How To Find Meaning In What You Do – A Conversation about Serendipity, Humility, Risk-Taking, and Gratitude with Gettysburg College President Bob Iuliano

This week we continue our conversation centered on IIN’s Circle of Life Exercise and focus on the topic of Education. 

When I sat down to brainstorm who would be the perfect guest to welcome onto the show for this chat, it dawned on me that my alma mater, Gettysburg College, has a president who – funnily enough – is also a podcast host!

Flash to be taking a deep breath, giving myself a little pep talk, and writing a long-winded email to President Iuliano about who I am, what my podcast is all about, and a request for an hour of his time to record a podcast episode together.

And he said yes!

So let this conversation be a reminder to you, dear friend, that you never know what you can create or bring into being by simply asking and putting yourself “out there.” Because if you never put it out there, it’s not going to happen. But if you gather your gumption and just try – what might you bring to fruition?

And what DID happen was an insightful conversation with Gettysburg College’s 15th President, Robert Iuliano, where he shares his four-step approach to living a life of meaning which includes: being open to moments of serendipity, embracing a degree of humility, a willingness to take risks, and finally appreciation for the good in life.

So pour yourself a fresh cup of coffee, press play, and let Bob inspire you to be live a life that’s authentic to you and the unique ways you personally find joy and purpose.

Resources
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Past Podcast Episodes Referenced
our couples gratitude practice that’s changed everything


Meet Robert W. Iuliano

Robert W. Iuliano is an American attorney and academic administrator serving as the 15th president of Gettysburg College. Previously, served as the senior vice president, general counsel, and deputy to the president at Harvard University. He’s also the host of the podcast Conversations Beneath the Cupola.

Conversations Beneath the Cupola is a podcast where we underscore the great work of students, faculty, and alumni today and since our founding in 1832, while bringing attention to the importance and value of a liberal arts education in the 21st century.

This podcast is recorded beneath the Cupola of historic Pennsylvania Hall, which served as a vantage point for Union soldiers during the Civil War. Today, the Cupola serves as a significant reminder of how this institution, with this distinct vantage point, affords us the responsibility and opportunity to shape future generations for living lives of meaning and service.

Connect with President Iuliano
Conversations Beneath the Cupola | Gettysburg College


At the top of the episode, I asked Bob to share with us who he is and what he’s all about, and his answer set the tone for our entire conversation in the very best way. He responded that he seeks to find meaning in what he does and to find something that’s personally fulfilling which also speaks to the values that matters to him. And that’s how he came to spend the majority of his career in higher education.

Now, as he serves as the 15th President of Gettysburg College, he’s in a position to encourage and inspire students to do the same – to “live a life that’s authentic to you and the way you find joy and purpose.” And he suggests we do that in four ways:

  1. An openness to serendipity: Bob shares that life is going to offer opportunities in unpredicted and unpredictable ways, and we must be willing to see and explore them.
  2. Embrace humility: As we strive to grow and learn, it’s important to acknowledge that we don’t know everything so that you can remain open to new possibilities.
  3. Willingness to take risks: Often times it seems we live in a risk-averse world, but what would happen it you tried the thing you’ve had on your heart to do? What if you simply took one step forward and tried?
  4. And finally, practice gratitude: Take time to appreciate and recognize the good around you, and don’t lose sight of it.

Joyful Corner

This week I’m sticking to our theme of “education” and am sharing how much I’m enjoying watching Andy and Candis Meredith’s show Home Work on Magnolia Network! They’re renovating a 1907 school house into a family home for their family of 9. Their sense of style, color, and whimsy in their spaces encourages and inspires me to design our home in accordance with what makes myself and my family feel happy, safe, and joyful ✨

The first season just wrapped, and it was such a pleasure to watch a new episode each Friday night as I ended my week. And the best part is that my three-year-old frequently snuck out of bed to snuggle me on the couch and watch the show too. So do yourself a favor, and when you’re in need of a little feel-good-pick-me-up, tune into this sweet show!

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