It was a hot summer day, and I had been working on my fifth book for a few hours, when I decided to jump on my bike and head down to Dewey Beach to grab ice cream at my favorite place—Vanderwende’s.

With an exceedingly generous serving of mint chocolate chip (my favorite) in my hand, I reach for my credit card. 

“Nah, it’s on me today,” she said. 

“It was on you earlier this week,” I said, handing over my credit card. 

“It’s on me again,” she responded quickly. 

“I’ll take you to lunch then,” I said. 

Then, she said the most validating and affirmative words… the ones I needed to hear… the ones I’m working to remember… 

“You don’t owe me anything… your words have value.” 

Let The Truth Sink In 

I paused to allow those words to sink into every fiber of my being. 

Very often, we think that there’s something bigger, more important, that we need to do or say to be or become valuable. It doesn’t always occur to us that who we are, and what we naturally (and easily) have to offer, IS valuable. 

It’s not so much about becoming valuable, and more about valuing our natural talents. That doesn’t mean that we don’t keep gaining new skills, but it does mean that our skills will be more valuable when we value ourselves. 

We think it has to be hard, when all we really need to do is be ourselves, and to share our joy. 

Opportunities Come To Joyful People 

On my bike ride back, filled with sugar and joy, I rode up right next to a guy on a mountain bike and asked, jokingly, “Want to race?” 

Without a word, he kicked into high gear, and we were off to the races. Honestly, I’m not sure who won because we ended up in a deep and meaningful conversation about leadership and his challenges with a few of his team members. 

He ended up extending his ride by nearly twelve miles as he rode all the way back to Lewes with me. Just before turning to head back, we exchanged contact information. Out of that simple exchange of passion, fun, and deep listening is another remarkable opportunity to work with a driven, honest, and humble human. 

I love it when opportunities (including free ice cream) come to me simply by being me.

How about you? What do you enjoy doing so much that you cannot help but do it? Do you remember the moment when you realized that was all you really needed to do? Just be you, that is. 

Here’s to your greatness,  

Misti Burmeister 

Misti Burmeister equips leaders and teams with skills and resources to empower and engage across generations. For nearly 20 years, she has facilitated communication that results in trust, increasing engagement and productivity across generations. Make sure your communication is coming across the way you intend, visit