Angela Maiers is a world-renowned author, entrepreneur, international keynote speaker, and educator, whose transformative message of the importance of mattering has the power to unleash the genius in us all.
I’ve known Angela for many years, followed her on social media, and always look forward to spending time with her in person at conferences. I am so glad we had a chance to have a conversation. I’ve added a few excerpts from our podcast.
About you and your family
I am a mom of two of the most perfect children in the world. My son is 22 pursuing his passion and my daughter is a student at the University of Hawaii. They are both getting to travel and see the world and trying to find out who their best selves are. I live south of Denver in a little town called Lone Tree and love it. Everything is perfect; the weather, the people, the mountains, and more. I feel grateful every day.
Your background in education
I got into education to change lives and change the world. I was in medicine before I came to my senses. I focused on neuroscience with a background in linguistics. I was always fascinated with how language influences both the brain and learning. My heart wasn’t in medicine; it was in education. So over 30 years ago, I joined this amazing field and see everyone as a learner. I’m a teacher in front of students and learner with them and in front of teachers. Anyone we get to be with, we are all teachers and learners at the same time.
Why you developed Choose2Matter
Choose2Matter developed itself. Always, from the moment I chose education, I’ve been deeply aware of my purpose. I know that I am here to be a catalyst of impact and for positive change. Education is supporting anyone at any level who wants to take the responsibility for their own lives and to make the world a better place. Really that’s the foundation of Choose2Matter. Helping people figure out what their unique contribution to the world is going to be.
It wasn’t until I did a TedTalk years ago when I was thinking about all the topics I could say in 17 minutes how you could change the world. We change the world by showing up and presenting the best version of ourselves. Doing this is not easy. Mattering is not an event, a theme, or a message about feeling good about ourselves. It is a discipline and a fierce commitment to figuring out on your own how to offer everything you are to the world. It is also about developing that sense of confidence, calmness, and courage in other people to do the same.
Sometimes mattering is a minute-by-minute, breath-by-breath choice to be brave, to be fully yourself, to be fiercely committed to your own truth and authentic you. When there are so many ways we can hide in the world, because we can listen to our voice or other voices like those that say “you’re just a teacher” or “you’re just a mom” or “you’re not enough.” It can be so hard to stay on top of our own worthiness. We must commit to worthiness being our daily practice. When you encounter someone who is confident with a sense of calmness and is courageous in how much they don’t waiver by outside forces, it is truly contagious and inspiring.
Let’s talk about Mattering
When I look into kids eyes telling them that they have a responsibility to contribute their best selves to the world, I can’t do that authentically if I’m not living in that same room. We create conditions for doubt in school rather than conditions for courage. People are drowning in insignificance at every single level, and it is affecting our world at a prolific and pandemic rate. We now can link through science mattering to mortality. When people don’t feel like they matter and when their desire to be essential to other people isn’t honored and recognized, the repercussions of that range from apathy to full out agony.
In many cases, as you and I know, people want to matter more than they want to live. So we have an increased rate in the suicide rate in young people and in communities among us. I’m getting calls from soldiers, nurses, police, and other individuals who serve other people and see the pain that feeling that you don’t matter causes. The message about mattering is not about being a nicety, it is about being a necessity. Mattering is an essential need. We don’t want to simply know we matter, we need to know we matter. Mattering is not a program or policy. It is an inside-out commitment to one’s own worthiness.
MQ – Mattering Quotient
I’ve been working with Denver University and Georgia Tech University through the algorithms for MQ. What that would mean if we could come up with that in an authentic and scientifically-based rigorous way, we then will have the potential to impact at a profound level. We won’t have to wait until the end of life and look back to say “did my life matter?” What if we could guide kids to increase their own mattering quotient so they could be in charge of their own destiny?
Part of helping students grow is recognizing and honoring who they are right now. The rewards will be immediate. We can help individuals and organizations understand and embrace the transformative power of technology and leadership in the digital age. The web is advancing itself from a human perspective. What will move forward communities, humanity, and the world will be a return to our humanity. Trust, authenticity, and loyalty are scarce. All of these elements remind us that technology exists to advance our humanity. That’s what MQ stands for a technology-enabled advanced algorithm representing a person’s ability to understand and embody their significance as compared to others at their age. You increase your mattering quotient when you are operating in your zone of passion. You bring a fuller sense of yourself because you engaged and honor your passion. When you put your passion into something bigger than yourself, you find a purpose. Your purpose helps you realize that you matter.
There is much more in the podcast so please listen, share and leave Angela a review on iTunes and a comment on this post. Make sure you follow Angela on social media, read her books, and visit Angela’s website https://www.angelamaiers.com/ for so much more.
Leader. Visionary. Entrepreneur. Disruptor. Change Maker. Angela Maiers embodies each of these descriptors with passion, commitment, and fierce determination. She has been creating and leading change in education and enterprise for 31 years, teaching every level of school from grade school to graduate school and consulting with companies around the world.
Angela Maiers founded Choose2Matter to bring the world hope by helping every individual embrace their value and potential contribution. Initially launched to challenge and inspire students to work collaboratively to develop innovative solutions to social problems, Choose2Matter has evolved into a movement that supports parents, educators, and employees around the world. Her work in 60,000 classrooms across 100 countries has rallied more than a million children who have banded together to launch 170 social enterprises and pass 17 laws. And organizations across all industries are finding new ways to ignite the genius of their employees, successfully addressing a $15 trillion employee engagement problem.
Angela earned a BS in Education with a minor in Neuroscience and Master Degrees in Literacy and Ed Leadership. She is the author of eight books, including Liberating Genius, The Habitudes, and The Passion-Driven Classroom. Angela is widely recognized as one of most influential voices on social media today, consistently ranking in the top 1% and a regular contributor to the Huffington Post.
Books by Angela
The Passion-Driven Classroom
Angela’s Keynotes and Tedx Talks [YouTube Channel]
For all of the Conversations on Learning podcasts with Barbara Bray,
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