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Mary Doodles, a Doer Ready to Live Like Forrest Gump

Part of this series was to highlight best practices from each person I interviewed on the Art of Doing.  Mary had some refreshing insights.  At her best she describes the feeling like flying a kite, where “you feel the wind just comes and takes it.”  Researchers would call this flow:

Flow is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity.

This definition could be Mary’s tagline, listing out many of the qualities that an effective doer possess.  But then again, she doesn’t take herself too seriously to boast about it.  When asked what she is going to do with the rest of her life, she said “Maybe I’ll be President.  Maybe I’ll go to the moon.  I kind of want to Forest Gump-it and do all things I can do.  It is cool to have a label (Mary Doodles), but there are so many things I like do.”
This response really struck me.  The pressures we put on ourselves to have our lives exactly figured out, start to finish, is overwhelming.  Mary provides an example of going with the stream, instead of against it.  To be open to the changing directions of life instead of fighting them.  That we can’t control and set out the exacts of our lives.  Life is about change, embrace it.
Soon after this significant revelation Mary offhanded pronounced, “I do think Jesus rides a Pegasus and if you don’t agree with me I am going to burn down your village.”
Back to laughing like watching an Arrested Development episode.
Vidcon DrawingMy final questions were inspired by the idea bucket lists.  What each doer would encourage others to do at least once, in the next year, in the next week and finally what you should do this very day.
Without a moment’s pause Mary proclaimed, “Before you become a unicorn and ride the unending rainbow in the sky…”
Jokes aside, she suggested “Try at least one thing you think you are terrible at…but do it like you mean it!  Don’t do it and be like, I’m really bad at this.  Say, I’m going to do this and try it legitimately.”
This hit an acord with me, as the day previous I was attempting to be a cool wife and took my husband to trapeze lessons on the Santa Monica Pier.  I internally pouted most of the time and gave up after a few tries.  I let my ego take over instead of trying what Mary suggested; do something you are terrible at and do it like you mean it.
We continued to dig deeper, when asked what readers should do in the next year she (to no surprise) started with a punch line, “you should invest in sprite and silver,” then dove into her real suggestion, “Go somewhere, go somewhere different.  Vacation, hike, camp, even if it is only a couple of towns over.”
When asked what we should do in the next week she suggested to call an old friend.  She called herself out saying, “It is really bold because I just Facebook them.”
Finally Mary was asked what should be done today and suggested we write ourselves a note to our future selves, then read it 1, 3 or 5 years later.  “DO IT!” she exclaimed!  Yes Ma’am Mary Doodles.

About Josie

I’m Dr. Josie Ahlquist—a digital engagement and leadership consultant, researcher, educator, and author. I’m passionate about helping people and organizations find purposeful ways to connect, engage, and tell their unique story. I provide consulting, executive coaching, and training for campuses, companies, and organizations that want to learn how to humanize technology tools and build effective and authentic online communities.

My blog and podcast have been recognized by EdTech Magazine, Inside Higher Ed and the Chronicle of Higher Education. My book, Digital Leadership in Higher Education, was published in 2020 and was listed as a #1 new release for college and university student life. I have been growing my consultancy since 2013 and am based in Los Angeles. When I’m not helping clients lead online, you might find me training for a triathlon, spoiling my nieces and nephews, or exploring with my husband and our rescue dogs in our new RV called Lady Hawk.

I’d love to connect! Find me on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

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