Advice from Amy Poehler: Deciding Your Currency

Decide what your currency is early. Let go of what you will never have. People who do this are happier and sexier.

I just finished listening to the audio version of Amy Poehler’s biography, Yes Please, and some of what she said really stuck with me. Particularly when she discussed finding out what it is that you have to offer and moving forward with that – not dwelling on something that you’ll never have or be.

Like, for me, I’ve realized that many women in my new surroundings are both tall and stunningly gorgeous. And somehow more blonde, and unsurprisingly more tan than I am. I’ve found myself comparing myself to these women and lamenting the fact that I’ll never be tall. 


So, this quote about deciding on your currency has me thinking – what is it that I want to bring to the table? Certainly it’s not my tallness or my long hair (in a future post, I’ll tell you about how I chopped most of my hair off and continue to do so – without having someone do it for me, it’s pretty fun).

I want my currency to be kindness

I love loving people. I love being kind, and smiling, and talking to strangers about dumb stuff and hoping that it removes them from whatever they’re worried about for even a moment.

This is why I loved working in a coffee shop with people so much, and this is why I love kind things like flowers and rabbits (sorry for the rainbow-and-sparkles vomit there).

I feel like kindness is one thing I can be good at, even when I don’t feel like trying to be good at anything. Or, at least I hope it’s something I’m good at. Either way, I like practicing it and getting better at it.

She writes a bit about kindness and how important it is in this age of computers and machines:

The only way we will survive is by being kind. The only way we can get by in this world is through the help we receive from others. No one can do it alone, no matter how great the machines are.

This is what Amy Poehler says about her currency:

I had already made a decision early on that I would be a plain girl with lots of personality, and accepting it made everything a lot easier. If you are lucky, there is a moment in your life when you have some say as to what your currency is going to be.

But seriously, she’s a beautiful person. Now let’s talk about you.

What is your currency?

Your currency could be that you are ridiculously good looking. It could be that you’re great at math, or at high-level, big-picture thinking. You could be really good at making people laugh or you could be really good at growing beards. Maybe you’ve got an uncanny capacity for making up languages or you can see really well when driving at night.

What is your “thing” that you can offer? I’d love to hear it. I feel like we can all get so flustered sometimes and lose sight of our thing. And yes, it can be one or two or three things, but what’s important is knowing this: what you like to do that you also are good at doing.

It can be hard.

To close, I’d like to share the YouTube version of Yes, Please that I listened to. If it’s no longer available, check it out at your local library or take the leap and buy it. I will, however, strongly recommend the audio version. She’s funny and smart and has a genuine, likeable narration.

Not convinced? There’s tons of hilarious, heartwarming, inappropriate and genuinely good bits of advice from the book over at Huffington Post.


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