You Matter! A Simple Strategy to Change the World for the Better. With Angela Maiers

An interview with With Angela Maiers

You Matter! A Simple Strategy to Change the World for the Better. With Angela Maiers

My guest is Angela Maiers. Angela founded Choose2Matter, which is a non-profit that helps individuals to embrace their value and their potential contribution. Choose2Matter has evolved into a movement that now supports students, parents, educators, and employees, literally around the world. Her work at over 60 thousand classrooms across 100 countries has rallied more than a million children to be together to launch over 170 social enterprises.

Listen To The Podcast:




Mitch Matthews: Angela, welcome to the podcast!

Angela Maiers: Well, I’m so honored to be here my friends. It’s wonderful to watch you in action and be a part of this, you were just a huge supporter of my mission and my work and I feel like we’ve connected at a soul level, so it’s great to reconnect.

Mitch Matthews: It’s crazy because we go way back to when the Big Dream Gathering was just getting started.

Angela Maiers: I know, yeah.

Mitch Matthews: Your things were just starting to explode. So it feels like a class reunion.

Angela Maiers: It does.

Mitch Matthews: I love it. Well, DREAM THINK DOers are going to love you and love your story. Let’s tell them a little bit more about Choose to Matter. Let’s give them a snapshot of what it is that you do. As well as you can in a condensed way, tell us a little bit more about Choose to Matter.

Angela Maiers: I think I have created a framework for people to make a commitment to contribute their best self to the world. And by best self or best selves, that could be individual, that could be organizational, it could be our entire community and humanity. And when you look at the reasons why human beings don’t contribute their best self to the world, with not just confidence but with also a sense of calmness, is because there is a terror in the world, and I use that world not lightly, of insignificance.

Angela Maiers: It is the single most common ailment of the modern world. And it doesn’t discriminate. Even though Choose to Matter started with my mission in education, the feeling that we don’t matter doesn’t discriminate by age, by title, by position, by role. We’re all fighting for our enough-ness in the world.

Mitch Matthews: And you’ve been studying this, you’ve been teaching this. And I know it’s a generational thing, you’ve been going back deep into the science of it and all that, but would you say, and this is probably just a softball question, but would you say, how has social media and all of that contributed to kind of that “see me” feel? That longing to be seen.

Angela Maiers: I think that you see both the best of humanity, social media or media in general or technology is neutral. It is an amplifier of human behavior and emotion.

Mitch Matthews: Yeah.

Angela Maiers: So part of the addiction in social media is our DNA level need, not just desire, but DNA level needs to be seen, to be heard and to understand that we have value. And so just the simple act of saying another human being’s name is such a rarity, believe it or not. It’s a rarity even in schools. Kids can go period after period, week after week, semester after semester and never hear their name. It’s the most important word in the human language. It defines our existence.

Angela Maiers: And so when you hear your name over, or where we have not given people real pathways and real practices to acting and behaving as if they mattered, so they pick shortcuts, like the naughty kid. We just want to be noticed and so we’ll do it in any way that we can. And we have a whole world of naughty kids.

Mitch Matthews: I was just going to say, that’s not limited to the classroom, right?

Angela Maiers: No it’s not.

Mitch Matthews: It’s so true. And I know that so much of what you do could be defined, the simple arts, but the simple arts are so important of literally looking someone in the eye and saying, “You matter” right? It’s such a simple thing but it’s so powerful . Give us a story, give us one of your favorite stories of whether it’s you or whether it’s somebody else, just relaying that message, “You matter”.

Angela Maiers: Yes. So I will say, to preface this story, all of this is common sense. Everything you say that I say, it’s so common sense that it is not common place and common practice. Mattering isn’t an event or an expression of inspiration. It is a commitment to the responsibility that we have to be our full selves. So in the same way, it isn’t the proclamation of mattering, it is the practice of mattering in our own lives. And part of that practice that we start with, at the organizational level and even individual, is pausing and being present for people. Looking in their eyes and saying their name.

Angela Maiers: So one of the stories I tell, and I’m really conscious of this practice. I practice this practice. But I was just regular human in a hurry and I was at Walmart, and I’m rushing around, I’m not looking at the checker, and I look at her and I’m like, “Oh Margery, I’m so sorry, I’m just going to put my phone down for a minute. How is your day? I really apologize”. And then I look over and she’s sobbing tears. And she said, “Do you see those machines over there?”, and she goes, “You were the first person who made me feel like a human being. People don’t look up. I am not even a human being standing here. I am an extension of that machine and they don’t even look up to say your name, let alone see you”.

