It’s not a stretch to say that Leslie Knope’s courageousness and passion precede her. Working her way from being the Deputy Director of the City of Pawnee’s Parks and Recreation Department to the President of the United States, Leslie Knope can teach us all a bit about ambition.
For those who haven’t seen “Parks and Recreation,” Amy Poehler’s character Leslie has always stood out to me. She’s a hard working government employee from Indiana who always knew her goals and would stop at nothing to reach them.
When I think of my role models, I include Leslie as one of them because of her no-holding-back mentality and goal-driven attitude. While her personality is inspiring, her words also applicable to real life situations I’ve experienced in school. Here are a few of my favorite Leslie quotes and how I apply them to my daily life.
Season 4, episode 10: “There’s nothing we can’t do if we work hard, never sleep, and shirk all other responsibilities in our lives.”
If you watch the show, you know that Leslie Knope never gets a wink of sleep due to her obsession with her job. She loves what she does and sometimes works a little too hard. I will devote all of my time into the projects that I love, but when it comes to boring assignments in my class, I tend to be a little more hesitant to go all in. Leslie’s quote in this episode reminds me to stay consistent in all things and make everything a priority to produce the best content.
Season 6, episode 5: “One person’s ‘annoying’ is another person’s ‘inspiring and heroic.'”
Leslie’s co-worker Donna was annoyed with Leslie in this episode, and they had been friends for such a long time that it was hard for Leslie to change her personality to fit with Donna’s perception of who she should be. In friendships in college, you’re not always going to see eye to eye with everyone. This quote taught me to be yourself and you’ll help, inspire or make somebody happy either way.
Season 5, Episode 3: “I am big enough to admit that I am often inspired by myself.”
Throughout all of the seasons, Leslie is a government employee who loves the Parks and Recreation department with all of her heart. She has pictures of several female role models framed in her office to look at every day for inspiration. As she starts to move up and achieve her goals, she frames a photo of herself because of how proud she is. I’m not going to print out my selfies anytime soon, but it’s good sometimes to stop and appreciate yourself and all of your hard work.
Season 1, Episode 1: “What I hear when I’m being yelled at is people caring loudly at me.”
In this episode, Leslie is holding a public forum and is getting criticized by the townspeople of Pawnee. She’s trying to do anything she can to make the people happy by changing things about the town, but she knows it’s not ideal. There are always going to be people that we can’t please. Leslie’s quote related to my life this week when I was doing group-work and some of my team members were shooting down my ideas. I took their ideas as constructive criticism instead of an insult, and I was able to work with them to get a great grade on our project.
Season 3, Episode 1: “You go big, or you go home.”
This quote is when Leslie tells her friend Andy to try to win back the girl that he loves. This is my favorite quote because from this I learned to act without hesitation. When applying for job applications, apply for more than just one at a time. Take some time to establish goals for yourself and go for them. Do the most in everything in you do, because sometimes you only get one chance. When it comes to exams, study more than you usually do. When it comes to how you dress, make yourself look amazing whenever you can. Go big, or go home, because you’ll see better results when you do the best at what you do.