Professional Development Blog
Having it All: Lessons from the Frontlines

Having it All: Lessons from the Frontlines

Bethany Henderson, Social Entrepreneur

Duration: 18:44 mins

Discussion Questions:

What does “it all” mean?
What is your superpower?


“Life is not the way it’s supposed to be. It is the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference.” ~ Virginia Satir

The path to success is never a straight line; it’s circuitous.

That’s the message that Bethany Henderson, Social Entrepreneur & Former White House Fellow, imparted to a crowd of around 600 NextGen attendees Thursday morning during her keynote speech.

“I believe each and every one of us can have it all — but first, we have to figure out what ‘it all’ means,” she said as she explained that her idea of success is much different now than it was when she was 18.

When she was younger, Henderson said, she had plans of being the first woman President of the United States by age 35. She also thought she was going to have multiple children before the age of 30.

“Spoiler alert,” she joked with the crowd, “Neither of those things happened.”

Henderson said true happiness is not the same for everyone. Figuring out what matters most to you as an individual is what’s most important, and honoring what this is every day will help you achieve true success.

“We do not know and cannot know what will happen next,” she continued, telling the audience that taking charge means living in the moment and not putting off the goals that you really want to achieve.

She stressed the importance of not waiting for ‘someday’ and finding a ‘superpower’ — that talent that makes you, well, you.

“Each and every person here as something inside of themselves that they are uniquely able to do,” she said, “Once you figure out your superpower, find something you’re passionate about … and deploy [it] to leave the world a better place.”

Another important point — no one has it all figured out. If you keep trying and stay focused, however, you will succeed.

“Your gut will show you the way,” she added, bringing up the ’20 Year Rule’. Whenever making an important life choice, sit down and consider whether or not you will really regret that decision two decades from now.

If you believe in yourself, she concluded, you will be able to find a way to truly ‘have it all’.