One of my Mantras is, “Be Intentional”.

Do what you say you will do… but think about it first.

Hmmm.   I can’t remember the moment I decided to live with intention, but most people who know me would probably use the word to describe me.  It might have come from watching people not be intentional.  It might have come from the hard lessons of the frustration that comes from letting others direct my efforts or decide my focus.  Whatever the source, “be intentional” has become an almost daily mantra for me.

I can’t just tell myself to be intentional, I have to have a strategy or a plan to guide my behaviors, thoughts, and actions so that I actually become intentional.


[a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim.]
Here is my intentional strategy: 

Be Intentional-

  • Know what I believe.  I don’t have to tell everyone every thought and/or opinion I have, but I should know what I believe and why if I want to be sure I am doing or not doing what is important to me.
  • Decide for myself how I spend my time.  There are television shows that I might enjoy or benefit from.  There are books and magazines worth reading.  There are people who will add to my life if I spend time with them.  If I choose for myself, I will be less likely to succumb to advertising and marketing ploys for things I really do not want to steal my time away.
  • Don’t say “yes” or “no” too quickly.  Take time to consider how I commit my time and energy.  There will be consequences to any decision and I am wise to be as much in control of my decisions and actions as possible.
  • Don’t blame others for my own choices and results.  Own my own efforts and decisions.  Apologize when necessary.  Reimburse when appropriate.  Accept credit and praise graciously.  Say thank you and “I am sorry.”
  • Live without regrets.  If I consciously, intentionally decide what to say, how to spend time, who to be with, what to do, then the chances of having regrets is slim.

We can’t become intentional on accident. What is your strategy?





If you are alive and breathing, someone has done something that requires your forgiveness. Someone has offended you. Someone has wronged you. Someone has stepped on you or over you or around you on their way to a place you thought you were going with them. Someone has devalued you by their actions or words.

And, now, you are living with the memory of that (or those) wrongs and offensives.

Sometimes, a relationship is strong enough that reconciliation is possible. Sometimes, hearts are pure enough that repentance happens. Sometimes, those events are the result of addiction and amends are made. Sometimes, life-change comes and clarity allows for frank discussion.

But, not always. Maybe, not often.

You don’t have to live with dark clouds hanging over you. Someone else’s inability to consider others is not a limit on your own life. Just because someone else has offended you doesn’t mean that you have to live with resentment or anger or self-doubt or lack of confidence.

You can forgive.

Forgiveness requires only one person. One person who decides they will not live with resentment, but rather, choose a clear conscience and a clear heart. One person who will choose to say, “What that person did hurt me……but I will not hold it against them.” One person who can look beyond the “now” of keeping score and look to the future of moving forward without barriers.

Forgiveness is not saying, “It doesn’t matter.”

It does matter. It does hurt. It does have consequences. BUT, you can let it go. You can allow the other person to have their own journey….without your participation. And without your resentment.

Reconciliation requires more than one person. At least two people need to converse and confess and concur for reconciliation.

Forgiveness, though, only requires one person. One person who will have the conversation with themselves that can end the inner turmoil and move forward.

One person who can muster up the courage to say, “I forgive.”






Five Good Reasons For You


DiSC solves five good reasons

Need a reason to take the DiSC Personal Profile System?

I’ve got five good reasons for you…


1.) You can know your unique wiring.

You are wired uniquely and understanding your wiring (with DiSC) is a major key to success in relationships, whether personal or professional.

There was a time I tried to be quiet and un-opinionated.  I was around people who told me, often, that I was “too” quick to speak, “too” bossy, “too” independent.

I had a husband who loved me and tolerated my sassiness, but even he thought maybe I should try to calm myself to have less conflict (a reflection of his wiring!).  I had potential but not knowing what my strengths were, I was insecure and way too concerned about what others thought of me.

It didn’t last long, me trying to be quiet. Though I tried, even my version of quiet was not the same as others’ expectations. The result was that I was unhappy trying to satisfy others’ expectations of me and they weren’t satisfied, anyway.

