We are creating the lives we have, whether we realize it or not. In this episode, Lorissa highlights the difference between living in default mode and trying to survive versus creating the life we actually want – on purpose. When we choose to live intentionally, we decide how we want to show up, respond, love and serve….and in doing so, we become the superheroes of our lives. It’s time to step out of default mode and into the great adventure that God has in store for us.  




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Hello, my friends. Welcome to episode 68 of Made for Greatness. I am your host today, Lorissa Horn. And to be quite honest with you, I’m a bit fired up about today’s episode. So let’s do This

Now. I do wanna say that I’m about to go into full blown coach mode right now. And for some, this episode might be challenging. I hope it does. In some ways like challenge all of us a little bit. I hope it’s inspiring. I hope you may feel convicted a little bit by the end of this episode, but I wanna say this as I’m kind of pouring this out to all of you, I am the one that’s also taking notes. So I’m in the front row taking notes because everything I’m about to say is something that I myself need to hear, need to be reminded of, and need to be practicing more in my life.

So one of the major concepts we teach in our master’s program is this concept around manuals. And I’m not gonna spend a whole lot of time talking about manuals, but I need to set this up for you. If you are in masters or if you join masters, I would say that this concept is probably one of the things that has impacted and changed my life possibly, or probably more than any of the other concepts. We’ve got the model, that’s our foundation piece. But then this whole concept of manuals has radically impacted my life, particularly in regards to the relationships in my life. And the basic premise of it is, and, and it’s so much more complex than what I’m about to share. But the basic premise is that we all have kind of these manuals like these guidebooks for people in our lives and whether we realize it or not, sometimes it’s conscious.

Sometimes it’s a little bit more subconscious. We have these men of how we think other people should behave, how they should act, what they should do or what they shouldn’t do in order to make us happy. So if only my husband does this and this and this, then I can be happy and it’s very natural. We all have expectations. We have these things and yet what we don’t realize and what I didn’t realize most of my life was that having these manuals, these expectations and this expectation that someone else is responsible for my happiness, somebody else’s actions or inactions either. Cause my emotions, my happiness, or lack of happiness, all of that is tied to this concept of manuals. And in many ways it leads us to a lot of negative emotions when we have these manuals. And when we impose these manuals on other people, whether we tell them it or not, this whole concept radically changed my life.

When I first started to become really aware of it. And it’s something that I’m working on and all of that on an ongoing basis. But to me, knowing about manuals was a game changer. We can have manuals for people. We can have manuals for God on how, like what we think God should do in order for us to be happy. Like, okay, God, if only you would do this, then I could be happy. Or if only you would, you know, help me in this area, then I could be happy. We have manuals for ourselves in a lot of ways. Like we have set expectations for ourselves that if we meet these expectations then, and only then can, can we be happy? All of it. But what I wanna talk about today is this idea that we can have a manual for how our day goes.

We can have. And, I’ve started to like being aware of this really in the last year or two, I’ve started to recognize like all these manuals, these expectations that I have for what I would consider to be like a really good day. And I think we all do. We all have this idea that we’re supposed to go through life and that things are supposed to just go as planned. We have, you know, our schedule, our plans, our expectations for everything. And then all of a sudden we wake up in the morning, maybe we wake up on the wrong side of the bed. Maybe we don’t get a good night’s sleep. And then all of a sudden we’re tired and irritable and cranky. And we just, we don’t even wanna function during the day. And we just feel like, oh man, my day is completely shot.

Now I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed. A lot of times we’ll be going throughout our day. And as moms, you know, like things just happen, a child gets sick and throws up all in the car. And all of a sudden we feel like our whole day is derailed. Things happen, you know, where maybe we had all these intentions to do all of this stuff, to get things done. And then it’s a snow day. And all of a sudden the kids are all home from school and we have to completely change gears and, and move. And in a completely different direction. Sometimes it can be as simple as, you know, like we’re getting breakfast and getting everybody ready and everybody’s going going. And then all of a sudden, a child just spills cereal all over the floor. It makes this huge mess and we’re frustrated and angry and all the emotions come up.

And it just, we, we like to ask ourselves, like we get frustrated, like that’s not supposed to happen, or maybe the car breaks down or a tire goes flat. And all of a sudden we’re finding ourselves having to deal with things that were completely unexpected. And it ruins our day. And I started to notice this a lot, like a number of years ago, where I started to realize that I had all of these expectations for what a good day looked like. And then I started to realize that I rarely ever, ever had a good day because things were always going wrong. Things were always, you know, I was always dealing with something or someone or, you know, unexpected issues arising or, I mean, we’re all moms. Like we, we get it like this is our life. And I kind of had this epiphany like once a year or two ago.

