his quote, the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it who that’s so true. And Steven pressfield talks a lot about resistance. And this is something that we really see happen, when we have that call in our own life is the resistance really comes in like a raging storm, to push against our ability to hear and respond to that call in our in our life. And we really Oh, we got to do everything we can to nurture that call in our own life. Another another thought that I want to share. And this is from Michael Hyatt, I don’t know if this is original to him. I actually just heard this from him on a recent podcast. And like I said, I’m not sure if it’s original to him. So I apologize about that. But I do think it’s such a great thought. But he said on the outside, often courage and confidence look the same. But often, you know, moving forward means doing something scared. And isn’t that so true? I mean, for when I look back on my own life, and a lot of the, the, you know what I consider kind of big decisions I’ve made or big steps that I’ve taken in my own life. Every, every single time like every single time, I did it scared. Like I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t know if I could be successful.
Unknown Speaker 14:29
Dr. Melissa Smith 14:30
I did it, you know, and like you just have to trust that as you take the first step that you know, there’s gonna be someone or something there to help you with the next step, right. Like we often have to take a step in the dark and have a certain measure of trust and tenacity, which is another thing that Michael Hyatt talks about, to just kind of see it through and that we don’t we don’t have to do that alone. So the first thing is To hear that call in your own life, whatever the call may be recognizing that that is deeply personal and specific to you. So don’t let anyone else. Don’t let anyone else set that agenda for you. Okay, so the next thing I want to talk about is acknowledging the call in your own life who and this one’s This one’s the hard one, right? So this is where we want to acknowledge the call without judging it. So some of the ways we judge it, the call, right? Good mothers don’t do this good. Women don’t do this. If I were responsible Father, I wouldn’t do this. If I were responsible Father, I wouldn’t quit my job and, you know, start this other business, right? So many ways that we judge ourselves, and we judge the Call Now, I’m not saying be irresponsible, right? Like, I’m not saying that for a minute. But when we are called, we need to acknowledge it. Right. And so often, we hide behind excuses, rationalizations justifications. And, and really, it’s just fear, it’s fear, and fear in the form of resistance, which is what again, Steven pressfield talks about. So acknowledge the call in your life, without judging it without comparing it. So that’s another really big one. So some of the ways that we can pair it. This isn’t this isn’t as good as so and so’s I don’t make as much money as so. And so, you know, well, this will never be as good as my sister’s, or, you know, well, I didn’t do as much schooling as this person or whatever, right? There are endless ways to compare ourselves. And in that way, not only do we undermine ourselves, but we denigrate our own
Unknown Speaker 17:03
Dr. Melissa Smith 17:04
in our own life. And it takes us away from purpose takes us away from our from our calling. And this is the reality, when we compare everyone loses, everyone loses because comparison always ends up in a one up one down. proposition someone always loses someone’s always better, someone’s always worse. Right? So comparison prevents true connection. Because think about comparison, someone’s always up, someone’s always down, which prevents on the level equal connection. It prevents the ability to truly see and know someone. And so when you have this tendency to compare, right, you’ve got to you’ve got to be willing to challenge that and say, Okay, do I want to compare or do I want to connect? Right? And often, right, when it comes to acknowledging the call in our own life, we compare because we’re scared, right? Where can we compare because we’re just freaked out. And this is the thing, it’s okay to be freaked out. But do it anyway. Move forward, right? Like Michael Hyatt said. Often it means doing a scared, and that’s okay. That’s how it is for most of us. And the other thing about comparison is, yes, there’s always going to be someone who’s more accomplished. There’s always someone who’s going to be better looking. There’s always someone with more education there. I mean, there’s always someone that’s making more money. So what, right like this, it’s your life, it’s your purpose, it’s your calling, stay in your lane. Don’t worry about other people, you just can’t as crazy making, and it will take you away from your purpose, it’ll take you away from your calling. And it that’s just such a recipe for misery. comparison is the quickest route to misery. So we just don’t have any time for
Unknown Speaker 19:12
Dr. Melissa Smith 19:13
Okay, so acknowledging the call in your life without judging it without comparing it. And the third one without resisting it. So right, this is the one where we think about Steven pressfield and his recommendation. So without resisting it, without trying to talk yourself out of it without saying like, No, no, I don’t think that that was really, you know, inspired. I don’t think that was really that tap on the shoulder that I’ve been feeling for the last 10 years. You know, don’t undermine your knowing. Don’t undermine the calling that you’ve received. Right, because that takes you away from trust that takes you away from intuition and That, right like that does not serve you. That’s not that’s not helpful for you. And so again, like, right, that resistance comes up as a result of fear. So instead of making excuses or saying like no, that really, like, that’s not really what I felt, that’s not really the inspiration I