It was about that time that I found the DiSC Personal Profile System (PPS) and my life was changed forever. I was not a “mistake” and there would be a place for me.  I just had to find it.

Debbie Hensleigh and DiSC

2.) You can be comfortable in your own skin. 

Understanding yourself can make you comfortable in your own skin, which makes you less likely to compare yourself to others.

For me, realizing that my behavior style was on the chart (so to speak) was a great comfort. I was beginning to think, limiting myself to a small group of peers who had specific expectations, that I was “wrong.” I tried to change myself to be like others around me, thinking that they were “right.”

Comparing either will lead to hubris (I’m better than…) or depression (I’m worse than….) Comparing rarely leads to positive relationships with yourself or others.

Comparison is the thief of joy… -Theodore Roosevelt

The DiSC (PPS) gave me the freedom to recognize that I am going to be happier and more effective in an environment where my fast-paced, task-oriented style is welcomed.

3.) You can acknowledge and celebrate your strengths.

Knowing your wiring allows you to recognize areas of strength that you can celebrate.

The interesting thing about strengths is that it is usually strengths in excess that get us into trouble.

In my example, my willingness to share my opinion, my quick decision making, my desire for action (often, including change) was threatening and overpowering to my peers.  My strengths were the very aspects of ME that were squelched.

As I began to see my “flaws” as strengths, I gradually began to see that I could bring these traits to an organization or a group of friends to everyone’s benefit. Instead of hiding them, I needed to name them, be grateful for them, and learn to manage them well.

4.) You can find new energy for your dreams.

Your strengths celebrated can help you realize new and powerful potential for meeting the dreams and goals you have.

As I learned to be thankful for my bold approach to life, I found ways to benefit others.

  • I started a not-for-profit and learned new skills as a facilitator and team-builder.
  • I built a business from nothing to something fairly significant by getting people to try our product.
  • I helped several organizations make changes that were necessary for growth.
  • I encouraged many, many individuals to make lasting change for their success…often by helping them discover their DiSC wiring.

I continue all of this to this day (and beyond).  It’s what I’m good at.

Learning to use my wiring and finding a way to benefit others is part of my mix.

5.) You can find power and purpose.

Embracing your wiring is the key to learning to live your life on purpose.

When I was trying to be someone other than who I am wired to be, the results were frustrating. And not just for me. My kids felt it, my husband knew it, and even those I was frustrating before were still frustrated with me.

When I learned that I had strengths that could be celebrated and used well, it was the beginning of finding my purpose.

A huge part of my purpose is to help others find theirs!  It is reflected in my personal life mission statement:

My mission is to live a life of Grace and Truth with stories
to tell that will inspire others to live a life on purpose.

Those are five reasons to take the DiSC Personal Profile System. I could give you more! It truly  has the potential to change your life.

Understanding my unique wiring has changed my life for the much, much better.


We have several options for learning more about DiSC and YOU.

♦ In person with Debbie Hensleigh ♦

December 10, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.

Pizza M/Flying Machine Coffee
206 W Main, Urbana, IL 61801

Small group atmosphere // $40, includes self-scoring PPS
with instruction and discovery


♦ Understanding Your Wiring ♦

Special $97 offer for online course…



Contact Debbie if you have any questions about our upcoming event or if you’d like to begin understanding your unique wiring.


Life on Purpose… Change Yourself


At a workshop presented by Christie Clinic Foundation last week, the topic was “Live Your Life on Purpose.”

Life on Purpose is the sub-line of Your BEST ThirdThird. Since this workshop was focused on what I focus on, I thought I might learn something. I went because it was sponsored by people I respect. AND because I am invested in the topic.

From the workshop, I came out with three great questions worth pondering.  They are challenging, but one way to be sure that you are designing a life that will eventually lead you to the BEST ThirdThird possible, is to challenge your thoughts.