And especially when I was learning about manuals and learning about all these expectations that I had for other people that all of a sudden, like I was having manuals for my day. And the thing when it comes to manuals is that the more manuals we have, the more we are led to disappointment because basically a manual is this expectation for someone or something that is outside of our control. And we want so badly to be in control. Like we so badly just want people to act a certain way or to do certain things or to treat us a certain way. We want our day to go a certain way, but this is the deal. We are living a life with other people that have, have their own thoughts and their own issues and their own struggles. And they’re trying to get through life. And we have day to day situations and circumstances.

So many things that are outside of our control. And as long as we have these expectations, that for us to have a good day, our day to look like a certain way, then we’re always gonna be disappointed. And I found myself that like in the midst of it, like I had these ideas or these expectations that my day should go a certain way, which in my mind was like, kind of like, it kind of needed to look kind of perfect. Like nobody getting sick and nobody fighting or arguing and you know, no issues with the car, nobody running late. And this is the deal. When do we ever have those days? Like, there’s so few and far between that we have a whole day where everything just goes as land. And so my question to myself was like, why am I doing this? These expectations are just setting me up for like disappointment and frustration and

A whole lot of negative emotions that aren’t serving me. So I’m gonna share with you in just a moment, some kinda fun things that I’ve done to work on my mindset around dropping the manuals in my life when it comes to my day to day experience. But before I get to that, I have to share this other concept. And it’s something that we talk a lot about in masters. It’s something that we talk about on some of our group coaching calls and things like that, but it’s this whole idea, this notion that we are creating the life that we live. And I don’t know, maybe you’re thinking like, okay, yeah, Larissa, that’s really obvious, but for me, this is a new concept. Like I’ve always known that I’m just living the life that I have, but the whole idea of creating the life that I have is a little bit more complex and mean, and what I wanna say is this.

We are either creating the life that we want to live very intentionally, or we are creating a life on default mode. So I’m gonna talk for a moment just about default mode and what that means. And because for me, I know this mode very clearly. This is the mode that I’ve been running in most of my life, where I wake up in the morning and from the start of the day, I just respond to the things that are happening in my life. Sure. I might have a plan or a schedule or things that I know that I need to do, but for the most part and emotionally, physically, spiritually, all of it, I’m just responding. I feel like I’m on defense where I’m just kind of like, okay, what’s coming at me today and how do I deal with it? How do I handle it with the least amount of energy and the most amount of efficiency possible just so that I can feel like I’m staying afloat for me.

This is how I felt when I, when I kind of felt like I was just always in survival mode, running on a geal hamster wheel, just trying to keep up, trying to keep my head above the water and just trying to, to make sure things just didn’t completely like burn to the ground. This was my default mode. And at the time I had no idea that like, even though, like, I, I didn’t feel like I was thriving or surviving. I actually was creating this life on default mode simply because of how I was choosing to live. It wasn’t really until again, just a few years later when I started learning these, these life coaching tools that I really could understand that there’s more to life than this. Like we don’t have to live just on default mode. We don’t have to just respond that we can step into a place mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically, where we are choosing how to show up.

We’re choosing how to create the life that we wanna create on purpose. For me, I used to rarely have what I would even consider a good day, much less a great day or an amazing day or an exciting day. No, most of my days were survival mode. And I would consider it a fairly good day if I could get through the day and just feel like at the end of the day, I accomplished a couple things. That was my good day. But every single day, I was always responding to things that were happening and unexpected things and feeling frustrated and all of it. But there is this new way. There is a different way that we can live and it’s living life on purpose. It’s living life more intentionally, and it’s deciding in advance the type of life that we wanna create. Now you can look at it from a big picture.

Like this is the life that I wanna create with the right. I mean, as Catholic women, we’re always like, okay, God, what is the life that you dream? Like, you have dreamt from me. I wanna live that life. Right. But it’s not just like the big picture life. It’s like, like what kind of year do I wanna have? What kind of month do I wanna have? What kind of week do I wanna have? I think most, especially what kind of day do I wanna have? Do I wanna just live on default? Do I just wanna respond or do I wanna wake up very intentionally and say, this is the kind of day I’m gonna have. Now. This is the deal you might say to me like, well, Larissa, how do you plan for that? Like, all of these things are outside of our, our, like our circumstances.

