Melanie Liddle Healey came to the United States from Brazil to attend university. It was a bold move for an 18-year-old, she told a group of students and alum. It also was a move that scared her.
In reflecting on her life, she asked herself, “How am I different today than I was 35 years ago?” She realized her values, talents and passions are pretty much the same. What shaped her, she said, are the choices she made along the way, and “therefore, the experiences I have had.” She recently announced her retirement from Procter and Gamble.
The intentional choices that Melanie made included:
Choose to be you and believe in yourself. “Believe that you can do anything,” she shared.
The right choice is often the most difficult. “When we do the right thing, we can look everybody in the face without fear,” she said. “We gain the respect of our people and of our families and children, by making them feel proud of what we stand for and what we do. Ultimately, you will be respected for standing up for what you believe in.
Choose to find the courage to step out of your comfort zone. “When you have the courage to step out of your comfort zone, magic happens,” she said.
Choose to make a difference, to give back. She said leaders have a moral obligation and a responsibility to give back and to use their “influence and power proactively to help our communities prosper and be better, stronger.”
You cannot choose to have it all. She said that the choice to not have it all is liberating. “If I cannot have it all, what can I have? What do I really want and what is really important to me?” she asked. “Once you shed the shackles of the illusion that you can choose to have it all, you can focus on the essentials of life.”
She summed it up succinctly:
“Choose to live a life that matters.”