received, instead of moving yourself to a place where you’re trying to convince yourself that you can’t, you can’t trust your own experience, which I don’t know that you really want to go down that route. That’s, that’s not a great route for you. Instead of doing that, just acknowledge that you’re scared. just acknowledge that you’re scared. That’s okay. That’s actually really true. Okay, and then the fourth one, so acknowledge the call in your own life without fearing it. And then I said, Okay, well, maybe there is fear, but move into accepting it. And this is from this is from Oprah, who, you know, she’s always got lots of inspiration for us, she said, I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling, that’s as unique as a fingerprint. And that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love. And then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you. That’s great. That’s great. So discover what you love, find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, work hard, and allow the energy of the universe to lead you. So right, it doesn’t mean that you have it all figured out. But you’re willing to take the first step. And it’s okay, if you’re scared, but are you willing to accept and acknowledge the call. So that’s, that’s really what we’re talking about. Okay, so as I have talked about, my hope, with the podcast, has been, and continues to be that you can hear the call in your own life, that you can acknowledge the call in your own life, and that you can respond to that call in your own life, whatever that call may be recognizing that it’s very unique to each of us. And so, again, I have this thought from Oprah. So I heard her speak about this a year ago at a conference that I attended. And she gave an incredible keynote address about really, it was it was about pursuing what matters and being intentional. And at the end of her keynote, she said something that was really powerful. She, she said this, she said, I’m not special. She says, but I’ve always responded to the call that I have received, I’ve always been willing to respond to the call that I’ve received. And she says, and that has accounted for, for the life that I have now. Right. And she was not saying that, if you respond to your call, you’ll become one of the wealthiest individuals in the world, right? Like, because that’s not everyone’s call. But she was saying, like, there’s nothing special or unique about her. Right, it’s that she has been willing to respond to the call that she has received. from, you know, I think what she would probably say there is from her higher power.
Dr. Melissa Smith 23:46
And for many of us, we’re not always willing to respond to that call, because there’s a lot of fear there. So this is a quote from her Your job is, is not just to do what your parents say, what your teachers say what society says, but to figure out what your heart calling is, and to be led by that. So respond to that call in your own life. And then from Vincent van Gogh, your profession is not what brings home your weekly paycheck. your profession is what you’re put here on earth to do with such passion and such intensity, that it becomes spiritual in calling. So there you go, there’s some perspective there. So respond to that call in your own life. So some of the questions that I want you to think about as you think about responding to the call in your own life, is what does it take to learn to respond to the call in your own life? Right, so it takes encouragement. It takes courage, right? It definitely takes courage because it can feel kind of scary. It also takes some skill building because we don’t always know exactly what we need or how to do it. And definitely takes cultivating some confidence. Because again, right, like there can be so much fear in that process. The other thing that I want to talk about a little bit is this idea of clarity around calling. And, you know, of course, the podcast is pursue what matters. But a lot of times, when we start out on our path on our journey, right, we don’t have a lot of clarity about what it what it is we need to be pursuing and that call, and I think it’s really important to acknowledge that, and also really important to acknowledge that it’s okay, it’s okay that you don’t have clarity. I mean, I have not had much clarity about my own calling at all. But here’s the thing, right? Like, this is where we really want to pay attention to the little nudges, the little whisperings, the little intuitions, because those are, those are breadcrumbs, right, and they will help you to take the first step. And then the next step. And as you take each step, what you see begin to happen is that you develop more clarity, you develop more skills, you develop some confidence. And along that path, right, because the path is something I talked about all the time, you, you receive some encouragement, and you develop some skills, and you start to, you start to build a community. And so the fact that you might not have a freaking clue about your calling at this point, is okay, like, don’t be, don’t be worried about that. But, you know, one of the most important aspects of responding to the call in your own life is building community to really help you lead with confidence. Because, of course, you’re meant to lead you’re meant to thrive, but
Dr. Melissa Smith 27:30