We can’t control. What’s gonna happen. I don’t know tomorrow, if a child’s gonna be sick or if it’s gonna be a snow day, or if my car is gonna break down, or if you know, my laundry room is gonna flood, I don’t know what’s gonna happen. I don’t know if somebody in my family’s gonna get cut, we’re gonna have to deal with those types of things. Right? So how do we create a life like this? And this is the powerful thing: we drop the manual and we can go into the day saying, I don’t know what’s gonna happen today. God, I don’t know what you have in store for me. I don’t know what purse you’re gonna bring into my life. I don’t know what circumstance or situation I’m gonna be dealt with tomorrow, but this is the deal. I wanna have an amazing day.

I wanna have an incredible day. And so this is how I’m gonna show up because I cannot control other people. I can’t really, to a lot of extent, even control my children. I can’t control my husband. I can’t control the situations. I can’t control the weather. Can’t control any of it, but I can control how I wanna show up with the thoughts that I wanna have, the emotions that I wanna have. And I want to be present and ready to tackle the day with energy, enthusiasm, excitement, peace, calm, whatever that emotion is. And so we know, and this is like what we teach in masters. Like this is what it means to manage your mind, to be in control of how you’re thinking and how you’re feeling and how you’re showing up. And when we do this, this is how we create the life that we want to live.

It feels completely different. Like I know very clearly now, the days that I’m on default mode versus the days that I’m showing up intentionally for my life, they look very different. They feel very different. And I wanna say this, like the more I practice this, the more I show up the way I wanna show up, the more exciting my life is. And the more sense of control I have. And it’s not a false control because I have really very little control over most things. But when we control our own thoughts and our own emotions and how we show up, it feels powerful. We feel like the sense of, okay, I know I can handle this. I know I can handle what’s on my plate. And that’s when we step into the mode of being problem solvers, we are able to have certain situations that come up that no longer derail us.

I can, like, find myself when I’m showing up intentionally in my life, I can have a lot of things go unplanned or even potentially go wrong. And I just handle it in a completely different way. I’m like, oh, okay. Somebody spilled their cereal all over the floor and the bull broke. No problem. I can fix it. It’s not gonna ruin my day. I’m not gonna yell or get angry. I’m just gonna clean it up. Not a problem because I’ve already determined that I’m gonna show up and have an amazing day and a bowl of cereal busting on the floor. Ain’t gonna ruin that. It’s gonna make me feel empowered because I can be a rockstar mom and clean it up really fast and not make a big deal about it and continue on with having an amazing day. Now, this is the deal.

This is like practicing. This takes a little bit of effort and it’s a little bit harder to do, especially when you’re first kind of starting this and practicing because actually living in default mode takes less mental energy. It takes because you’re not intentionally thinking about it. So you’re not actually thinking intentionally and using that energy in your life. But I believe, and for my own experience, that when we’re living in default mode, it ends up taking so much more emotional energy, physical energy, even Spiritually, like it spiritually drains us when we live in default mode. And so, although it may seem more simple mentally because we’re not like actually spending time intentionally thinking about our thoughts and our, and how our thoughts drive our emotions and how we wanna show up. It does drain us in so many other ways when I’m living in default mode, I’m almost always in the mode of exhaustion and just feeling very much out of control and really turning my emotional state, like giving other people or other circumstances, power over my emotional state.

And that is draining. But when I live in a place of like showing up more intentionally and, and creating the kind of day and the kind of week or the month that I wanna have it, does it take more mental work at the beginning. Like I have to think about it. I have to kind of think about how do I want to show up today and what do I wanna do and how do I wanna act around my friends and my colleagues, coworkers? Like what kind of emotional state do I wanna bring to the work that I’m doing today, whether it’s joyfulness or peacefulness or energetic, you know, how do I wanna feel energetic and productive? Like, what is it? So I do have to spend some time thinking about it, but when I do put a little bit more energy into the mental, like the mind, the mindset work and the thought work, then it creates an emotional state where I feel energized, excited, spiritually.