Mitch Matthews: Right.

Angela Maiers: And I want to say, wow Mitch, that’s a really rare story. That is every day, every event. Why people are in tears? Because I have them turn to each other and look each other in the eye and actually use one another’s name.

Mitch Matthews: Yeah.

Angela Maiers: So profound and so rare.

Mitch Matthews: Right. It is amazing. It shouldn’t be revolutionary but it absolutely-

Angela Maiers: It is.

Mitch Matthews: It is. It really is. And it’s incredible though too, yeah, as far as how just engaging with someone can be such a gift for them, but it’s a gift for us too. It’s almost  I think it’s selfish to not do it. Or I do it and it’s almost a selfish act. I was thinking, just as you told that story, I was thinking, I was recently at a gas station and I’m getting gas, and I watch this attendant cleaning the gas station parking lot.

Angela Maiers: Yeah

Mitch Matthews: And I’m watching, he’s just meticulous at it. And I went over and I said, “What’s your story, man?”.

Angela Maiers: Yes, yes.

Mitch Matthews: And he goes, “What do you mean?”, and I said, “Your level of intentionality is so impressive”. And he started to explain that he was in the war in Vietnam, and he explained that his drill sergeant, he flicked a cigarette butt while he was supposed to be cleaning and his drill sergeant saw it. He made him dig a hole, bury the cigarette butt and then once he filled it back in, he had to dig the hole again to find the cigarette butt, just so that he’d never ever do something like that again.

Mitch Matthews: And he’s like, “It just stuck with me”, and I’m like, oh my gosh.

Angela Maiers: Wow.

Mitch Matthews: He started telling all of these stories and it’s just like, I smiled as I drove away but then I also realized, how many times have I missed out on an amazing conversation just because I didn’t engage somebody right? Or I just missed someone.

Angela Maiers: We’re all guilty of it, I’m guilty of it.

Mitch Matthews: Oh yeah.

Angela Maiers: But that’s the essence of it, is that when you witness somebody contributing their best self to the world, it is not about being the best, it is about bringing the best of who you are, perfectly perfect. And that’s what validates our impact, that’s what validates our worthiness. And you don’t just stumble onto worthiness. It is a discipline and a fierce practice, just like any other habit that makes you whole in your life, whether that’s exercising or it’s eating right or it’s, you’re making, so that’s why I say mattering is a choice. You’re making a decision to matter every minute of the day.

Angela Maiers: Sometimes it’s a breath by breath but it is. And we tell people, don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s all small stuff, in fact, it’s microscopically small stuff.

Mitch Matthews: That’s true. But it is. To your point though, I think there are days where it’s certainly easier to be intentional about this than others, right?

Angela Maiers: Absolutely.

Mitch Matthews: But I think on those bad days, it’s even more important to take a breath, think of ourselves, realize we matter but then also just show one other person, and it’s amazing how that can double back on us. [crosstalk 00:13:56] Now okay, so you’re traveling all over the globe, you’re speaking to audiences, you’re at schools literally all over the globe. You’ve been doing this for a while now, right? It’s incredible. But I always love, on DREAM THINK DO, we’ve got so many people that are kind of trying to figure out. You’re in the midst of this dream journey.

Angela Maiers: Right.

Mitch Matthews: There’s a lot of folks that are listening going, I wish I was that passionate, or I wish I could find my thing like she found her thing.

Angela Maiers: Yeah.

Mitch Matthews: So let’s dive, I always love to dive back in a little bit.

Angela Maiers: Yeah.

Mitch Matthews: And let’s go back and just be able to say, alright, for some people, it’s obvious there’s a catalytic moment or an accident, something happens in their life that says, okay this changes. But for others, you’re just like, oh that’s a part of their DNA. So I wondered for you, was this who you were when you were in junior high and high school? If you look back, was this a message that maybe you weren’t speaking about but you were living when you were a kid?

Angela Maiers: So I’m going to answer that and I’m going to back up because I believe in passion. I wrote an entire book on passion, it matters that much. And I think there is this pressure to follow a big dream. Dreaming big is absolutely essential but to have this big dream, to follow it, to pursue it, to live your passion, that’s a lot of pressure.

Mitch Matthews: Yeah.

