Lisa’s Story

by Mary Mazzoni on July 18, 2011

Lisa is a well-respected employee and colleague.  Her work enriches the lives of children.  She’s an active person who spends time doing what she loves and enjoys relationships with many people.

Check out her story in a three minute video here.  I’ll wait.

What can we learn from Lisa?

A lot.  Young people everywhere can benefit from her example.  We parents can too.  Her recipe for success is timeless.  Seems to me it has the following ingredients:

Discover your passion

As a child, Lisa learned that she loves to swim.  She threw herself into being the best swimmer she could be. For years, persistent practice and rigorous competition have honed her skills and brought her joy.

Share it generously

Lisa wanted her nieces to experience the joy of swimming too. So she spent time teaching them.  She learned she had another gift – teaching.  Who knew?  Sharing our passions can often lead to discovering new dimensions of our selves.

Be open to grace

Lisa was simply living her ‘yes’ to life – fully being and sharing who she is. Without expecting any particular outcome. And Maureen was very attracted to what she saw in Lisa.  She recognized and valued the contribution Lisa could make to the Y.  When Maureen approached her, Lisa and her family were open to this unexpected opportunity.

Work hard

Countless hours of swim practice was one thing.  Lisa loves to swim.  But studying for tests?  That was another thing entirely.  It took real perseverance and dedication for her to master the skills she needed to pass her certification exams.  Talk about work ethic!

Build mutual relationships

There are no self-made men or women.  Period.  The illusion of “independence” is tough to shake in our culture. Wise people like Lisa understand that life is about interdependence.  Our lives are enriched when we both give and receive in our relationships.

In employment services vernacular, Lisa has “natural supports”.  What she truly has is friends and family who love and support her.  And she loves and supports them.  Mutual relationships.  It takes time and effort to build relationships like this.  But they are the treasures of our lives.

Keep learning and contribute in new ways

Lisa doesn’t “rest on her laurels”.  She keeps studying to learn skills for her certifications.  She also finds new ways to contribute to the Y.  It’s important to remember that jobs change.  Life changes.  We need to keep learning and keep our eyes open to new ways we can contribute in our work place, relationships, and community.

Questions to think about

  • What environments and activities does your child passionately enjoy?
  • How can your child contribute and build mutual relationships in these environments or activities?  (Local United Way chapters often have a data base of volunteer opportunities.)
  • If your child needs support to volunteer, who could provide this support?  (Brainstorm people you and your child know and trust who share your child’s interests- and ask them)
  • Be open to grace, to possibilities that may be present in your relationships and community, rather than relying solely on school and agency systems

Your turn!

Most of us aren’t as fortunate as Lisa.  She gets paid to do what she loves to do.  What are your thoughts about her story?  Do you have a story of your own to share?  Please use the Comment box below.

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