While you can see sneak peeks by scrolling through the #MTHConference hashtag on Instagram, it won’t give you an in-depth look into what actually happens at the Making Things Happen Conference each year.
We still have a few seats available for our October conference, and we’d love to have you join us in Chapel Hill so we can give you a big hug! Take the leap! Payment plans are available; email [email protected] for more information.
Over the years, we’ve been privileged to hear and be a tiny part of women’s stories and how they’ve embraced their passions, moved past their fear, and made big things happen! Join us in this new series, “MTH In Real Life,” as we chat with MTH Alum who have used the principles from the conference to lead the big decisions in their lives.
Say hello to: Rachel Anne Hopper, the Associate Director of Housing and Residence Life at Texas Christian University
Rachel attended MTH in: November 2015
She’d encourage anyone to attend MTH: “You don’t have to be a creative to go to MTH! As a college administrator, I found many ways to enhance my working life. I have a different outlook on my daily work, and I remind myself how my work is a great opportunity to serve others, which definitely fires me up. You will also meet lots of amazing people. My friend Caitlin and I met during the conference, and we just happen to live an hour away from each other. We text throughout the week, have once a month lunches, and encourage each other often. I’m so grateful for the many women I met during MTH, because as women, we are called to be lifting each other up. This provided me with a new group of women to do just that.”
How Rachel Lives and Works with More Purpose
What do you do for a living? I am the Associate Director of Housing and Residence Life at Texas Christian University. My role includes staff supervision, oversight of our staff recruitment, staff selection, community development, and strategic planning among many other things. TCU has been my work home since 2007, and I am so grateful for the many opportunities I have to impact students as they learn and grow throughout their collegiate career.
How did MTH surprise you? I expected to gain clarity about goal setting, develop connections with other women, and identify what purpose looks like in my life. I was surprised at how much MTH impacted me personally. I anticipated some scrubbing and digging deep, but we really got deep, in the best way ever. I uncovered fears that were holding me back. I understood how distractions were impacting my life. I unveiled a better me, which in turn makes me a better wife, mom, co-worker and leader.
What was your biggest takeaway from MTH? Almost daily I reflect on the 80-year-old self activity! It helps remind me what is important and what I really am striving towards. I don’t need stuff or status. I need God and relationships. This 80-year-old self activity helped me to see that every decision I make is attached to an arrow, and I needed to ask myself, what direction were my arrows leading me? It’s important to evaluate how our decisions impact our lives positively and negatively.
How have MTH principles changed your working life? Letting go of fears and distractions has significantly impacted my work life. Because MTH helped me to identify my core and how purposeful I am, I now lead with fewer fears about what I bring to the table, what others may think about me, and what I can do to propel our department forward. Another MTH principle is remembering what fires me up. I love my work, work environment and coworkers, but I also know that sometimes, I may not have the best day and that work could bring my spirits down. It’s in those moments that I pull out my list of what fires me up. I get a great reminder of why I live on purpose and why I want to work hard at the job I’ve been given.
How do you use those principles on a regular basis? I have the wonderful opportunity to be part of a great team of coworkers, some of whom I supervise, and I’ve recognized how much I want them to fill their time with what matters to them. When it comes time to divide up a task, do I immediately want to take it on so I can be the lead or do I look around the table to see who would be best to lead it? I know how to identify what fires up my coworkers, and then I can see their work be enhanced because they are excited about what they are working on. Just like in our personal life, sometimes we have tasks we may not enjoy. Food needs to be on the table, reports have to be turned in, but believe me, we have other ways to make all of those things easier or more joyful. It’s starting with the why. We turn in a report because we are working hard at the job God’s given us. We are putting a meal on the table because well, maybe we are really good at cooking (HELP ME PLEASE!) and that is a joyful experience, and if not, we are doing it because we are nourishing our family and that is joy. Or you are turning in a report at work because you are skilled at writing, editing and forming a cohesive message, which brings joy to those around you. In all those things, you can identify how it is purposeful or meaningful to you.
How have MTH principles changed your personal life? This is hard, because I don’t know how they haven’t changed my life! One of the things Lara told us before leaving MTH is to not go home and tell everyone all the things you are changing about your life, but to instead walk the walk. I have 2-3 people that I shared my goals with as accountability to my journey, but otherwise, I truly have tried to walk the walk. Since then, I’ve had feedback regarding my growth and how much my outlook on life has shifted. Can I just tell you the freedom that comes with this? I feel like God has just scrubbed and scrubbed and is still scrubbing, and it is rough, but I feel purposeful, meaningful and excited about each day.
I’ve had this thought brewing in my head the last few days… You do not need a fancy website or the perfect equipment or the perfect ANYTHING to do what matters. You don’t need to have all of your ducks perfectly in a row (where did that phrase come from anyway?!). You don’t need to know exactly how each step of your dream will unfold. To start making things happen, You just have to DO. This is a giant note to self. I can obsess about “perfect” and I always end up realizing that DONE is way better than perfect. Chasing perfect is paralyzingly. Love DOES. You know all those things you’ve always wanted to do? You should go DO them. You will make mistakes. You will “fail”. But, the risk is worth the reward, right? For me, risking for what matters ends up being no risk at all. The greater risk is staying stuck and not making the impact that I know I am capable of and called to make. We ALL have greatness inside of us waiting to be released. Go and DO. – Lara
Over the past few weeks, unbenounced to me, my identity was being stolen.
I won’t bore you with the rigorous details of hours at the bank, on the phone with security people, researching shredders / locking mailboxes / and identity theft insurance. But I’m digging to find the reasons behind this mess. I fully believe God doesn’t allow ANYthing into our life without a lesson hidden somewhere within it. Perhaps I need to pay more attention to my finances. Perhaps I need to remember to lock my doors and not leave mail in my mailbox overnight. Perhaps I need to remember how important everyONE in my life is… and not everyTHING or everyDOLLAR.
I don’t have any wonderful answers or life lessons yet to share from all of this. In fact, I’m still just pretty darn annoyed that it’s happening. But I’m thankful for a bank that is 100% dedicated to FIXING this problem. I’m thankful for my family and my husband and my son and the THINGS that really matter. I’m grateful this madness didn’t spread farther than just a few accounts. I’m grateful that it’s fixable. I’m grateful that I have the time to dedicate to fixing it. I’m grateful that God is bigger than thieves and deceit and my anger.
I’m grateful I had money in that account to be stolen. I’m grateful that even if I got none of it back, I still have all I need.
Perhaps I do have a life lesson to share here. : )