Angela Maiers: In fact, what I found out, is action is actually the antidote to everything that we’re terrified about. We don’t need to be courageous to take action. Action produces experiences that allow courage to come in because action is what gives you opportunities to dream bigger and be brave. And so one of the pathways that I’ve shifted, and this is just a use case, is I used to tell kids, “Follow your heart. Passion matters, follow your heart”. And we did this exercise called Mapping Your Heart, where you get in touch, and I’ve always known my heart was education. Absolutely always known, I went to medical school and dropped out of medical school and became a teacher. So I’ve always known what makes me alive.

Angela Maiers: But that didn’t necessarily put me on this track. What put you on the track to true purpose is that intersection between passion and purpose. So to find that intersection, you need to encounter pain. So whether it’s your pain or pain that’s bigger than yours, pain in someone you love or a world that you love. So I ask people still to tell me what matters to them. Tell me what’s in your heart. And I follow that with, “And what breaks your heart about that in your world?”. And it is mapping heartbreak that is a truer north than mapping your heart. Because it is in that intersection of heartbreak that you either encounter people taking action to mend that heartbreak, which is why the format of the big dream gathering is so powerful.

Angela Maiers: It isn’t just about your individualistic dream. I remember when I put my dream and made it public, you’re making it public for the purpose of attracting other people to that dream. And if you really dig down, of all the post-it notes all over the big dream gathering, a lot of them were driven by pain. I want to fix this, I want to mend this. So you can take action toward surrounding yourself with people already working on mending that heartbreak. Or you find a gap and you step up and into that gap.

Mitch Matthews: Yeah.

Angela Maiers: And you become the leader, and ask people to follow you. And either way, you’re not standing there waiting for the world to tie itself up in a bow around your passion. Then you tap into your passion to keep you taking action, because passion is about pain and endurance, and you’re going to need all that. ‘Cause even when action is moving the right way, it’s harder than heck to do something that matters.

Mitch Matthews: Exactly right, yep.

Angela Maiers: And so when I look at what drives me, which is interesting because I don’t share often, my own story of becoming my best self, it’s filled with pain. Like many people’s story. Not the best childhood, not the best marriage, not from a place of feeling sorry for myself but understanding how enduring the human heart is. I have struggled with crippling depression my whole life. So the idea of people that knew me in high school and middle school are probably really surprised I’m a speaker because I didn’t say a word.

Angela Maiers: I dug into the science, to studying to a profession that didn’t allow you to have a personal life. Because leading my best life as a learner was a lot let risky than leading my best life as a human being. I could confront books and facts and science and I excelled at that. But pushing myself to be brave is something I’ve come to learn to be. Even though I don’t share that story, it was probably the turning point, my first year as a teacher is in front of five-year-olds, and working with what would be deemed as at risk five-year-olds, and at-risk families, and really thinking, “I’m going to go save them”, when in fact, they saved me.

Angela Maiers: They helped me realize what it really looked like under extraordinary circumstances, even where your basic needs weren’t met, to live a fierce life. And studying them, and what I call their habitudes, their passion, their adaptability, their imagination, all of that when I was asked to do the TED Talk, I had this other speech prepared. And at four in the morning, ’cause I watched all my favorite TED talks, at four in the morning I panicked and I almost called and canceled. I’m like, who am I? What am I? And I said the word, I refuse to let any other human being say, I said the word “just” out loud. I am just a little girl from Iowa, I’m just a small-town girl. I’m just a teacher.

Angela Maiers: I’m not Sir Ken Robinson, I’m not all of these people, and then I saw my five-year-olds. And I said, if they were standing in front of me, would I tolerate for one second, and if I am going to be the best teacher that I can be, I cannot look any human being, let alone a child in the face, and say to them, “You know what, I am terrified and I’m going to hesitate and hold back, but you can’t”. So I was brave and I did it. A whole different speech than I had planned.

Mitch Matthews: Well I remember hearing the speech and going, she’s referencing, like a core part of your talk was from Tuesday of that week.

Angela Maiers: Yeah.

Mitch Matthews: And I’m like, you know, this is fresh. This is not something she’s given a thousand times ’cause it just happened on Tuesday.

Angela Maiers: Yes.

Mitch Matthews: So yeah, I remember that playing out and I can remember the room just being transfixed because of course, you did a great job of presenting, all of that was dynamic-

Angela Maiers: I didn’t fall off the stage, which was my goal [crosstalk 00:21:24].

