Do you ever take the time to listen to your grandparents stories? If yes, please email me and share them, I love those. If no, you definitely should consider asking them for some this holiday season. I’d like to dedicate this post to my two incredible grandmothers, my Oma and Grandma Fee. These two beautiful women (Oma on the left, GFee on the right) have been through many hard times in their lives. Here’s 3 things from each of them that I have used in my own life to create success:
Grandma Fee: my mother’s mother.
We (us girls in the Fee side of the family) can thank Grandma Fee for our independence. Grandma Fee is a woman who never backs down from something she believes in. Whether that be joining political campaigns, fighting for her rights, or writing letters to the President, Grandma Fee is a woman of perseverance. Although my time with her has been limited, here’s what she has taught me about success:
1) Say what you need to say.
Grandma Fee is the type of woman who will absolutely say what’s on her mind. I admire her for this. At first, it seems comical to listen to someone speak their mind so freely, but after a while you begin to realize what a badass she is for having no shame in doing so. Why can’t I be more like this? It’s probably the fear of being looked at in a poor manner. But really, you only live once so say what you need to say and never regret it.
2) Write everything down.
Organization has to be one of the top things that separates those who succeed from those who stay where they are in life. Grandma Fee loves to write. So much so that she documents practically everything. This reminds me of the business world; for example, one small forgotten detail can ruin an entire marketing campaign. Write everything down. It will pay off.
3) The only thing to fear is fear itself.
This goes back to point number one; say what you need to say and have no fear. The only thing holding us back from anything is fear of rejection, failure, or letting someone down. Stop living in fear and start living in freedom.
Oma: my father’s mother.
My Oma is one of the sweetest women on this earth. I am truly amazed by this woman. During Nazi-dominated Germany, my Oma found a way to escape to America. In 1939, she traveled to the U.S. with nothing but a suitcase. She is now almost 95 years young with 3 children, 7 grandchildren, 5 great grandchildren, and a whole lotta extended family. How’s that for making a life in America? I could talk for days about this woman, as I am very close with her, but I will limit it to this post for now. Here’s what she has taught me about success:
1) With determination, you can go from nothing to everything.
With literally nothing but a suitcase, my Oma came to America in hopes of a better life. Thank God she did because now I’m here! (Just kidding). She found herself a job, worked hard, and was able to meet a wonderful man (my Opa, RIP). Escaping death, going to a foreign country, and finding work?! How’s that for determination?! Thank you, Oma for being my inspiration!
2) Do not let education standards limit your success.
You may be wondering what the hell I mean by this…So I have never been the best student. Or, as my parents would say, “You’re so smart, you just need to apply yourself.” Sound familiar? I couldn’t help the fact that I would much rather go outside to play sports and enjoy the nice, southern California weather, as opposed to staying indoors in an overly air-conditioned, dark room learning about how to find one answer to everything. That really just didn’t make sense to me. Why was there only one answer? Why was I incorrect if I found alternative answers? I would tell my Oma when I was having trouble with school and this is what she always said (with an assertive smile), “You are brilliant. I was the same way. We just think differently than most people, which makes us the smarter ones.” Do not let education standards limit your success. If you struggle to understand something, your brain is probably finding other answers…see the potential? Think different.
3) Pay it forward.
This is probably the number one reason I was able to graduate college (December ’11, woo!). I was your typical broke college student. What does being broke do to you? It automatically makes you depressed and forces you to dig deep to find ways of generating income. I worked whatever job I could with my schedule and it still was not enough to help. How did I make it through? I had the support of my wonderful family. People like my Oma understood what it was like to have nothing. Side note: I actually believe I had everything, as I was lucky enough to even be IN college. But it definitely was a struggle. The number one thing I learned in college was that everything I do in my life needs to be for the benefit of someone else. I now choose to live my life by paying it forward, and I thank my Oma for contributing to a huge part of that inspiration.
For those of you who have lost your grandmothers and/or loved ones, may you only think about the positive things they did while they were alive and in your lives. May they rest in peace.
So for this Christmas (AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!!!),I will leave you with a little jingle that I literally just made up.
“So whether it’s wine or beer,
May you feel love and cheer,
With those far and near,
On Christmas this year.”
Many blessings to you and your families!