you’re not meant to do it alone. So when you answer the call, you know, whatever it might be, you’ve got to trust that there will be a community to see you through to lift you up, and to carry you forward. And I can’t tell you how many times I have found that to be true, where I’m like, okay, like, I’m taking this step, but I have absolutely no freaking clue how to do this. And I felt totally alone. And when I started out, like, I mean, I was alone, except that that changed very quickly. Whether that was, you know, with starting my first business, and very quickly, finding a community of other small business owners, and then, you know, an MBA program and an NBA team, whether that’s with an online community with an accountability group, you know, I mean, you just got to trust that there will be a community to see you through. And you’ve also got to take advantage of opportunities, right, because they won’t necessarily fall in your lap. And that will, that’s one thing that I will say for for myself is that I looked for opportunities to build community. And that really has helped to make a big difference. Because it is hard to do it on your own, and you’re not meant to do it alone. And it’s, it makes it so much more enjoyable when you have that community because, gosh, leading is hard. It’s so so hard. And answering your call is really hard. So I love this African proverb, if you want to go quickly, go alone, if you want to go far go together. And I think that is so true when it comes to answering your call. Because we cannot underestimate the power of community for helping us to build confidence and connection and just this, this understanding that we’re not alone. And if someone has our back, whoa, that’s huge. So another great quote about this is there is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about. And that’s our Margaret Wheatley. And I really like that because when you find a community where you have alignment around vision, that can be super powerful because then right that can be a real powerful force for change and support. So you know, like, those communities will just fall in your lap. So you definitely want to be be watchful, and take advantage of opportunities. Of course, you know, I hope this podcast has been a resource to you, and in a way, you know, can help create a bit of a community for you. And so, today, I want to talk at this point a little more specifically about how I want to focus my efforts with the podcast, even more to really help you lead with confidence, so that you can answer your call to lead I mean, some of you are already doing that some of you are doing that in really powerful ways. Right, some of you are just getting started on that process. And some of you are, you know, doing awesome and really progressing a lot. And some of you are, you know, are like heading up the mountain and like, going like gangbusters and other people, like others of you might feel like you’re a little bit lost on your path. So you might be at different points on your path in terms of like answering your call and pursuing what matters. So when I think about what it takes to lead with confidence, and to not be undone by the challenges of leadership, and life, and self doubt, three things come to mind as really, really essential to leading with confidence. So these
Dr. Melissa Smith 31:31
are the things that I found most helpful to my leadership personally. And these are the things I found most helpful to other leaders. And these are the things that have been found time and time again, in the research to be most important when it comes to leading confidently. So these are the things that I really want to focus in on, because they’ve right again, and again and again has been found to be most helpful. So the first one is clarity. So to pursue what matters with clarity of purpose, have already touched on that just a little bit. But this is by Steve miracoli, the best way to succeed is to have a specific intent, a clear vision, a plan of action, and the ability to maintain clarity. Those are the four pillars of success, it never fails. So there you go, he’s got a lot of confidence about that. But so when we think about vision, and I’ve talked about this a little bit before, especially when we did 2020, beginning of the year planning, think about your vision as the mountain. And it’s kind of your what, like, what are you heading towards? and purpose is why like, why are you going to the mountain? Why are you Why are you heading to that mountain summit? Why does it matter? And you know, your, your plan of action or your path is, you know, how you’re going to get there. And it’s so important to maintain clarity about getting to that mountain, and sometimes that mountain is shrouded in clouds, right? Like, it’s, it’s not always clear, you don’t always have total clarity, about about like, okay, like, I don’t know exactly what term I’m going to take to get there. But you do have clarity about why it matters to get to that mountain. And so, you know, having, having clarity of purpose is going to really help you to answer your call, and to get you where you’re going. And that’s such an essential quality of leadership. And what it does is it helps you to remain steady in the face of uncertainty in the face of challenge and, and really like it just helps to create such a strong foundation for you. So that is the first thing that we really want to pay attention to. Okay, the second thing is curiosity. And that is to create a secure foundation of self awareness by cultivating curiosity. So this is by Whitney Johnson, and a leading predictor of C suite success, his insatiable curiosity and a willingness to learn. This learning agility includes learning to adjust the metrics by which you measure your progress. So Oh, and then there’s one more quote here by President Kennedy, john F. Kennedy, leadership and learning are indispensable to each other. So the point that I want to make around curiosity is that you have got to get curious about your own experience. And so when I’m talking about curiosity, I am talking about learning to turn towards your own experience. So this is where you get to Curious about yourself. And you really cultivate self awareness, so that you can learn to lead yourself, which helps you to lead others more effectively. Okay, so curiosity is all about creating that secure Foundation, right? Because you have got to have a secure Foundation, if you’re going to be in any position to lead others. So that’s what curiosity is all about. So it’s really, you know, the leaders got to be solid, if they are going to be in a position to lead others.