Mitch Matthews: But it was truly, you were inviting them into a mission.

Angela Maiers: Yes.

Mitch Matthews: As opposed to it just being a well-rehearsed, well-timed talk.

Angela Maiers: Yes.

Mitch Matthews: It’s like, this is a new thing because of something that just happened to me, but at the same time it’s been happening my whole life and I’m going to do it.

Angela Maiers: My whole life, yeah.

Mitch Matthews: So I love that. And I do think going back to what you said earlier, having a number of speakers and seeing a number of speakers, spending time with a number of speakers, I’m a little biased in that I feel like a lot of the best speakers are the ones who were reluctant to be so.

Angela Maiers: Yeah.

Mitch Matthews: They’re not doing it because they’ve always wanted to be in the limelight or the spotlight.

Angela Maiers: That’s right.

Mitch Matthews: In some ways, that’s the last place they ever expected or wanted to be.

Angela Maiers: 100%.

Mitch Matthews: But in some ways like your case, your mission has forced you to do that, right? And I think that makes a difference.

Angela Maiers: It still stuns me that I’m a speaker, believe it or not, after 25 years I still don’t see that I’m a speaker. Even though I know that that is proportionate about my job.

Mitch Matthews: Yeah.

Angela Maiers: But when you are living this mission, and you are not only living your truth, you are compelling others to live theirs, you must speak your truth. You don’t have to do it in front of 10 thousand people. It doesn’t matter, because it’s no different. If you saw me in front of 10 thousand people and you saw me in front of five, it doesn’t matter. This last week, there was a group of kids and I met with their parents the night before, and it was supposed to be 80 kids, which is like a dream. I was like, oh my gosh, 80 kids. Five years old all the way to juniors in high school.

Mitch Matthews: Which is many people’s nightmare. [crosstalk 00:22:59] any room.

Angela Maiers: Oh my gosh, because it shows how transcending the message is, and their parents must have talked to the kids. And the next day, the superintendent was like, “I don’t know how to ask you this or tell you this and you can say no, but we have 450 kids signed up”. And I’m like, bring them on. Because what I would say to 80 of them is not any different than 450.

Mitch Matthews: Yep.

Angela Maiers: I’m more convicted because they’re brave enough to ask to come.

Mitch Matthews: Right.

Angela Maiers: That was our topic, was how to be brave. And so because I never look and go, “Oh my gosh, I just gave a good speech”.

Mitch Matthews: Right.

Angela Maiers: Because it’s a speech. I found other people’s pathway, I saw in their eyes or in their heart, they’re going to be more open to their truth, not mine.

Mitch Matthews: Yep, I love it. So let’s give DREAM THINK DOers some tools here.

Angela Maiers: Okay.

Mitch Matthews: Because I know that so much of your message is simple, but at the same time, simple is not always easy.

Angela Maiers: No, it’s not.

Mitch Matthews: And to be able to allow ourselves to feel like we matter but also to relay that to others is so critical, but at the same time there are subtle differences that can make it more effective or not.

Angela Maiers: Absolutely.

Mitch Matthews: And to absolutely interrupt the mission and make it [awk-weird 00:24:15] and we don’t want to do that. So what would you say, if you were giving some advice to DREAM THINK DOers, on, let’s start with others first and then we’ll come back to ourselves.

Angela Maiers: Okay.

Mitch Matthews: But if you were going to give some tips on showing others that to be able to say, “You matter”, what are some of the things that you recommend?

Angela Maiers: So this is where it was a good thing I went to med school. So this is based on a framework in neuroscience we call primacy and recency. So Dan and Chip Heath, who are some of my favorite authors, they are the Made to Stick guys.

Mitch Matthews: Yeah.

Angela Maiers: They just wrote another really awesome sticky book called Peak Moments. So whatever you call it, peak moments are about primacy and recency. So they look at all the moments in your day, I remember mattering is a moment by moment choice. So this is the choice to maximize the peak moments you have with any individual. They can be your children, they can be your boss, they can be your colleague, they can be the world.

Angela Maiers: And the peak moments, the primacy and recency, and the first two to 20 seconds that you first interact with somebody, and the last two to 20 seconds. What the brain does, is it processes what we call the totality of an experience. So even magical experience, you could have gone to Disney world yesterday or you could have gone 10 years ago. And I would say, “How’s Disney World Mitch?”, “Oh, our family loved it, it was magical”. Not accidental by the way that it was magical.

Mitch Matthews: Right.

