I always loved school. I was blessed with incredible friendships, a thirst for learning, excellent role-models and a well-rounded education. And throughout my life I would constantly hear "Andi, you're so much like your grandmother." One of my defining school moments was presenting a project about a person whom I deeply admired, a hero of sorts. I chose my grandmother - an inspirational woman of tremendous principle, whose life stood for care, empowerment, compassion and unwavering values. I recall her passion for beauty, simplicity and priority - her devotion to her marriage, motherhood and professionalism - the same things I strive for today. Her home always filled with flowers, love and literature. She opened my eyes wider to the world of real people, real issues, real pain, real joy. And she was a hero to so many, including myself.
Standing at my grandmother's funeral, hearing my very sentiments echoed in the words "she truly left this world a better place to how she found it", elements struck chords deep within - memories, hopes, gratitude for her legacy, and the unprecedented scope of people who came to pay respects. It was very clear to every single one of us at that moment, that this was a life of dedicated service and contribution and this was a heroic human being who lived with tremendous purpose.
But how does one live fully? How do we become more of who we are "supposed to" become? That I don't have an exact answer to, however, there are five things I strongly believe in that I feel can help each and every one of us self-actualize:
1. I believe our talents and passions and our mission or calling in this lifetime are in fact one in the same and we must follow them.
2. I believe there are heroes all around us and there is much greatness we can learn and emulate from others.
3. I believe that if we choose to live with our personal heroes inside of us, not necessarily for what they do, but for who they are - we will live with greater purpose and meaning.
4. I believe that when we are functioning at our very best using everything we have, the world and our experiences in it will be all the more richer for it.
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