Dr. Melissa Smith 35:40
So that’s what curiosity is all about. And it’s so so important. And then the third thing, so the first one is clarity. The second one’s curiosity. The third one, of course, it starts with a C, right. So the third one is community. So build and lead dynamic communities. And of course, I’ve already kind of mentioned how so so important communities are. So a couple quotes here, no man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or get all the credit for doing it, right. Plus, they’re no fun to be around. We don’t want to be around those folks. So that’s from Andrew Carnegie. And then this is from Marissa Mayer, find the smartest people you can and surround yourself with them. And I think that’s, that’s very true, like work with people who are smarter than yourself, and don’t be threatened by them. So with community, right, we really want to write like, we really want to focus on the fact that leading is hard leading is scary, you can’t do it alone, you weren’t meant to do it alone. And so it’s so important that you build a community for yourself, so that you can lead dynamic communities. So there are two parts to that with community building and leading dynamic communities. So that’s what I really want to focus on as we move forward in year two of the podcast. And I’m so excited to really continue to focus on these things. I mean, I’ve been focusing on these things in this past year, but I really want to focus my efforts even more in these three areas, because I think it’ll be really helpful for you, I think it’ll be really helpful for me, as we really help you pursue what matters because here’s the thing, I care about you answering your call, I feel really, really strongly about that because I want you to contribute your best gifts, I need your gifts, the world needs your gifts. And so I, I feel passionate about helping you discover your gifts, answer your call, develop the courage, and the confidence you need to answer your call and contribute your gifts at your highest capacity, because we need your gifts. And so I’m really excited about bringing you podcasts in the areas of clarity and curiosity and community. So each week, I will, I will bring focus topics in these three areas. And so my hope is that we we can really build with this podcast, a community of high achieving leaders, right, that who are really passionate about pursuing what matters who are passionate about creating confidence, you know, not only for ourselves, but for those we lead, whether at home or at work, and who are passionate about about collaborating with like minded leaders and who are invested in work life integration, because right, like, um, I’m done with burnout. I’m done with sacrificing home for work, like,
Unknown Speaker 39:01
Dr. Melissa Smith 39:01
doing that anymore. And so if if you’re done with that, too, then, you know, join me let’s let’s keep up and build this community. And so, really, you know, what I’m invested in is a community committed to clarity of purpose, curiosity about our needs, all while building and leading dynamic communities. And so, really like refusing to accept the tired notion that we need to sacrifice our well being in order to lead and getting fierce about cultivating connection and our most important relationships, because at the end of the day, that’s what matters most. I mean, I like there’s nothing that matters more than that. And so, I think, like, we we’ve got to have clarity about that. And so, always being clear about what it is that matters. Yeah, so I’m excited about that. And I have tons of different topics in each of these three areas. And so as we move forward with the podcast, I will just at the, at the top of the podcast, I’ll just let you know, okay, hey, today we’re talking about clarity, or today we’re talking about curiosity. Today, we’re talking about community. And I hope it can be really helpful for you. And I also hope you will give me feedback about what you want to hear about what’s going to be helpful for you, what is going to help you to answer your call, what is going to help you to develop your gifts, what is going to help you to pursue what matters, I really want to help you to do that. So I would love your feedback. I’m on Instagram, Dr. Melissa Smith. So you can connect with me there, you can connect with me on my website. Definitely. I want to hear your feedback and what will be helpful. I’m going to continue with book reviews, if that’s helpful. If that’s not helpful, definitely let me know about that. I’m such a geek about that. Because I do think the books are helpful, and it’s great to stay up to date on the research. So if you have suggestions about books that you want me to review, let me know, give me a shout out I’d love to do that. So you know, most of all, I just want to thank you so much for being here and supporting the podcast supporting my one year anniversary. That’s That’s awesome. Like I said, our team, we’re excited about it. It’s been a blast. I’ve enjoyed it a lot. And just want to thank you for being a part of it. So make sure you head on over to my website to check out the shownotes with all the great resources for this episode at www.drmelissasmith.com/episode-53 one more time. That’s www.drmelissasmith.com/episode-53 one year I can’t believe it. So I’m Dr. Melissa Smith. Remember love and work, work and love. That’s all there is. Until next time, take good care.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai