What Makes You Come Alive

6 Nov

My family just had one of those weekends – a period of time when things aren’t going right and, as you wallow in the problem, it perpetuates itself and gets worse.

My youngest daughter, Reese (10), plays on a very competitive soccer team that was expected to do very well this season. Things have not gone as planned; they lost two additional games this weekend and it seemed like the world was coming to an end.

My other daughter, Maddy (15), has been dealing with a nagging hamstring/hip flexor/knee thing for about a year and injured herself again on Saturday. Nothing career ending, but something that will require hard work, missed games and training to get over.

My girls were unhappy and hurting and I had no answers for either of them. While sitting in the doctor’s office with Maddy, for what seems like the hundredth time, I couldn’t focus on a solution, all I could see was trouble ahead.

Maddy said to me, “I think it is time I give up.” In that very moment, looking for the easy way out, I almost agreed with her. However, I heard a voice in my head say, “but does this make her come alive?” So instead of agreeing, I did not speak. She was waiting for my reply as tears rolled down her face. I wasn’t going to be the one to say, “I think it is time as well”, or “you have worked too hard, I will not let you quit.”

This couldn’t be my decision.

So I asked her, “Why do you play soccer?” She replied, “It is everything to me, it is who I am, and it is my passion and there is nothing I enjoy more.” I said, “Isn’t that worth fighting for? You can’t give up on what makes you come alive!”

She listened intently as the doctor laid out the plan for physical therapy. I could see she was ready to face the challenge once again. I soon found perspective and the troubles of the weekend faded away. My focus was once again where it should be and I am thankful that six words I passionately believe in came to me at right moment, “Does it make her come alive?” Without them, I fear we would be experiencing a much different outcome.

The idea comes from a quote by Howard Thurman, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

The philosophy of discovering what makes us come alive is one of the many key leadership concepts taught in the Housley Principled Leadership Program – and it’s a lesson I learn again and again.

So we begin again. Reese’s team has since calmed down and regrouped. We are focused on future games and challenges and not what has passed and can’t be changed. Maddy has spoken to all her coaches and teammates and received overwhelming support to do what she needs to do. She works hard daily to get back to the game she loves.

I am thankful for these experiences. They are not about soccer, but about preparing my children for life and challenges much harder than these. Enforcing that things worth having don’t come easy and when faced with adversity you don’t give up, especially on things that make you come alive!


Melinda is a 24/7 Mom. From 8am to 5pm, Monday through Friday (and some weekends), she cares for the Stelos Alliance and all its scholarships and programs. Additionally, she makes sure the Kalypso family gets together to catch-up and have fun a few times throughout the year. With what is left, she does the same for her own family which includes a husband, two very active daughters Madison (15) and Reese (10) and Marcie (dog).


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