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Be the Leslie Knope of Whatever You Do

Inspiration is discovered in the most unexpected nooks and crannies of life. It crafts a sense of purpose that provides continuous support from the vast depths of the subconscious. It works tirelessly to develop a motivational echo chamber that roots you on every step of the way. It works as your personal cheerleader when you can’t cheer yourself on— who wouldn’t want that?

Recently, I have been repeating the phrase, “be the Leslie Knope of whatever you do” over and over in my head. Reverberating so strongly that I almost feel the words swirling ever-so-gently around me when the thought comes to mind. This web of positive thought has brought me to my feet countless times, ready to dive head- first into the not-so-scary unknown.

The little sticker on the top right corner of my laptop has served as a constant reminder for why I even opened my laptop in the first place (it looks cute, too).

How can one phrase be so moving? They are just words from a fiction series on Netflix, right? Wrong.

Meet Leslie Knope. An enthusiastic, stubborn, dedicated, fun loving mid-level bureaucratic government employee. Born in Eagleton, Indiana, Knope tirelessly pursues a life of public service as Deputy Director of the Parks and Recreation Department in Pawnee, Indiana.

Dedicating countless hours on Netflix, through seven seasons and 125 glorious episodes, reaffirmed what I already knew.

Words are just words when not backed with actions. Leslie Knope is the definition of a “go-getter.” She’s the opposite of a couch potato.

She continues to prove her superiority in character, loyalty, friendship, authenticity and most of all— work ethic. A work ethic that I can only dream of reaching as I continue to grow professionally, socially and mentally. There is a reason why Leslie Knope is the only character to appear in every single episode of “Parks and Recreation.”

Remember episode one of season one when not a single soul had any idea what “Parks and Recreation” was about or what type of world they were about to immerse themselves into?

I do. I remember a young, bright-eyed Leslie Knope who wanted nothing more than to better her home of Pawnee and advance her career in government. She even had dreams of becoming the first female President of the United States. There was no reason not to believe her.

It all started with an empty lot. An unused spread of dirt that had a plethora of hidden potential that was persistently uncovered by the dedicated Leslie Knope. The audience was carried episode by episode, altercation by altercation— not once was defeat welcomed.

There was never a moment where her intentions were put into question. Head held high, she continued to push forward to make that empty lot into a beautiful park.

Fast forward through numerous moments of hardship and even a brief moment of triumph when elected to city council. There it stood. The park— in all its glory.

The story line of “Parks and Recreation” achieved much more than outlining a quirky character with a dream. It made leaps and bounds expressing a success story, proving what a full heart and determined mind can accomplish.

I admire the persistency Leslie Knope never fails to demonstrate. Giving up is never an option. Go around it, through it, over it and somehow, some way you will achieve it. Put a smile on your face and have a pep in your step because nothing can stop the determination propelling you forward.


“Be the Leslie Knope of whatever you do and you can do absolutely anything.”