Angela Maiers: But, the reason you can’t say like, “What did you do at 10:38?”, unless something truly crazy happened like you got sick on the small ride or something like that, you could not biologically remember because you brain doesn’t care about the middle. It cares about how you feel you are perceived, how you feel that someone notices or values your presence, and how you feel when you leave that experience. And scientists call this the hijacking of the amygdala, and you can in two to 20 seconds hijack people’s amygdala, or what I call, secure their hearts.

Angela Maiers: And you do that very simply, by being fully, absolutely present while you’re in their presence. And that means, when you see them, how do you show a person that you truly see them? You look them in the eye, you stop what you’re doing. As much as I’m passionate about social media, you put down your device, you do not multitask. It doesn’t have to be for an hour. For 10 seconds, you say their name. If you do not know their name, ask their name. You confirm that you’re not, do not hesitate. Some people are like, I’m nervous about saying their name right or wrong. The wrong thing to do is not say their name at all but respond to their name and then ask them something. Ask them a question and really listen to the answer to it.

Angela Maiers: And I think we’re so busy trying to be interesting to other people, we forget the power of being interested in other people. And that’s what five-year-olds have taught me. They’ve instilled in me the art of being interested in other people. Like you said, whether it is the guy washing your car in the front of the man sitting next to you on the train, or somebody, the poor soul that sits next to me on the airplane in oblivion and I will not allow them, everyone carries with them a story.

Mitch Matthews: Yeah.

Angela Maiers: Everyone carries with them a sign, and it should be red and blinking, but it’s not, that says, “Do you notice me? Do I matter to you?”.

Mitch Matthews: Yeah.

Angela Maiers: And only you can answer that. It cannot be outsourced, it can’t be given to a piece of technology. That is our gift to one another as human beings. And you can’t change their circumstance, you can’t change their life or even what happened five seconds before they entered your life. But you can change how they feel after they leave an experience with you.

Mitch Matthews: That’s awesome.

Angela Maiers: So that’s the peak moments. And then here’s the bonus. So one of the bonuses, and again, I learned this from five-year-olds because everything I know in my life, I learn from five-year-olds, for real, is this is my second-week teaching kindergarten with 31 five-year-olds who all believe they’re awesome and they all want to be noticed at the same time. So I actually, ’cause what teachers do, I made a chart. So I came in, I sat down and I’m like, “Okay you guys, this is seriously not working, I am exhausted. You guys are remarkable and I can’t keep track of it, but I made us a schedule. So you five on Monday, you’re going to be awesome. You five on Tuesday, you’re my awesome kids on Tuesday, Wednesday. And here’s what I promise, what I will do is you five, I will be fully present and not only I will witness your brilliance, I will note it in writing it down so there’s a record of it. And I’m going to give you a front-row seat to that brilliance”.

Angela Maiers: And so they were like, it took them a couple of weeks but once they knew that I had a schedule and a practice of noticing, they started noticing each other. They were like, “Oh, Ms. Maiers, so and so on Wednesday did something awesome. I know they’re not up until Friday, can I go write it in your noticing notebook?”. And they would do that.

Mitch Matthews: Wow.

Angela Maiers: And then you start, so I kept that practice. It’s not every day but try every day, brushing my teeth, picking five people in my life and just giving them 10 seconds of my presence and jotting down a note to them about, I call it a [matogram 00:30:00] sending them a little [matogram 00:30:01] on why they matter to me. What exactly that they did that I’m so grateful for that moment to be in their moment.

Mitch Matthews: That’s awesome [crosstalk 00:30:11] relay that via paper or via electronic or whatever.

Angela Maiers: Yeah and it’s funny because people react different. So I shared this in my presentation, but I sent my son a [matogram 00:30:25] and he’s like my heartfelt, my 22-year-old baby boy who will always be that. And he was like, “Mom, I love you, I’m so proud of you. Go change the world, you inspire me”, blah blah blah. I send one to my daughter who’s 20, and she’s like, “Mom, you are the most annoying weird person I know. You matter too”. Thank you, Abby.

Mitch Matthews: Thank you for being real.

Angela Maiers: Thank you for being a strange and weird person. But I know that it affects them because I can start seeing the language that I use with them, I call it the language of mattering. And you can Google that, you can type in “the language of mattering” and what it is is just question stems that I have collected over time that sort of help unwrap the soul of people. This is the elements of DNA that are hidden but they are all in each of our souls. And these just unpack it and help build it stronger.

