Who do you admire?

This is an exercise we facilitate during Personal Power and truthfully one I have done more than a dozen times, just for myself. Each time that I do this my Grams (you know, the one who inspired Taking My Own Effie Advice) is on the list. She was feisty, rebellious, did things her own way, and loved us grandkids with the ferociousness of a grizzly bear protecting her cubs.

Here is what we focus on when we facilitate this conversation:

Of all the people in your early life, which ones stand out in your memory? Who made you feel good about yourself? Of the heroes, heroines in books, theatre, movies, music, who did you most connect with? Who do you currently know, or know of that you connect with? The people can be real, characters, still with us, or no longer earthside.

Once you have the list of people write down the characteristics of everyone you admire. Now, what would happen if I told you the reason you admired those individuals is that YOU in fact identify with those characteristics?

See how this works?


Today, I decided to take 30 minutes and go through this exercise again. Why? Because it brings me back, grounds me, and reminds me of who I am. This time my Gramps showed up on my list. For those of you that are new to Taking My Own Effie Advice, you may have missed that in August I competed in a speech competition (and placed 10th out of 40!) where I shared a bit of my Gramps story. He was resilient… probably the most resilient person in my life. He worked hard,  tried new things and the memories I have of him include him laughing and playing crib with his brother-in-law. ALWAYS being there for us… picking us up from school and showing up at the window to pass his dog through an opening in the screen. (I still don’t know if he got in trouble for that!) He had a CB Radio on his car that allowed him to use it as a megaphone and yell at us as we walked across the parking lot… or to make us move faster because we were too busy talking!


Here is what I admired about him:

  • Survivor
  • Hard-working
  • Silly and loved to laugh
  • Did his best at whatever he focused on
  • Took care and pride in the things he bought
  • He loved his grandkids
  • He made the best damn pancakes you ever had
  • He LOVED his dogs… all of them. And he named them all Beau… yes, all of them!
  • Which leads me to, when he made up his mind about something, you got out of his way because it was happening

As I reviewed the list of things, I admired about Gramps I saw so much of myself in the words that danced across the page. Except for naming the dogs… and the pancakes… he took that recipe with him when he left us. But I saw the work ethic, the love for friends and family, the joy of being silly, the stubbornness of making up my mind and just doing it… and the love of dogs, but that goes without saying.

It was a great reminder for me to anchor in who I am, be confident with what I bring to the world, and continue the path of discovering what I love.


Gramps, I love you. I hope you are proud.


Stay tuned for a new landing page for Personal Power. Kim and I are collaborating and taking this out into the world online and in person! Dates are coming but if you are interested send me a quick note and let’s chat.