Here you go… Good questions for defining your Life on Purpose:

Question One:  What problem would you want to solve?

A participant suggested this as an alternative to asking a child what they want to be when they grow up. But what a great pondering for adults.

Hunger? Abuse? Educational opportunities? Neighborhood connections? Fear of change? Shedding Shame? Addiction to…? Sports for kids? Running?

That list is off the top of my head, thinking of possible answers of friends I know. For a life on purpose, zeroing in on a problem you’d like to solve is a valuable exercise.

It can also be a great conversation starter!

Question Two: What are three key moments in your life?

And what lessons did you learn from them?

I like this because it keeps changing for me.  On the day, with a short period of time, I came up with … changing careers at age 54 that resulted in me realizing in a new way that I am intellectually capable of a lot more than I had always thought.  There was time for only one to be shared.

I keep thinking, though, about that question and now have three key momentes that are significant in what I am doing and where I am going right now.

  1. The day I, usually the “worker bee,” organized and led a group of 45 people to build a low-ropes team building course at our Retreat and Training Center.  I had the knowledge and the vision of the end result so was moving between projects and giving encouragement and direction. At the end of the day, I realized that I had MANAGED and LED that day to great results.  A Leader was born!life on purpose 1
  2. The week spent in Honduras on a mission trip with my daughter. She was 15, too young to go alone, so I agreedlife on purpose 4 to be a chaperone. I was concerned most about being away from home for 12 days. What if I got tired of what we were doing and wanted to return home? At the end of the trip, I was struck by the changes in the team members.  We were each changed by the experience of being with people who had so much less than we did….and seemed so much more content.  I was hooked on providing opportunities for North Americans to get outside their comfort zones by joining work teams into developing countries.  I was changed by the people I met and places around the world I visited over the next 10 years as a volunteer trip leader with churches and Habitat for Humanity.

    A concrete and on-going result is our not-for-profit in Mexico and my pet project, The Chicken Project.

  3. A long time ago and truly significant, I received a letter from woman I respected, encouraging me to “Write.” I told her I didn’t have time. Five young children, one with a disability, home schooling, a husband with a job that needed my support. Writing for publication did not fit on my list of to-do’s.

“Then, keep a journal of lessons you are learning so that when you DO have the time, you will remember accurately.”  That letter, that exhortation, has stayed with me now for 36 years and I am finally doing it, right here, right now.  My journals are one of my most valued possessions. The chronicle of risks taken, lessons learned, the proof that “this too shall pass” and other situations will come along.

Question Three: State your personal mission in 2 words.

This came from discussion at our table, from a woman who had been challenged to state her mission in two words.  At our table of four, we came up with “Encourage others,” “Give Care,” “Special Needs Children,” and mine…… “Inspire Change.”

I offer a Life on Purpose workshop that involves writing a personal mission statement. I have worked with hundreds of people with this topic as focus. Distilling it down to 2 words is a good challenge.

I like my longer statement that encompasses how and for whom, but for decision making situations, for considering options for my time, for an instant reminder, two words work.

Inspire Change. Yep, that’s me.

I’d love to know some of your reflections and reactions to some of these questions!






That’s What She Said

I get to tell my story to a whole bunch of women in a few days at “That’s What She Said” at the Virginia Theatre! I’m very excited to be up on stage and giving  a small (7 minutes) glimpse of The Life of Debbie. My topic is “Which Old Woman Will I Be?”

Robin Scholz/The News-Gazette Participants practice there curtain call during rehearsal for Thats What She Said at the Virginia Theatre in Champaign on Monday, Oct. 10, 2016.L-R-Kerry Rossow, Gianina Baker, Mary Enright, Peggy Prichard, Ashley Morgan, Stacey Cole and Debbie Hensleigh.

Robin Scholz/The News-Gazette
Participants practice there curtain call during rehearsal for Thats What She Said at the Virginia Theatre in Champaign on Monday, Oct. 10, 2016.L-R-Kerry Rossow, Gianina Baker, Mary Enright, Peggy Prichard, Ashley Morgan, Stacey Cole and Debbie Hensleigh.