Mitch Matthews: That’s awesome. That’s awesome those are real deal strategies. I think that’s fantastic.

Angela Maiers: Anybody can do it, it costs nothing.

Mitch Matthews: Exactly right. And it really is, it’s showing that interest makes you the most interesting person, because you’re legitimately curious about the person. And asking those, what I call FU questions, which are follow up questions.

Angela Maiers: Exactly.

Mitch Matthews: It’s truly the greatest compliment you can give someone is to not just listen but to say, I want to know more about that.

Angela Maiers: Right, exactly.

Mitch Matthews: And you’re like, oh my gosh, you actually were listening. That’s incredible.

Angela Maiers: That’s right.

Mitch Matthews: I love it. So we’re going to go, we’ve got one last round of questions, we’re going to take a quick break.

Angela Maiers: Perfect.

Mitch Matthews: I want to talk with you about how do we help ourselves be reminded that we matter?

Angela Maiers: Yes.

Mitch Matthews: Because if we can build off of that platform, we can build off of that base, it makes everything else easier.

Angela Maiers: Yes.

Mitch Matthews: So we’re going to take a quick break and then when we come back we’re going to talk about that.

Mitch Matthews: Hey there, I’m going to break in as a sponsor of my own podcast. How about that? And we’re going to do something we’ve never done before during the sponsor break. We’re going to actually point you back to a previous episode of DREAM THINK DO. Why is that? Well one, because the feedback on this episode has blown us away. But two, there’s a ton of free resources there that I want you to get access to just by checking out the episode. If you’ve ever thought about writing a book, this is your episode and this is your time. And there are some free resources to go and grab. Check out, it’s an episode called Write Your Book. There are some free resources there as well from Lise Cartwright. Multi best selling author who has coached me helped me a ton, but also helped countless others. And she’s applied what she teaches and has achieved about 28 bestsellers, I believe, as well.

Mitch Matthews: So go check it out. It’s all there at The episode is called Write Your Book. It’s time, get to it.

Mitch Matthews: Okay, pure awesome. I am loving this. So great stuff and I love again, showing others that they matter. But I think whether it’s a good day or whether it’s a tough day, right, sometimes we have to remind ourselves that we matter. And not in some rainbows and butterflies, buck up little camper kind of way. But in real deal kind of ways. So what are some of the ways that you encourage people or help people to remind themselves they matter, so they can be bolstered?

Angela Maiers: So the first thing is understanding that that is the definition of mattering. It is the commitment, and the keyword is a commitment, to contribute your best self to the world. Offering everything that you are and need to be to the world, with a sense of confidence, and I think this is the most important, a sense of calmness. And when you look at the things that we get un-calm about, stressed about, worried about, they’re all related to enough-ness. They’re all related to worthiness.

Mitch Matthews: Yeah.

Angela Maiers: That we weren’t enough, that we didn’t do enough, that we don’t know enough, that we’re just this and if that. And so worthiness is a daily discipline. You don’t just stumble upon significance, you work at it. So like any other discipline in your life, whether you want to be fit in your physical being, if you want to be healthy from the inside out, whichever way you go about it, it doesn’t have to be a perfect pat, but you have to be pretty rigorous about your commitment to the practice.

Angela Maiers: And so it starts though with a proclamation. And so what we know about building new habits in our lives, any new habit, it can be like, I’m working on a habit right now which I’ve restarted about 50 thousand times, not drinking as much soda, as water. So right next to me, this is my practice. It works in my life. I cannot go cold turkey so I switched from diet Mountain Dew to diet 7 Up, one step in the practice. And I have two giant bottles of water for one diet soda.

Mitch Matthews: Got math right in front of you, right? The math is right in front of you.

Angela Maiers: That’s true. I’m living it. And so there’s nobody who can make me do that. And so I build my world, we build our world around rituals and routines. They are gifts to us. And so you build in your ritual and in your routine, acknowledgment of your worthiness. And so that starts with a proclamation. So like this morning, I did a keynote this morning and I made them physically, they all thought I was crazy but that’s okay, I’m used to that. They wrote on there, “I matter. I am enough!”. And their ritual was for 30 days with an accountability partner, to make sure that they check-in that they have said that to themselves at least once a day. I matter I am enough.