I feel more present and aware. And I am in tune with God working in and through me and physically, I don’t feel as exhausted or drained. So I’ve noticed that payoff when I set my day up in a way where I’m like, I’m gonna create an incredible day, I’m gonna show up in this way where today’s gonna be awesome. I’m gonna be, you know, I’m gonna have fun today. I’m gonna be present today. All of those things. So, so powerful. And in a lot of ways, like one of my brain hacks for doing this, and I started doing this again a couple years ago. I started to think about superheroes, right? Like, like the superheroes are these people, we’ve, we’ve grown up with these, these characters. And we’re just so in awe of them, right. They can just, they have these superhero powers and they do things.

And they really like, they swoop in, they save the day, they take care of people. They save people’s lives. They’re just these heroes. And I started to think about what, like, if you went to a superhero movie, an Avengers movie, or a Superman or Spiderman or wonder movie, can you imagine a movie about a superhero where the day goes perfectly? Like there’s no problems. There’s nothing that goes wrong. Nobody is hurt. Or in danger, there’s no villain, nothing goes wrong. Well, what would the superhero be like sitting around in their house or at work? Just doing anything. I mean, could you, could you imagine how boring that superhero movie would be? No. Like we can’t imagine that. And then on the flip side, could you imagine a superhero movie where all these things are going wrong, but the superhero in the movie is like, can’t handle it.

And, and he, or she’s like, oh my gosh, I can’t do this today. I’m checking out when I’m going home. Right. We would be so disappointed if they didn’t show up and be the superhero and save the day, that’s what makes them the superheroes. But if you like to watch these superhero movies, what do you see? You see these people, these extraordinary, amazing superheroes that have this ability to handle all of these problems and all of these dilemmas and major catastrophes that are being thrown at them. And how do they handle it? They’re calm. They like to run to the problem and take care of it. I mean, there could be a major villain blowing up the entire city of New York Manhattan. And they’re just like, I’m gonna show up. I’m gonna swoop in and I’m gonna save the day. And we all love that. We all love these superhero stories.

And so I remember even a couple years ago thinking how do I show up as the superhero mom that I wanna be in my life? And that actually was like, kind of this brain hack that helps me think about, you know, what does superhero mom, Larissa look like if I drop the manual, that my day, she, you just go exactly as planned without any problems. And instead, I anticipate that my day is gonna be filled with unexpected situations, but that I’m gonna show up in a way that I can handle all of it. That makes me feel excited. That makes me know that I have this sense of confidence, this sense of, you know, anticipation that, you know, what, whatever comes my way, God is gonna give me the tools that I need and is gonna gimme the grace that I need. Just like these superheroes have these superpowers.

Like I kind of like to think about God, you know, giving me the gifts, the holy spirit and these extra graces. And like, those are, those are my superpowers to be able to handle anything that comes my way and that I can be the hero of my life. I can be the hero for my family. I can be the mom that shows up in this way that I can handle what comes. And so I kind of now just try to anyway, wake up knowing, like, I don’t know how this day’s gonna go, but I know I’ll be amazing. I know that this day is gonna be amazing. I know that this day is gonna be what I’m going to make it, I’m gonna create a day. I’m gonna show up for it. I’m gonna be a superhero today. Like this is what helps me because superheroes solve problems.

And this is what we do when we step very intentionally. When we manage our minds, we become problem solvers. When we’re on default mode and something goes wrong, we spin into stress and overwhelm. And we think to ourselves like, how am I gonna fix this? Or what am I gonna do? And we spin in this uncertainty, but when we are more confidently into the day that we’re creating, when things go wrong, we’re like, okay, I can fix this. I can figure this out. This isn’t that big of a deal. This might set me off like 10 or 15 minutes, or it might set me back or I might have to change my plans for today, but I’ve got this, not a problem. I can say still have an amazing day. I can still like, make these incredible memories. I can still be present to the people that God is calling me to be present to.

And this, my sisters in Christ, this is when, like, when we read the lives of the saints and we come back to the lives of the saints, like they understood this in a really profound for us as Catholics, our saints, like they are our superheroes, right? In so many ways, they were like, this is like, I’m gonna live very intentionally for God. He’s blessed me. He’s put me in this time, in my, in this place and this vocation and this way to serve and to love him and to others in this very powerful way. And God has equipped me with everything I need to successfully lead and to follow him in a powerful way and whatever comes, whatever things come my way unexpectedly, or even expectedly, like I can handle it because God is with me. And I’m choosing how I’m gonna show up to one of my favorite saints, of course.

