It seems that I have a way of saying “okay” to things without too much thought. I always said “okay” when I was offered a new assignment at work that stretched me to learn new things. I said “okay” when my friends finally convinced me to join a triathlon training group many years ago when my swimming skills were less than adequate (ie. nonexistent). I said “okay” when Pacific Business News asked me to be the keynote speaker at their Healthiest Employers Awards Event held today.
The cool thing about saying “okay” without over thinking it is that you can commit yourself to something that’s new and then immediately set your mind towards figuring out how to successfully deliver on your commitment. Don’t get me wrong–saying “okay” to something that is too far out is truly crazy. But I think that taking digestible steps towards new challenges is a great way to grow. Today, I took one of those steps.
I have given many presentations throughout my career, but they have been formulated to present an idea, explain a plan or present some facts. I have not given a speech TOTALLY ABOUT MYSELF. No notes, no bulleted lists on a power point slide.
Bob Charlet asked me to simply tell my story. In 15 minutes. I wanted to do a great job. Entertain. Inspire. Keep People Awake! So, after I said “okay” I set about formulating my speech, which centered on my adventures in Ironman racing: 10 Short Years, 5 Big Lessons.
Lesson #1: It’s okay to be scared. Some new things are scary. But, if you tackle them, you’ll have a new sense of achievement. If you decide you don’t like what you tried, then simply don’t do it again.
Lesson #2: Failure can Inspire. My “failure” at the 2009 Ironman World Championships when I crawled to within 1/2 mile of the finish line when time ran out at midnight, was a huge disappointment to me. The Tri Hard television show (you can find episodes 1-3 under my Races tab on this same website) broadcast my struggle to a wide audience and I later encountered many people who were pursuing new levels of fitness because of me!!
Lesson #3: Learn While Being Patient. As you’re seeking a goal that will take some time, pay attention along the way. You will learn things that will help you to grow in unexpected ways.
Lesson #4: Create a Supportive Environment. In any endeavor, no matter how individual it may seem, building a support network to coach you, motivate you, cheer you on, weep with you over setbacks and celebrate your successes will better guarantee achievement of your goals.
Lesson #5: Your Mind is Your Most Important Muscle. Your attitude and self confidence can get you over seemingly unsurmountable hurdles. In sum, if you think you can, you can. If you don’t think you can, you can’t.
I was glad I said “okay” to this latest challenge. It was great fun to share my story with such a fantastic audience. Many congratulations to all of the Healthiest Employers Finalists and Awards Winners! If there is anything I might do to help you support wellness efforts at your business, don’t hesitate to contact me at email@example.com or visit my company website: www.spicembs.com.