Angela Maiers: And so it doesn’t fit, it’s not a magic bullet. It’s not a bandaid. But over time, you get stronger and calmer and more confident at being who you really are. And it takes courage to live your truth, it takes courage to be who you are and accept that we’re imperfectly perfect human beings. And that some days, you’re going to fall short. And other days, you’re not. But it is building, courage is like a muscle. It’s building that over time. And I couldn’t do any other part of my life without rituals and routines, and you cannot leave worthiness to chance.

Angela Maiers: So it starts with your own perception. And I think the second or related part of that is it starts with the voice that’s in your head. Because the voice that’s in your head is the fiercest enemy that you have. If you look at the difference between those who dream big and do, is they didn’t listen to the voice in their head, because they’re in everybody’s head. They’re not just in some people’s heads, they’re in everybody’s head. You can pick the smartest person in the world, they were in Einstein’s head, they’re in your heads, they’re in the people that you inspire the most, they’re loud in those people head. But you have rituals and routines to confront that voice and help position it in its rightful place.

Mitch Matthews: Yeah.

Angela Maiers: One that keeps you humble but one that you know you’re capable of overcoming that voice, ’cause you’ve done it every single day.

Mitch Matthews: I think that’s amazing. And I also think there is power, I haven’t always believed this, but I do believe there is power in actually verbalizing it. Writing it down, I’m a big journaler, so writing it down, but there is power in proclaiming it, which is not [wu-wu 00:38:02] like it’s scientifically based. But at the same time, good for your heart and spirit. But I’ve got, I don’t have it right here but I’ve got one of my journals, it’s a binder that it’s actually prayers, kind things that people have said about me, all sorts of things in this journal.

Angela Maiers: Yes.

Mitch Matthews: And I’ll just flip to it and sometimes I’ll verbalize that and proclaim it, either agree with it or reword it.

Angela Maiers: No, it’s true.

Mitch Matthews: And it is such a powerful thing. And at first, I was like, kind of the skeptic side of me, oh come on, I don’t need that. But it’s like, you know what, absolutely, actually I do. Especially if we’re going to bring, as you said, bring our best self and inspire others to do that too.

Angela Maiers: Yeah.

Mitch Matthews: So it’s like, hey.

Angela Maiers: So when I always look, you have to position mattering as an essential need. So think about, we are unembarrassed or unto say to somebody, “You know what, I’m really thirsty. Can you show me the water? You know what, I’ve eaten really bad, can you show me where some healthy food is?”. There’s no embarrassment about any of that, that you’re trying to take care of yourself. There’s honor in that. “You know what, where’s the nearest gym? I really feel like I’ll be a better human. I haven’t gotten a lot of sleep, can you give me a quiet room in a hotel?”, or whatever.

Angela Maiers: But we’re embarrassed to say, “You know what, I just feel invisible today. Can you just say my name?”. So I know we’re not going to reach that point but we have to do it for ourselves first before we ask of that in the world. Especially if you’re in a world where you serve other people.

Mitch Matthews: Yeah.

Angela Maiers: You cannot lead and you can’t parent and you can’t teach and you cannot be a good friend or a wife or a husband or a neighbor or a human from a place of unworthiness. So when you look at it from the perspective of urgent responsibility versus an ego-driven trip for yourself, then it becomes a lot easier to ask for help when you need it. And say, “I’m just feeling like you’re not seeing me today or you’re not hearing me”, and getting much braver at articulating out loud what I need. And in terms of writing your goals out loud, look at how many people achieve their goals when they make it public. And that’s one of the powerful uses of social media.

Mitch Matthews: Yeah, it really is.

Angela Maiers: Yeah.

Mitch Matthews: So I love it. And I’m guessing the Dream Big Doers are like, “Oh my gosh, this is exactly what I needed today”.

Angela Maiers: Yay!

Mitch Matthews: So you know, whether they’re starting the day with this conversation or they’re ending the day or maybe it’s a lunch, we’re having a power lunch with Angela, whatever it is, I’m guessing people are like, “Gosh, I’m glad I listened to this today”. So thank you for this message.

Angela Maiers: Yes.

Mitch Matthews: But also for living it too. So how do people find out more about you, how do they find out on the worldwide webs Angela?

Angela Maiers: I am Angela everywhere. So Angela Maiers, or if you forget my name, you can just type in “Angela you matter”, and you’ll get to everything. So my website is there and, like the Choose to Matter website is really bad because volunteers made it, so yeah that part I haven’t quite figured out as part of the journey is trying to figure out how to sustain this message, that it’s not necessarily dependent on me because that message is in anybody.

