Kevin and I enjoyed a special day with students in Caledonia, Minnesota a week ago. As we discussed with them the journey of becoming the best version of themselves, we talked about the importance of belonging…a connection that occurs when we are accepted by others for being our true self.

We all have a need for belonging. Sometimes in order to satisfy this need we try to fit in…we try to belong by changing ourselves so we will be accepted.

But fitting in never satisfies the need to belong.

After having the students discuss what kids their age do to fit in, we shared with them a quote from Stephenie Zamora:

“Whatever makes you different,

that’s exactly who you are here to be,

not someone that fits with everyone else.”

We reminded the students that amazing things happen in our life when we experience belonging, but belonging only happens when we are being our true self.

After conducting several more activities and discussions with the students over the next two hours, we asked them what their most important take-away was from our session. That’s when Easton Bauer raised his hand and said:

“Don’t become someone else’s puzzle piece.”

Easton, thank you for your wisdom and for allowing us to share it with our Wellness Wednesday readers. Someday please come and work with us at Top 20 Training.


  1. Like young people, as adults we also try to fit in to meet our need to belong. What are the things we do to fit in?
  2. What can we do for people young and old in our social circle to create an experience of belonging?

If you work with students and would like to discuss our conducting a Top 20 session with them, please contact me at or call the number below.

From our team…Willow, Kevin, and Tom…who are unique pieces to our Top 20 puzzle.

Paul Bernabei
Top 20 Training