The Day I Learned the Meaning of Quixotic & Why I'll Never Be The Same Again

My father, James Salisbury, died in 2003 of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (better known as SARS) while living in China. He was one of the first Americans on record to die of the disease that took a hundred lives (over 3,000 cases reported). As a result, his death got a lot of media attention. As the nominated family spokesperson, I was interviewed by every local television station, many radio stations, and all the local newspapers. His death received national attention as well, and I did interviews for the Today Show, CBS’s The Early Show, and Good Morning America, as well as the Harvard Crimson (my father received his Master’s degree at Harvard), and other random outlets. Needless to say, it was a whirlwind few days from the time of his death until his memorial service.

One reporter who interviewed me also attended the funeral and did a follow up story. After hearing my father was a member of the Peace Corps, taught English in China, and created a plan called “The Freedom Bomb” that would use literacy and education to liberate third world countries from poverty and oppression, the reporter called my father “loveably quixotic.”

I’m not going to lie, I had to look up quixotic in the dictionary, but it basically means exceedingly idealistic. It described my father completely. He believed in world peace and freedom for all. He believed in living in full expression of self, and encouraged his family, friends, and even complete strangers to live creatively and believe in a world where anything was possible. Living and thinking that way made my dad happy.

This world needs more lovably quixotic people. We need more dreamers. We need Don't wait for "someday" Make It Happen Blueprint - Michelle McCulloughmore people who believe that wrongs can be righted and sadnesses can turn happy. We need to turn idealistic thoughts into realistic thoughts, and then we need to act on them.

Don’t think small. Though you may not achieve all the dreams you set out to, you’ll likely find simply pursuing them brings you happiness. You’ll find a sense of fulfillment on your journey knowing your dreams aren’t sitting in a lonely box labeled “Someday.”

This experience taught me other things as well.  I share my thoughts about why some ideas spread in the TEDx talk.

MAKE IT HAPPEN with Michelle McCullough VISION BOARD EVENT

successequation.002While everyone is talking about MAKING resolutions, I want to talk about KEEPING them.

Join me for an evening that will set you up to succeed.

Date: Thursday, January 28, 2015

Time: 7:00-9:30 PM

Where: Provo Recreation Center THEATER ROOM

REGISTER HERE

Michelle will share the 5 simple decisions that will help you crush it in life and business.  You’ll learn how to operate at your prime so that you can accomplish more without sacrificing your most important priorities.

Whether you’re trying to tackle health or organizational goals or if you’re ready to take your business to the next level, this event is for you!

AND you’ll also make your own vision board! Today I shared why vision boards are such a great part of your New Years goal setting, and here’s your chance to make one.  Join us on the 28th and ALL the supplies will be provided for you to create your 2016 vision.

In honor of my appearance on the place, tickets are only $16 (get it, 2016…) so snag your spot.  Tickets go back up to $26 on Thursday, January 7th at 11:00 PM.

Bring a friend for this fun night!

REGISTER HERE

Michelle McCullough on The Place Vision Boards Michelle Vision Board

The Place – Teaching Your Kids Gratitude

9932375058718889664See Michelle’s segment on The Place!

Author and success coach Michelle McCullough shares ideas on how to incorporate gratitude into family life.
1. Create a gratitude tree. Have family members write a few things they`re grateful for each night. You can make your own, or buy a printable online.
**If you want to keep a regular practice of documenting good things all year, create a celebration jar. Every time something great happens, put it in a jar and create a tradition around reading it on New Years Eve or New Years day**

This is just one of three ideas Michelle shares.  These ideas are good during Thanksgiving or any time of year!

To see the whole interview, click here.

This is Michelle’s 3rd time on The Place. To see Michelle’s previous segments go here & here.

My First "Make It Happen" Moment

My first Make It Happen Moment happened 19 years ago next week. I went to Girls State as a summer senior and decided I wanted to run for one of the highest offices: Governor. While public speaking and current events were “my thing” at that time, I had never won a student body office (and I ran EVERY year from sixth grade on). I’m not entirely sure what made me think I could do it, but I started the week with hope.

By mid-week, I could tell my competition was going to be fierce. Some of the best debaters I had ever competed against were there and I knew they were going to run for a state office. The night before I had to file, I called my mom in tears. I told her about these girls. I told her how smart and bright they were. That they were state champions and 4.0 students.

Then she told me, “Michelle, Make It Happen”. She cheered me on and reminded me of a phrase we had learned from Elaine Millet. A youth leader placed in my life and taught me this principle that has shaped my life and my business.

And then I went to work. I gave 17 speeches over the next 3 days. I proceeded with confidence and strength. I did everything I could and won in primaries. Then campaigned again for final elections. My competitor was also a debater. She could also speak well. I remember standing in the polling line petrified. Then I had to wait 7 hours for the results.

When my name was called I felt the reward of visualizing something I wanted, but also working real hard for it. “Make It Happen” became my personal mantra and has shaped my life, my businesses and my future in profound ways.

Girls State changed me. And it wasn’t just winning. I left with a deep love for my country and the many men and women who sacrifice for the freedoms I enjoy. I am more patriotic, more active in my community and a better citizen because of my experience.

I’m also mindful that it was because of my dear Grandpa Joe that I even got to go. He was a member of the American Legion. Because of his membership I was given one of 4 spots to go – 16 girls from my high school applied. As I type, my grandfather is in his final days. I will be forever grateful for him, his military service and how this experience was made possible because of his courage to fight for our freedoms.Girls State Projects

Today, my house looks like a mix between a classroom and a patriotic store. Projects in every room, and on every flat surface. It is an honor to be on the staff of Utah Girls State. Something I’ve done for the last 15 years. questions to ask To give back to a program that meant so much to me.

The hours of work, the times I get to remind my husband and kids why this is important to me, the lack of pay (there is none)…it’s all worth it. Today I salute the women of Girls State 1996 who had houses like this, who sacrificed hours so I could have the experience I did. THEY made it happen for me.

I’d love to hear…what is one of your Make It Happen Moments? Or tell me about a person who has helped cheer you on through one of your Make It Happen Moments?

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Michelle McCullough ThumbnailBestselling author, Michelle McCullough is also a sought after business strategist and speaker. She’s the creator of “The Social Media Blueprint For Business” a digital marketing planning tool for entrepreneurs and small businesses. She’s been featured in numerous media outlets including entrepreneur.com and the 40 under 40. She’s also the host of a weekly radio show that hit over a million downloads at the beginning of 2015. As a mother of two young children she knows there’s no time to mess around. It’s time to Make It Happen. (Michelle’s motivational book “Make It Happen – The Success Practices for Peak Performers” will be out in 2015. Sign up for the Make It Happen Toolkit and you’ll be first to hear about it’s release!)