Angela Maiers: So I’m working really hard, I’m getting resources out and all kinds of things, but yeah.

Mitch Matthews: Can I offer a reframe on that?

Angela Maiers: Yes please, yes.

Mitch Matthews: Okay. So Choose to Matter is not, when you guys go check it out,, and it’s the number two, so choose 2, the number 2.

Angela Maiers: .org.

Mitch Matthews: .org, right, when you guys go check it out, you will see that it is not the most polished website.

Angela Maiers: Right.

Mitch Matthews: But I will tell you, we’re going to reframe this a little bit. It is authentic, it is endearing, it is real and so it’s one of those that, to me, it’s one of those were in some ways, sometimes when you hit a website-

Angela Maiers: That is perfect.

Mitch Matthews: It’s rough. Or sometimes you see it and it’s like, oh that’s too perfect. Either way, both sides, those ditches.

Angela Maiers: That’s true, I like that.

Mitch Matthews: It can cause dissonance, whereas yours with Choose to Matter it’s like, okay wait, this is put together with heart and maybe not the biggest web budget is known to man but at the same time you know you’ve got what, 147000 literally followers on Twitter. I’m guessing not one of them is going, “You know what Angela, this is just not a high caliber website”. They’re like, “We’re in”. Right, that’s awesome. So I love it [crosstalk 00:42:27]. Awesome.

Angela Maiers: I’m so proud of you, I just want to say before I leave that our community, our world is so blessed to have you in it. You have been inspiring me for, I don’t even want to say how long because we’ll give away our age.

Mitch Matthews: Well we were both 14.

Angela Maiers: That’s right, we were 14 when we met as children. It was really my experience at the first big dream gathering, it was the first public place that gave me not only permission but almost pressure to dream big in the best of ways. Because we [crosstalk 00:43:02] the pressure, and being surrounded by other brave people, the connections that I made through you, with you, watching you grow braver and bigger, it is, you truly are a gift, Mitch Matthews and I’m very honored to be here and just be a part of your mission as well.

Mitch Matthews: Wow. Come on! You just did that. I matter I feel like I matter, I see. That’s the application!

Angela Maiers: Yay!

Mitch Matthews: I love it. I didn’t know, I knew you were at a number of the early big dream gatherings but I guess I didn’t fully know that. So that’s-

Angela Maiers: Don’t underestimate the power of a post-it note, I will say that.

Mitch Matthews: That’s right. That’s exactly right.

Angela Maiers: We have all the stuff and technology.

Mitch Matthews: Yeah.

Angela Maiers: But it does not replace the very essence of our humanity. And what would our world do without post-it notes? That’s all I have to say.

Mitch Matthews: That’s right. Oh, so true. And you were at some of those that, I mean talk about, hopefully, authentic but a couple of those early ones smelled a lot like feet and looked like fight club.

Angela Maiers: That is okay. You know what, that’s where you learn the best. And my first event was like that too. I didn’t know what we were doing, we had some post-it notes and some smelly markers, and I’m like okay, whatever happens-

Mitch Matthews: Which are the best smelly markers are the best.

Angela Maiers: That’s right.

Mitch Matthews: Well Angela, you are awesome. DREAM THINK DOers, make sure you go check her out but thank you so much for doing what you do and being on the podcast too.

Angela Maiers: Bye Iowa friends and beyond. You matter.

Mitch Matthews: Alright, DREAM THINK DOer. What stood out to you? Man, I loved that interview. Angela’s got just a lot of wisdom there and is making a big impact. And I would imagine you could identify with it. But what did you, what really grabbed you? I know for me there was a number of things that she shared, but one of the standouts for me was her question of what breaks your heart, and what breaks your heart about that?

Mitch Matthews: I’ve talked to people, you know, we cover these subjects all the time on DREAM THINK DO. Going after and figuring out your passions, going after those things that you feel like you were put on the Earth to do. And we even talked about what ticks you off, what makes you mad, what’s something you know you want to fix in the world. Those are all good questions to kind of dive down and figure out again more of what you’re supposed to do more of. But I love that question of what breaks your heart and to be able to say what breaks your heart about that specifically. What’s something you want to fix?

Mitch Matthews: And so there was just a lot of things that she shared, but that was one that really grabbed ahold of me. So I want to hear from you though. Hit me up, leave a comment and let me know what stuck out to you!

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