What do you want to be known for? We put ourselves into roles by profession, activity, interest — roles that sometimes become defining for us. But have you ever really considered what you want to be known for? Have you considered how you can be effective in your life? 

Over the last six years, I have immersed myself in a culture of people who speak vision and life into others. They truly leave people better than they were when they found them. 

Through this journey, I have had the privilege of getting to hear, every day, regular people who have become great leaders. They aren’t famous, but their words of wisdom, leadership and passion for purpose are inspiring. I’ve learned many valuable lessons and tools, but one lesson really struck a cord with me because it followed very closely the values of our own four “H’es.” 

The speaker I heard is Jan Loy. She is a wife, mother, woman of strong faith and character. She’s also a trained life coach, but she also makes an impact on the lives of others through serving alongside her husband in his role with a direct sales company. I’d like to take a minute to share with you about those four “H’es” because they encompass what Extension and 4-H stand for, and may inspire us all to be better leaders.

If we want to be effective in our lives, if we want to be true leaders, we must consider: Head, Heart, Hands and …. Habits. 

Head — what we think and how we think. We each have a tendency to think a certain way because of our personality and our experiences. What is going on between our ears matters. It affects our day; it affects our outcomes. In order to be powerful, to become a leader, I must take personal responsibility for how I think, feel and act. It is not anyone else’s job to make me feel good, to give me positive thoughts or to get me to do certain things. What I think, how I feel is my responsibility and I have to take action to control the environment that affects my thinking. Do not let fear and negativity rule your day.

Heart — What do you really believe? What is in your heart? This decision is also up to us individually. We have to make a decision about what we believe.

Hands — How do you actually work every day? What does your day look like? A person who is in the pursuit of excellence will plan and go about their day very differently from someone who just wants to get by. A person in pursuit of excellence does more that the minimum, more than the average. Don’t be average. Do the work you do with excellence. 

Are you a teacher? Be excellent. Are you a general laborer? Be excellent. Are you a stay at home parent? Be excellent. Are you a volunteer? Be excellent. Pursue your work with excellence every day. Do the small, seemingly insignificant things with excellence. Pursue the opportunities in front of you that will truly make a difference.

Habits — What we do on a regular basis defines us. Bad habits rob us of the joy in life. We can change negative actions and reactions by changing our habits. Make small, positive daily changes that move you forward to reaching your goals. 

So, I ask again, what do you want to be known for today? The secret to getting there is no secret. You get there by thinking the right way, believing the right way, doing your work with excellence and creating positive habits. Grab hold of the opportunities placed in front of you 

to become the person you want to be known for. Work harder on yourself than anyone else. YOU are the variable. Who do you want to become in pursuit of the things you want? The key to your better future is you.


For more information about Cowley County 4-H or Cowley County Extension Programs, contact Kelsey Nordyke at the Cowley County Extension Office (620) 221-5450, (620) 441-4565. 

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