One Small Step toward your dreams is really one giant leap toward your destiny.
-Richard Elmes, The Sales Dating Guy
It felt like my heart was going to beat out of my chest as I grasped the magnitude of what I was about to do.
My knees shook so bad that it was actually a relief when I went down on one knee.
And my voice trembled and I barely got out the words of the most important speech of my life.
Fear is a very powerful emotion that can sometimes prevent us from being harmed. But it can also prevent us from achieving great things.
“There are those who SEE an opportunity. And then there are those who SEIZE an opportunity.” – Joanie Warren
Thankfully, that night 25 years ago, I was able to recognize that the reward of enjoying my life with the woman of my dreams was worth the risk of possibly being rejected. That risk-reward analysis allowed me to seized the opportunity to ask her to marry me.
And what did she say?
After a huge hug and many tears (of joy) she was finally able to get out the word, “YES”.
And 25 years later, I can happily report that that decision was definitely worth it!
So next time you have to make a key decision, do a Risk-Reward analysis and if you decide that it is worth the risk, push through the fear, seize that opportunity and enjoy the reward.
*This post is dedicated to my beautiful wife April, and to Patricia and Dave Heather who have been two of the best role models we could have who are also celebrating their 51st wedding anniversary today.*
This weekend is the big championship weekend for many of the baseball teams in my home town.
So, all the hard work they put in during practices, all the skills and lessons they learned during the regular season all come down to the performance this weekend. And especially today, Championship day.
But I encourage all the competitors, coaches and fans to remember one more lesson.
That lesson is one that may be remembered more and have a bigger impact than most.
More than how to hit a curve ball, more than how to turn a double play, and more than stealing a base.
This lesson is one that if it is not heeded, it can suck the fun out of and steal the joy out of the game.
The lesson is, that no matter what the final score ends up being is it vital to act with class.
WIN with CLASS, LOSE with CLASS.
If a player on the other team makes a great play on a ball you hit. Don’t get mad. Instead tip your cap.
If, in your opinion an umpire misses a call, don’t run out screaming like a mad man. Instead ask questions respectfully and accept their decision.
And if the score is not in your favour at the end of the game, shake hands and wish the other team well in the future games.
LOSE with CLASS.
But just as important is to WIN with CLASS.
When you respect your teammates, your coaches, your opponents and the officials, you are winning with class.
When you refrain from trash talking and putting others down, you win with class.
And when you avoid running up the score or taking the extra base late in a game where you have a huge lead, you are winning with class.
The key fact is this. A couple years down the road most people won’t remember the score of the game.
What they will remember is the friends they meet and the lessons they learn.
And if the lesson you demonstrate is to WIN with CLASS, LOSE with CLASS, then regardless of the score of the game, you will be a winner…guaranteed!
Here is the lesson from the story Fred’s Fearful Encounter. To check out the story click here: https://relmes.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?action=edit&post=377
Now you may think that this is just a story about a crazy cat, but it more than just that.
Poor Fred is not that much different than you or me……….
When we are put into situations that are foreign to us, situations that take us out of our comfort zones, like Fred’s house, it is easy to be overcome by our fear of the unknown, just like Fred did.
And it is at those times when our minds like to play games with us and turn a normally safe situation into one that we believe is dangerous.
It has been said that the word fear is really an acronym, which stands for False Evidence Appearing Real and wasn’t that the case with Fred in that lobby.
In reality, there was no danger at all, but in Fred’s mind, the pain of being attacked by other cats everywhere he turned, certainly looked and felt real. And that shows that awesome power that our mind has, to deceive and embellish situations in order to validate our fears.
but I’m sure to Fred the Fear meant, Forget Evidence And Run.
Now what would have happened if Fred took another approach to that very same situation and viewed the changes in his life as an adventure?
He would have discovered the joy of playing on boxes, the excitement of riding in a car and possibly the friendship of another cat that was always there to greet him, every time he walks through that lobby.
You see when we experience life and its many changes we step outside of our comfort zones and we expand, just like a balloon that is filled with air.
And the result is that once we expand ourselves, our comfort zones never quite go back to the same size as it was before the experience. And we have the capacity to do more, be more and enjoy more of the wonderful experiences life has to offer.
So next time you are in a similar situation, feel the fear, and push through the pain, because as Dolly Parton put it, “If you want to see the rainbow, you have to put up with a little rain.”
You could tell that she was fighting back the tears.
No, they were not tears of sadness.
No, they were not tears of shame.
But instead they were tears of joy and tears of relief.
Years of training, years of practice and years of competitions led to this moment.
This was her moment to shine.
This was the moment that Shawn Johnson, http://results.beijing2008.cn/WRM/ENG/BIO/Athlete/5/221035.shtml the 16 yr. old gymnast from the United States of America had dreamed about for years.
This was the moment when Shawn Johnson, the Olympic Gold Medalist in the (2008 Beijing Summer Olympics) Women’s Gymnastics Beam Event heard her national anthem being played because of her accomplishment. http://gymnastics.teamusa.org/news/article/5749
Can you imagine what it would be like, if that was you?
Can you imagine how proud you would be?
Proud of the effort, proud of the accomplishment and proud of the commitment that you put into having this experience.
I can only imagine how much I would value the experience.
“We place value on things in the same proportion as it took to acquire it.” -Richard Elmes
And I am sure that Shawn will cherish that moment for the rest of her life.
This makes me think about whether I cherish the “Golden Moments” in my life.
The “Golden Moment” when I make the big sale, the “Golden Moment” when I make the big presentation or the “Golden Moment” where I can influence others in a leadership role.
Do you cherish those “Golden Moments” in your life?
Not only when we achieve success at work, but when we achieve a success with our spouse or kids.
I think this is a lesson that most people tend to fall short of. So next time you experience a “Golden Moment” remember all the hard work that it took to get to that point. And then be like Shawn Johnson and be proud of your accomplishment. Because you deserve it.