Everyday heroes, everyday champions… we love stories of people who defy the odds, who in spite of their circumstances and challenges look for and find ways to do something to make a difference. They keep looking for ways to LIVE!
Stories, quotes, videos that tend to get liked, shared, written about, and talked about are about people we deem as heroes, as champions, or stories and quotes that make us feel like we can become one.
Heroes – champions inspire us to think about what is possible. Their stories connect us with purpose, passion, drive, determination, courage. People like Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Oprah, J.K.Rowling, Marina Silva, Walt Disney, and the list goes on and on, are individuals who struggled and continued to work towards the dream they had inside of them. When they fell down, they got back up and kept going. When someone said it wasn’t possible, they trusted the dream, the vision, the tug in their heart to continue to push past the obstacles and look for another way to do it.
In the book “Think and Grow Rich”, by Napoleon Hill, he states: “Before success comes in any man’s life, he is sure to meet with much temporary defeat, and, perhaps, some failure. When defeat overtakes a man, the easiest and most logical thing to do is to QUIT. That is exactly what the majority of men do. More than 500 of the most successful men this country has ever known, told the author that their greatest success came just one step BEYOND the point at which defeat had overtaken them.”
The people we look at as our heroes started out like you and me. They had dreams, hopes, talents, strengths, weaknesses, they made mistakes, they cried, fought, lost. I can only imagine some of their self-talk, fears, doubts… and we all have them. Our heroes, our champions all hit walls at times in their lives… yet they kept going… they kept going past what looked like defeat would and could overtake them. They refused to give up. That fire, that passion, the fight was too strong to let them quit!
Can you imagine if Walt Disney quit after the bankruptcy of his first company or after all the nos he received when pursuing his dream? In an article written by Lawrence W. Reed for Foundation for Economic Education, he said “Unable to pay his rent, Disney even ate dog food until he could get back on his feet.” He was hit with so many roadblocks in launching his dream. When Walt tried to get MGM studios to distribute Mickey Mouse in 1927, he was told that the idea would never work – a giant mouse on the screen would terrify women. If Walt Disney let the failure define him and stop him, we wouldn’t have Disneyland! Think about that… if any of our heroes, our champions quit when hit with defeat and failure, this world would not be as it is. Their footprints have impacted ALL of our lives!
We all have a footprint to make. We are ALL called to live our lives as champions… to be the best version of ourselves that we can possibly be. We are called to live our lives with the dedication, determination, grit, and drive that we see in the Olympics, the world series, the super bowl… We are called to live our lives with PASSION! To be inspired and to inspire others. We are called to give of our best selves and hold nothing back. What would happen if we truly lived that way? If we asked ourselves the questions every day… what can I do to be my best, and at night do a self-evaluation of how we showed up?
John Quincy Adams once said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” Everything you do and everything you don’t do, matters. Our actions and words either build someone up or tear them down.
Everyday heroes are people like my grandson Landon (9) who takes the time to call his brother (7) after a tough wrestling tournament and says, “Good job, Kellen. I’m proud of you!” It’s the nurse in a nursing home or hospital who pauses and really listens to the elderly who just wants to talk. It’s the grocery clerk who takes the time to engage authentically with the customer’s whose groceries they are ringing up. It’s the manager who comes alongside a team member who is struggling and says, “how can I help you, what do you need”, and they get to know the person – personally.
It’s people like Steph Courdin who is the founder of “ALS Never Surrender Foundation”. As he struggles with his fight with ALS, he is changing this world. https://youtu.be/nyJb3Bgmh8o His actions are inspiring others to dream more, learn more, do more and be more. I am grateful to know his son-in-law, Nic. He shared this video with me today and had no idea I was writing this blog. What an amazing example of what it means to be a champion!
Today, realize that you are the hero of your own story. You are a champion to people that you have no idea see you as a champion. Every time you push your limits, every time you are willing to get uncomfortable, every time you are willing to take action in the dreams you have… you inspire others – if you can do it, maybe I can do it! The actions we take that inspire others to dream more, do more, to be more is not to be taken likely.
Grab ahold of your vision (who are you, what do you want and where are you going), be passionate about that vision, and do the work! Embrace change, learn from your failures (fail forward), and get back up. Reconnect to the WHY of your vision and let your passion for that vision fuel your actions.
“Men’s best successes come after their greatest disappointments.” – Henry Ward Beecher
#drivenleadership #bold #allin #dothework #defythestatusquo #findyourwhy