So this event is all about telling stories.

It’s a great privilege to have someone listen to your story.  And there are a number of reasons to tell your story. Whether it is to share information that you think might help someone else or to make yourself feel like your story matters or to make others smile and think, stories have great power.

Because…..we’re not in this process of LIFE alone! We are each unique, but, as a wise man once said, “There is nothing new under the sun.”

My story includes more than one situation that others will be able to relate to.  I can tell you that you can face those challenges and come out better for it. You can build on those very experiences to design your BEST ThirdThird even if you are in your SecondThird or FirstThird.

Chances are, whatever story you have to tell, someone not too distant from you will be able to identify with it. You can be a help and an inspiration if you are willing to tell someone your story.

In the meantime, listen to others’ stories…and come to That’s What She Said!

Here are some details on the event:



Write Your Personal Mission Statement

Putting it all together…

Have you been using the resources and working towards writing your own Personal Mission Statement?

A  good, working statement will guide your decisions….large and small.  Let’s begin to put it all together into a meaningful and useful Personal Mission Statement.

Remember that your Mission Statement is:

–Based on your strengths (personality, experience, skill)

–Based on what you consider important (values and qualities)

–Based on what you would die for (so you know what is worth living for).

A Mission Statement is not…..

Your job, or…

Prescribed by someone else, or….

Your role, or…

Your destiny, or….

Your to-do list, or….

The same as the mission of those around you.

Your Mission Statement is your clearly defined territory of responsibility.

To begin writing your Mission Statement:

 >  Download this free worksheet

 >  Circle all the words that mean something to you… that make you want to DO them (these are verbs…action verbs).  If a word that you want to use is not there, add it in.

 >  Narrow it down to three (3). Choose the 3 that HAVE to be on the list.


I have a long list of verbs that I like….so feel free to circle a lot of verbs, but think about them as you read along.

Deciding the words that I like best comes by recognizing the things that I do all the time. Affirm – daily affirmations and helping others replace their limiting beliefs with truly spoken personal affirmations is one of my favorite coaching techniques and a workshop I love presenting. I LOVE connect(ing) people to make good networking possibilities (I even say that it is what floats my boat when I am feeling cheerful and resorting to a clever cliche). Forgive(ness), of myself as well as of others, is core to my growth and is deep in my own story. I am a woman of faith and, daily, I return to what I believe to be true; what is most important to my life and world view.

All those verbs I like BUT, to narrow down, I have to choose three (3) that are my favorite.

The three words that connect with me most, the words that I WANT TO DO are:

Live.  Communicate. Inspire.

I want to LIVE to the fullest. I want to LIVE every day with purpose and intent. I want to LIVE, not wasting a day, enjoying the breath and thought and opportunity and experience what each day affords.

I was born to COMMUNICATE. I love to tell a story. I love to hear someone else’s story. I love few things more than communicating a story that helps someone connect their own dots, work out their own life puzzles, give value to their own story.

When my mother learned that people paid me to speak, she wagged her head. “Your Daddy (who died much too young and who I miss to this day) would be amazed,” she said. “There were times he wanted to pay you to shut up.” I have worked hard at learning to COMMUNICATE well, speaking and writing, learning to use words to encourage and motivate others.

And I want to INSPIRE other people. I know that the struggles and victories, the hurts and forgiveness, the challenges and fun times that I have are both uniquely mine and very much not at all unique to me.

We have all struggled and are looking for victory. We have all been hurt and can find forgiveness when the time and understanding are right. We each and all face challenges and have the opportunity for fun on a daily basis.

I believe that each life is worth a lot.

So, my three verbs are LIVE, COMMUNICATE, INSPIRE.

> Now to connect your three verbs with who (or what) and why.

Remember the Values and Qualities most important to you?

