Last week on Oct. 28, Casey Molifua, instructor of physical education and human performance, gave his Invited Faculty Lecture titled “You vs. You: If You Want to Influence the World Influence Yourself First” at the Lynn Farrell Arena.
Each year, students help select two faculty members to give a public lecture on a topic of their choice. This tradition began in 1985 and it is considered a great honor to be selected. Molifua was initially scheduled to speak in April, but was then rescheduled to September then to October due to COVID-19 concerns. The lecture is also posted on the Hastings College YouTube channel.
The lecture was preceded by an introduction about Molifua and his contributions to HC. This is his tenth year at HC, where he was a student, a graduate assistant at Studio 200 and is now an instructor in the Physical Education department. He is known around campus as a mentor and a leader.
The main focus of the lecture was that, in order to become a leader, you must focus on growing as an individual. He shared the “You vs. You” philosophy he created and explained that you are your biggest challenge and that to be a leader you have to have discipline and get to know yourself better.
To begin his lecture, Molifua led with what he calls “instant activities” to get rid of feelings of anxiety and pressure. He had audience members put their right hand on their nose and their left hand on their right ear, then switch them quickly. He said that this is a method he uses for himself and in the classroom to warm up. He then thanked people in his life who have supported and made an impact on him, discussing how important it is to build strong relationships with people who will support and build you up. He thanked the physical education team, his close group of friends, his family, his mentors and his fiancée. In order to illustrate how strong his relationships with his friends were, he presented photos from their weddings which he was a part of. He explained how those same friends will be in his wedding, as he recently got engaged.
Throughout his presentation he explained that you are the only person that is able to determine how you respond to challenges and live your life. One of the greatest obstacles you may face is within yourself.
“You are your greatest ally and your greatest enemy. ‘You vs. You’ is not a brand, it is a lifestyle and a commitment that transforms dreams into reality,” Molifua said.
He then discussed the “You Vs. You” influence model, which includes the three main pillars: Be Yourself, Advantage of Adversity and Dedicated to Discipline.
“These are the three big pillars, the cornerstones, the foundations of being an influencer,” Molifua said.
The first pillar, be yourself, involves practice in self discovery. You must recognize and be mindful of your emotions and the ways you respond to challenges. He recommended practicing perspectives, such as looking at things from different angles, mindful meditation, and journaling. He said that adversity is important and that you must look for the good in challenges in order to move forward. He also recommended seeking daily discomfort to create healthy challenges, such as taking a cold shower or waking up early. This can help you become stronger and more confident. Finally, he said that you must be dedicated to discipline and hold yourself accountable to meeting your goals. He said to find “accountability partners” who can push you.
In addition to discussing the “You vs. You” model, he explained that rituals equal results. His list of rituals for becoming an influencer of your life include daily exercise, finding the good, being a lifelong learner and seeking discomfort. He said that it can be challenging to hold yourself accountable and that you will make mistakes, but that improvement and growth is most important. In the questions and answers session, he explained that what he finds the most difficult is finding the good in the world. Even though he teaches these concepts, he is still learning himself. He has faced many difficult challenges in his life and is focusing on healing with his family, as his sister Mikaelah Molifua recently passed away. Molifua said that he knew he had to find the good and be strong for his family but also recognized that he had people to lean on. However, he wanted to be the leader for his family, but discovered that it was okay to not be okay. He emphasized the importance of leaning on others and asking for help.
The next invited faculty lecture will be given by Bruce Batterson on Wednesday, November 11. On January 27, 2021, Dr. Jessica Allen Pickett will present her lecture.