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.”
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.