My values were Wisdom, Openness, Self-awareness, a sense of humor.

My chosen qualities were Honest, Logical, Respectful, and Forgiving.

Boiled down, I can combine all of those words and attributes to two words: GRACE and TRUTH.

So, with my VERBS (what I want to do) and my VALUES (what is important to me), I can state what I want to DO: I want to LIVE a life full of GRACE and TRUTH. And, I want to tell my stories (COMMUNICATE).

That is the beginning of my Personal Mission Statement.

It is my WHAT.

Yours will be different.  Maybe yours is to teach… or to MOLD… or to EQUIP… or to PROVIDE.

Often, there are two or three verbs that go together….

….to serve and support.

….to teach and to inspire.

….to create and demonstrate and reclaim.

….to engage, enlighten, and embrace.

YOUR Personal Mission Statement will begin to emerge…. keep working at it. Distill it down.

Now, I need a WHY and a FOR WHOM.

My WHY is to help people see that they are NOT STUCK.




My WHY is also that I want to keep changing, keep growing, keep learning. To do that, I need to keep having stories to tell.  I need to keep hearing others’ stories and understanding. I need to keep living in GRACE and TRUTH.

My WHO is broad….and narrow. My WHO doesn’t have an age or a demographic or a particular audience…at least my personal missions statement doesn’t (My business plan does). My WHO is whoever I can reach…whoever will hear and appreciate my stories, whoever can relate.  Whoever is ready to think about change for better.

My own personal mission is to live a life of grace and truth
and to tell my stories that have the potential to change lives.

Here is the formula and the outline for Your Personal Mission Statement

Writing your personal mission statement is not starting something new.
It is putting on paper what you are already doing, in most cases.
It is identifying and defining how you want to live.

Know Your Strengths


Having a clear Mission Statement is at the core of designing Your BEST ThirdThird.

That’s why we have been devoting this blog to taking you step by step through a process to write your own Personal Mission Statement.

If you are participating and are in the process of writing your own Personal Mission Statement, you have considered and evaluated…

  • How you think of yourself (drew an image),
  • How others have articulated their belief in you (remembered others’ prophecies),
  • Your personal values, and
  • The qualities you most hold dear.

Why? So that you can focus on the MOST important opportunities you have.

And now, you are ready to consider your strengths… how you are wired and how that fits in with your great mission statement.

[It’s not too late to start writing your Personal Mission Statement]

You have a personality (though a common joke when I am presenting on this topic is that someone is fearful that they won’t have one).

It could also be said that we are wired to have certain Behavioral Tendencies. Or, we might suggest that a certain percentage of our emotional make-up is genetic wiring.

Whichever way you want to think of it, it is very obvious that we are each unique, and that we fall into similar categories, depending on…

Whether we are motivated by Task or People.

Whether we are Fast-paced or Slow-paced.

Where on the spectrum of each of those we fall.

How that all fits together.

Understanding our “personality” is crucial to our success in life.  Even understanding a few basics about your strengths will clarify your Personal Mission Statement.


For a basic, quick quiz to give you an idea of your tendencies, click HERE.  After you choose a few options given, it will give you a percentage of each of four “tendencies” and some suggestions as to how you might want to use your strengths in your BEST ThirdThird.

P R A C T I C A L   E X A M P L E 

At some point, I realized that the BEST use of my wiring was to stop trying to become a “pianist.” I could get to the right notes (eventually), but I could never feel, hear, sense the music like some of my friends could.  Instead of the precise, detailed piano playing that was not a natural connect for me, I  eventually helped to recruit and organize musicians for our church worship team instead.

Basically, while I can fill certain roles with some ability (one-handed piano notes), there are other roles that I can actually flourish in (seeing the possibilities in others).

I have other, more in-depth ways to help you tap into your personality and tendencies, if you are interested.

The Tendencies Quiz is a good place to start but there is so much more to discover about yourself. Contact me or leave a comment here if would like to explore more!


