Dear Dreamers & Believers,
I recently had the opportunity to attend the Silicon Slopes (Utah) Tech Summit at the beautiful Salt Palace venue in Salt Lake City.
At this event, we heard from renowned speakers, executives and C-Suite unicorns as well as motivational voices from the tech industry–a movement which is sweeping the earth by storm.
At this event, I learned several next-gen lessons that coincide with my values and how I strive to teach others to grow into their ultimate potential.
One of my heroes and football’s all-time greatest quarterbacks, Steve Young, touched on a subject that everyone can relate to (relatively speaking in the U.S.), which levels the playing field for you to take the stage as one of the greats. Steve mentioned that in his days of playing for the San Francisco 49ers, he battled with many challenges that nearly cost him his starting position and his job as a professional football player.
After meeting with Stephen R. Covey, author of the 7 Habits for Highly Effective People, and expressing the frustrations that he had faced, he learned a concept that not too many people realize–everyone is given an incredible and prosperous platform to make their marks and do their best, but very few people actually work towards this opportunity.
Steve reiterated the words of Mr. Covey, who asked him, “You have the greatest platform in the world – do you want to see how good you really can become?”
This reminded me of the first time my dad took me backpacking through the Wind River Mountain range in Wyoming at age eight. Heading up the grueling first two-mile switchbacks I began to wonder if I’d ever make it or even survive.
Fast forward ten years to that same trail, I was grown-up and much stronger. I had hiked this trail almost every year since that terrible first hike. I took the lead and ran up the trail as fast I could, found basecamp, dropped off my backpack, then sprinted down the 8-mile trail to the last person in the pack (generally my father or someone he brought for their grueling first). I’d take their pack off of their backs, strap in and run back up the trail. Given my strength and stamina, I’d repeat this process until each suffering hiker could finish the trail.
I was given a platform. I could have begged my father to cancel the entire trip and just drove home in shame. Instead, what happened that day was similar to what Mr. Covey expressed to Steve Young. I, too, was impressed by my father’s strength that I challenged myself to be one of the best backpackers that I could become.
We can either stare at the road ahead of us and think that we will not make it or we can journey into the inevitable future that anxiously awaits for our choices, sacrifices, and disciplines. Just because we cannot see the future doesn’t mean it isn’t there and that it’s unchangeable. In fact, with every action, you take toward your goals, the brightness of your future increases.
I believe that people who do difficult things every day, face their fears, and work towards a promising goal or dream, they will achieve greatness.
Curiosity is Key to Learning
CEO of peek.com, Ruzwana Bashir, shared how, as an Indian woman, she faced seemingly insurmountable difficulty during her journey.
In her culture, it was often customary to have the family allocate their financial resources to the male child so that he could grow up strong and educated and provide for the family. Men are often sent to private schools and the women if they seek education, will attend the low-budget public school systems.
Bashir testified of the power of curiosity, which ultimately led to her learning concepts in unknown societal territories. Though her interests weren’t to run multimillion dollar companies, she found a fascination with travel, exploration, growth, learning and serving people.
Bashir could have lived within the norms of her culture, but instead seized the platform before her and made a name for herself.
I aspired and while I did not achieve, I was satisfied
The infamous Governor of Massachusetts and runner-up in the 2012 U.S. elections, Mitt Romney, joked with the audience about how losing the campaign has led his life to additional joys and successes. He mentioned that though he embarked on an incredible journey, the finish line wasn’t as clear as he imagined it to be.
When you set goals and dream big, you will face a lot of opposition, learn really tough lessons, and you may not even arrive at your initial goal. But what you can expect is to achieve more than you knew possible. Can you imagine losing the election for the President of the United States of America?
It’s extremely important that you know what you have set out to accomplish. Romney’s father used to teach young Mitt that life was worth seizing every opportunity. He said, “Don’t just muddle along in life. Have a clear vision.”
Since the election, Romney has remained in the political network and has positioned himself as a political-thought leader with an eye on the now open seat to the Utah State Senate position.
Remember that you live in a flat world where opportunity is there for the taking. When you sit in idle you cannot progress. When you sprint towards your goals, you will find that you had the ability to achieve them all this time.
“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” ~Thomas Jefferson