Leslie Knope is one of my greatest inspirations. (Don’t bother telling me that fictional characters can’t claim that space, I’m not listening.)
Passionate, purposeful, effective, Leslie’s life embodies so much of what I want in my own life. If I could be her (with Ron Swansonesque politics and a heart for Christ), I’d be pretty happy.
I’ve been watching back through Parks and Rec, and even though it’s just a sitcom, I think that there is much to be inspired by and to learn from in any good story and every good character, and Leslie Knope is no exception.
Here are my seven favorite Leslie life tips:
Make The People Around You Feel Valued
One of the things I love about Leslie is how loved she makes those around her feel. It doesn’t matter if they’re her coworkers, her boyfriend, or her best friends; she recognizes that everyone is valuable and should be made to feel that way (even Jerry).
What are you doing to make the people around you feel valued? Are you listening to them? Looking for needs to meet and filling them? Take the time to encourage, appreciate, and love those that surround you, no matter the context.
YOU Know How Much Rest You Need
There wouldn’t be any use chastising Leslie about working constantly and only getting 4 hours of sleep; that’s the amount of rest she needs, and she’s set to go. Similarly, there is no use in feeling bad about needing more sleep than the “average person” (an average person is simply statistics and doesn’t actually exist) or needing a slow day out of your weekend. Whether more or less, YOU know how much rest you need, so set your own parameters and do what’s best for you.
Keep Your Priorities Straight
Whether friends or waffles, you need to make sure you keep the first things first. Never let something come between you and your relationship with Christ, and devote the time and energy to relationships and tasks that they need and have earned.
Work Isn’t Just For Money
If you’re working just for the money, you’re going to work a lot of long days. Instead, if you channel Leslie Knope and work at something you’re passionate about or go about your tasks because work itself is valuable and can glorify God, there will be a lot of joyful days ahead of you.
Stay Inspired And Reach Farther
Okay, maybe you don’t need to go as far as Leslie and literally have framed pictures of your greatest inspirations on your desk. Yet, what better way to stay inspired to reach farther than by looking to people who are already where you want to go? Whether that means following your favorite inspirations on Instagram or framing influential quotes, keep your inspiration close.
Take Joy In Working Hard
Slacking off may save you time or energy in the moment, but it certainly isn’t rewarding. Instead, take joy in working hard. After all, according to Leslie, “The best prize life has to offer is a chance to work hard at work worth doing.”
Attitude Is Everything
Finally, the thing that stands out about Leslie is her cheerful, determined spirit. Really, attitude is everything. Life is what you make of it; you can choose to go about it with a joyful spirit or begrudgingly get through your days. Choose wisely.