Memorable Affirmation

Remembering comments from childhood often first brings negative thoughts.  It’s sort of amazing to me how true that is.  We can remember the scoldings or the mistakes or the failures, but it’s harder to remember any positive affirmation we receive through out our lives.

The stories that you tell about your past shape your future.

– Eric Ransdell in Fast Company

You have positive memories if you will take a few minutes to access them.

So….do that…!

Take a few minutes and remember some positive comments that were made to you about yourself when you were a child.

Who said something to you that shaped you in a positive way?
Who saw in you potential when you were too young or naive to see it in yourself?
Who invested in you in a way that you were challenged to see yourself in a new way?

I have to say that this was hard for me when I first did this exercise.  I did not have a lot of “cheerleaders” in my young life.  I can’t remember teachers singling me out for my intelligence or family members commenting on my positive strengths. No caring neighbor said to me, “You are special” in a personal way that I remember.

I had a softball coach, though.

Ethyl Lee Rehms.

She was my fifth grade teacher, too, and she gave me confidence in the classroom (once, by assigning me as one of four debaters for a class history).  She was also our physical education teacher and she made me see that I could be athletic (She told me I ran like a chicken once and that if I held my arms in, I could take a few seconds off my 50-yard dash).

But, as my softball coach, she brought out the best in me.

She put me at third base when I was 10 to get me strong enough to follow the awesome shortstop who was 3 years older than me.

Once, she sent everyone home except for the first baseman(girl) and hit grounders to me for another 30 minutes in the hot Texas summer sun. (I do think she went and moved her car so protect is from my occasional wild throws!)

Miss Rehms invested in me in my deepest places…..

She saw that I was good at something and she made me better.


You have someone like that in your life.

     W H O   I S  I T ?

Download this free worksheet and write it down.

Commit to remembering a Positive Personal Prophecy someone had of you as a child.  Or more than one if you are so fortunate.

This is important.

That person identified an important part of you that will be an aspect of your Personal Mission Statement.


If you missed my post from Tuesday, go back and read Describe Yourself and work through part one of today’s free worksheet.

Image Credits:

Describe Yourself

Discovering your personal mission is key to living your life with purpose… and key in designing your BEST ThirdThird. Over the next 6 weeks here on the blog at, we are going to be working through how to discover your personal mission statement.

The place to start in writing your own Personal Mission Statement is to think of how you see yourself.

Step 1: Draw a simple image that describes you.

The first thing that pops into your mind. This is not an art exercise! Don’t worry about your artistic skills.  But be creative and be honest.

How do you see yourself?

Here is my image of myself….

describe yourself

And I told you this is not an art exercise.  In case you can’t tell what this is… is a salt shaker.

I see myself as SALT.

Salt is one of the most important seasonings.  It enhances, adds, brings out, preserves.
I am an encourager.  I love to bring out the best in others, to help them identify their strengths, to help them keep going.

AND… too much salt can spoil a dish, sting a wound, makes things hard to swallow.

I have to keep myself in check. I have learned (am always learning) to share when it is welcomed, give my opinion when it’s asked for, invest in relationships more than attempting to solve others’ problems.  I want to be the good salt… not to “too much” salt.

AND… salt unused and left out can become un-salty.  Useless.

Those times I might be “too much” aren’t a time for me to stop adding seasoning but to learn to carefully spread my flavor where it is needed and ready to be used.

How you see your self is really, really important.  This exercise is not to be skipped if you want to come up with a clear Personal Mission Statement that you can own and use to build your BEST ThirdThird (or which ever Third you are in!)

Use this free worksheet to help you think about how you describe yourself.

As we work along, it is important to get an idea of what your mission statement will NOT be:
Not your job
No a to-do list
Not prescribed by someone other than yourself
Not your role
Not your destiny
Not the same as those around you

You are unique,
with history,
family of origin, etc.

Your MISSION STATEMENT will be your own.

photo credit: des mots insensés via photopin (license)