And probably if you’re listening, like probably most, most of us listening to this, like love is store to me, St. Was one of the greatest life coaches our church has ever seen. She liked it so well, she got the concept of manuals. So, well, she lived her life and became this little Saint because she was so good at dropping manuals. She served and loved in, in a cloistered convent with a lot of sisters that like, when you read a story of the soul, you, you hear her talk about these sisters that, you know, some of them are grumpy and cranky. And even to the point, like kind of mean to her, but what does she do? She just dropped the manual. Let them be exactly who they were. And she just loved them. She served them, she made it, she was very intentional about how she was gonna show up.

And in fact, at times she made it into like a little game, like, okay, God, like I can give this to you as a little gift. I imagine her just like almost making it a game, like, okay, this, this sister insulted me just now. I’m not gonna let it phase me. I’m just gonna offer this up to you as a little gift. I’m gonna pray for her. And I’m gonna go about my day, joyfully present, showing up. Right. She became like one of the greatest saints, because she was able to do these little things that radically changed everything and has been such an example to so many of us, because for most of the world, like most of the world can’t do this. They don’t get this, but even St tr like her day, maybe wouldn’t go. As she had thought it would go.

Things like she would have to clean up after people that she didn’t expect she’d have to clean up after or things like that. And again, it was like, okay, God, I wasn’t planning on this today, but this is what you’re giving to me. This is what, I’m the, what I’m dealing with. I’m gonna just do it joy for, I’m gonna give it up to you. And I’m gonna just love you in this powerful way. And so this is like, like, this is like good news for us because when we live in this world where we feel like everything is so out of our control, and it can put us in a bad mood in like an instant, this is where we take back the control. This is where we take back the power we can say, no, no, no, no, no, I don’t. I don’t have to be controlled by all of these things that are going on in the world, you know, in, in my life, like I can choose how I’m gonna show up and I can be the Saint that God is calling me to be.

And I can be the superhero of my life. What does this look like for us? What does this look like for you? I don’t know. Like, does this challenge you because these are the things that I think about often and it challenges me. It inspires me, makes me want to even show up more in my life and create this life that we are so blessed to have, like we have this one life and I would think about it. Like God has blessed us. He’s put us here in this life. In this time, in this place with this family, with these children, with the people that we are called to minister to and serve.

And when we show up in the way that God is calling us to, it changes everything thing. This is where we decide, okay, I wanna live a life of joy, no matter what the circumstances are. Saint, that was a big one for St. She was like, you can have joy, whether you live in a castle or in a dungeon, you can show up and have joy, whatever your circumstance happens to be. But in order to have joy, you have to be able to manage your mind. You have to be able to like, really think the thoughts, like practice gratitude, and think very intentionally about how you wanna show up and what you wanna, what you wanna feel. And you have to kind of create that sense of joy for your life. Because if we wait for the circumstances to bring us joy, they like rarely ever will. If we’re expecting circumstances or other people or other things to bring us happiness, it will never happen because people and circum and things will always, at some point, let us down. But when we decide that we wanna live a life with joy and happiness and excitement and adventure and energy and hope and trust, then all of a sudden, we start to find ourselves living in a place of more and joy and trust and peace and calm because we’re choosing that. We’re choosing that in advance.

So wanna ask you this, what kind of day do you wanna have tomorrow? How do you wanna show up for your life? How do you wanna create the life that you want to have that you believe God is calling you to have we’re creating our lives no matter what, it’s either on default or it’s on purpose, what is it gonna be? How are we gonna do that? How are we gonna really think about it and prepare for that and get intentional about it? How are we gonna wake up in the morning, whether we’re tired or groggy or alert or awake and say, okay, I’m gonna have an amazing day today. I’m gonna have the day that God has designed me to have. And I can’t wait to see what’s gonna happen. I can’t wait to see the goodness that’s gonna be on this day. I’m gonna be paying attention because I wanna recognize it when it happens.

And I want to experience it. Even when things don’t go as I think they should, maybe God’s trying to reveal something even more profound to me than I had originally anticipated this to me is I think so incredibly exciting. And I think we got to get to work. So again, and I started out this podcast saying like, I’m taking notes. This is what I’m gonna do. I’m headed off from this podcast and I’m gonna sit down and I’m gonna think about, all right, what kind of day am I gonna have tomorrow? What kind of week am I gonna have? How is this gonna be the most amazing month of my life? And I hope you do the same because remember mama, we are made for greatness. I love you, have a great week. I’ll talk to you soon.