June 3, 2022
Andrews & Associates Counseling recently hosted the Mind, Body & Heart Expo in Manhattan, KS. This educational and interactive health and wellness event was designed to encourage the community to build connections and utilize local health and wellness resources. The event was offered free to the public, made possible in part by contributions from local businesses and organizations who share Andrews & Associates’ commitment to helping NE Kansas grow more resilient.
Exhibitors showcased services and shared their expertise through demonstrations and small-group presentations, drawing inspiration from the 8 Dimensions of Wellness. In addition to the expo, a reception was offered with refreshments, music, and dancing. Special guest performances were provided by Fort Riley’s 1st Infantry Division Band Jazz Combo.
We were joined by guest speakers Matt & Ali Goss, who are local business owners and long-time residents of the area. The power couple revealed insights from their lived experiences to highlight the power of second chances and the importance of positive body image. In a poignant moment, Ali Goss said, “Personal wellness is a choice, you cannot be passive about it. You have to be intentional. You have to make decisions for yourself – that you’re going to step out of your comfort zone and fight for something that’s important to you.”
At the end of the night, we welcomed our keynote speaker, Bill Snyder. Snyder is famously known as “the winningest coach in K-State football history.” With a personal and professional track record exemplifying resilience in action, the opportunity to hear his input and guidance was a highly anticipated aspect of this event. All rose to their feet when Snyder took the stage, and many guests were visibly captivated by his message. The key points of his talk are summarized and interpreted below.
During his address, Snyder shared several deeply felt personal accounts, each dosed with a good portion of worldly wisdom. Overall, he emphasized the importance of community, family, and faith in the journey to find personal success and improve wellness.
“I think from an individual standpoint,” said Snyder, “the most significant thing is that we surround ourselves with great people – we surround ourselves with people that genuinely care and people who genuinely want to make our life better.”
Snyder credits his mother for providing him with sound guidance. He explained that early in life, he learned not only to seek out connections with people who are genuinely caring, but to reciprocate and help better others’ lives in return.
He put forward that to be successful in life, we must take time to think about and establish our priorities. The priorities we choose should be primarily rooted in the basic things that are most important to us (family, values, health, etc.). Any goals we set in life should be set around the parameters our priorities naturally create. In this way, we can take a more informed and intentional approach to our goals in life.
Snyder noted that it is never too late in life to begin this process. “We are all functional, wonderful individuals who can and should help others, and do positive things, whatever our time happens to be,” he said.
The next step is to create a plan and follow through to achieve our ambitions. To do so, Snyder encourages us to ask ourselves, “What have we done to become better today? What can we do to become better today? Will we do that which we need to do to become better today?”
He acknowledged that following through can sometimes be difficult. In an age of instant gratification, it is easier to move on to something else than to see our goals through to the end.
But according to Snyder, we must keep fighting for what is right and what is best for us if we wish to succeed. It takes perseverance, but we can take it one day at a time.
The power of perseverance is something Snyder has experienced firsthand. When his middle daughter Meredith was still a high school student, she was injured in a horrifying car accident. She was a passenger in a vehicle alongside a driver who had been drinking.
Snyder said the driver was speeding on the highway, ran off the road, and crashed into a tree. Meredith went through the windshield and broke her neck on impact.
Despite being taken into surgery immediately, the accident left her paralyzed from the waist down. The doctors’ prognosis was that Meredith would not walk again. In his words, this news broke Snyder’s heart and his mind.
But he and his family did not lose hope. And astonishingly, after six months of rehabilitation Meredith successfully regained the ability to walk.
Today, Snyder says, Meredith is an accomplished business owner and a loving, active mother who has three children of her own. He attributes her recovery and success to her character and perseverance.
A big part of life is managing expectations. There are expectations placed upon us from a young age, and in turn, we also place expectations upon ourselves. But by Snyder’s measure, our self-expectations are some of the most vital determinants when it comes to success.
“Unfortunately, so many of us place great limitations on our capabilities to become successful in whatever areas that are important to us. I can’t do this; I can’t do that; It’s too hard. But enhancing our expectations and believing in ourselves becomes so significant and so important,” he said. If the aim is to improve our lives and find our own version of success, how we view ourselves and what we believe we can accomplish really matters.
Snyder closed his speech somewhat enigmatically by telling a spinoff of the “The Golden Telephone” joke (with Manhattan, Kansas featured at the punchline, of course). The takeaway? The final ingredient needed to be successful is to have faith, and to know that help is always nearby.
Faith is having the confidence and the conviction that you can achieve what you set out to do. It involves finding your purpose and keeping it at the top of your mind even as you face challenges. Whether you turn to a higher power, lean on your support system, tap your inner strength, or all of the above – you have to keep on believing and keep on going.
Snyder’s advice can be distilled into 5 simple rules:
These rules can be applied to achieve our own unique successes and thrive in the vast array of environments and through all situations that we encounter in life. We all inevitably face hardships and challenges in life, but we can take steps each day to achieve our goals.
Still, it’s important to recognize that most people have a breaking point. For your wellbeing, it will be necessary to take breaks, practice self-care, and ask for help from time to time. Grant yourself this kindness – and be prepared to encourage those you care about to do the same for themselves.
Working on and maintaining reciprocal relationships can help us feel supported as we develop greater resilience. As Snyder pointed out, it’s not so much about the goals we pursue as it is about how we grow in the process of realizing them. ⯁
Visit the Mind, Body & Heart Expo gallery for a look back at our favorite moments
As the Marketing Manager and Head of Strategic Communications at Andrews & Associates Counseling, Liza enjoys connecting clients to the information, services, and resources they are looking for. She and her husband currently live on post at Fort Riley. Liza’s favorite pastimes include lifting weights, cross-country mountain biking, and exploring the outdoors with her two rescue dogs.