Friday, March 5, 2010

A Day with Maria Shriver - To Sum it Up...

Yesterday, I had the great fortune of “hanging out” with Maria Shriver. Okay, so now that I have your attention, the truth is, I did spend much of the day “with” her but it was because she was leading groups of people through the CA Museum for History Women and the Arts and I was lucky enough to be “up-close and personal.” I was able to meet Maria and thank her for all she has accomplished as First Lady of California. She is brilliant, witty and filled with vibrancy and determination!

The best part of the day was attending the conference, “I Did it My Way,” featuring Erin Brockovich, Sally Ride, Lisa Ling, Rita Moreno and Maria Shriver. I felt honored to be in such a small, intimate setting with these five inspiring and successful women. They shared their personal journeys, which included their struggles, their passions and what they felt most contributed to their overall success. I took four pages of notes and will attempt to deliver what I felt was both thought provoking and just great advice from each of the panel members.

Erin Brockovich – “Believe in you! The perception we have of ourselves is not what works for everyone else. Look in the mirror and say, ‘I’m -----, the winner!’ We share a gift way down inside that burns in all of us…don’t let anyone deter or stray you away from that. Follow your gut, it never lets you down. Utilize your power of choice.” Erin told the audience her mother use to put post-it-notes all over the house that read, “Stick Tuitiveness.” She said, “Be willing to fail because you always come out better on the other side.” Erin believes the greatest gifts we have are, the love of our families, good health and clean water! Her final words, as she turned her head and looked into the eyes of the audience, were, “It’s time to change the message. It’s time to change the perception of how you see yourself and your neighbor. Challenge yourself and push forward to see how great life can be for you!”

Sally Ride – “By age 6 it was clear I loved math and science. It wasn’t until high school that I realized my interests were “weird” because I had support from my parents and a strong family environment. Success requires motivation and that motivation needs to come from within. The key to success is hard work.” When she first went to work for NASA’s Johnson Space Center she was one of only four women out of 4,000 men. (Lisa Ling thought that sounded like fun…) Sally’s parting words were, “You will doubt yourself from time to time but something within you will propel you to move forward when you want it badly enough! Don’t do something because you think it is expected of you. Listen, search, explore and experiment to find your calling.”

Rita Moreno – “Never think that what you want is unattainable…I chose to swim. Hang out with people that encourage you and are constantly reinforcing that you can achieve. People who have a dream have a focus, a special energy. Don’t let anyone spoil that for you. It’s not power that helps you attain what you want, it’s perseverance… ‘You are not going to stop me.”’ At 78, Rita is beautiful, well-spoken and hilarious. Her last words to the audience were, “It’s a good thing to be a mature woman!”

Lisa Ling – (Lisa’s boss is Oprah Winfrey) “Put yourself out there! Travel, expose yourself to other cultures. If you can’t travel, take advantage of things in your own community…expand your horizon…never stop learning. Be aggressive and go beyond your comfort zone. Books cannot teach these things. If you want your dreams to come true, do what it takes ALL hours of the day. Risk it…it makes you feel alive! Do what you love and then be utterly relentless pursuing what you’re passionate about.” Lisa added, “I feel fortunate and I think we need to spend more time being grateful and concentrate on what we do have.” Maria asked Lisa, “How are you going to use your voice in 2010?” She answered with this statement, “I hope that through my work people will have a ‘journey’ to experience other things and cultures and acquire a stronger sense of humanity.”

Although I can only speak for myself, I think I can safely assume the audience members were more than moved and inspired by these women’s wisdom, knowledge and encouragement. I appreciated their time in offering their heart-felt messages to help myself and others maximize their potential for lasting happiness. As Lisa Ling stated, “Take advantage of things in your own community,” because you never know who you’ll meet, what you’ll learn or how it will impact how you “use your voice in 2010.”

Stay tuned,

The Midnight Motivator

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