Perseverance


These aren’t platitudes. This is real. Thousands have based their entire success platform on these ideas. Internalize them. It will make you better in anything and every thing in your life. Don’t agree? Post here. Let’s argue it out.

What gets in the way of us as humans is taking our fears and translating them into action.

“Daring dreams can be great things. Daring dreams have changed the world. Galileo had daring dreams to see the planets and developed the first telescope. Lindbergh had a daring dream and flew solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Ford had a daring dream, so did Ray Kroc, John F. Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Daring dreams change the world. But there is a difference between a daring dream and a mere daydream. One fires you up and moves you forward. The other is nothing more than wishful thinking. Daring dreams are worth dying on the hill to take them. Daydreams do little more than make you want to take a nap.”

-John Maxwell

My purpose for 2018: To finish what I start. To do things that matter. To execute. To honor my Creator. To mentor and be mentored. To coach and take coaching. To take responsibility for all my faults, all my failures and own my wins. To increase my level of efficiency with my team.

I will be grateful. I will listen. I will be on time.

In 2014 I was miserable. I weighed 313 lbs. I didn’t recognize myself in the mirror. Frustrated. Between health issues and not knowing what lay ahead, I was overwhelmed.

With amazing support from my mentors, family and friends, I’m happy to report I weighed in at 223 lbs on Friday, and moving that right along.

Work wise, I had my best performance year yet in 2017, and I’m just getting started.

I want to challenge all of you, every one. What are you going to do that matters? Who will you share your goals with? What will you commit to your own education?

Take whatever your handicaps are, and make them work for you. Don’t be afraid to be audacious. Set huge goals and get an accountability partner to hold you responsible for meeting your objectives.

Do something that matters. Beat you. It’s time. Don’t procrastinate, do it now.

I’m revisiting some things that really inspire me.  This is one of my favorite lectures.  “Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.”

If you’ve not looked at this before, it’s a must watch.  Randy Pausch (October 23, 1960 – July 25, 2008) was a professor of computer science, human interaction and design at CMU (Carnegie Mellon University).  After being diagnosed with terminal cancer, he continued to lecture, and share with his students, and his broader audience.

“Brick walls are there for a reason: They let us prove how badly we want things.  The brick walls are there to stop people who don’t want it badly enough.”

I also really appreciate his lecture on Time Management.

Check these out – well worth your time to watch.

Calvin Coolidge, the 30th US president, once said, “Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

I’m a big Tivo junkie.  I love the idea that I don’t HAVE to watch commercials… EVER.

One of the things that’s ended up on my Tivo is the Fox Sports Amazing Sports Stories which airs on Sunday evenings at 8pm.  These are incredible stories of survival, perseverance, and beating the odds.

In browsing for things to watch this weekend, I stumbled across the story of “Billy Miske: Dead Man Fighting”.

“It was a moment for a miracle, but death was closing in.  Billy Miske, one of the top fighters of his era, who was knocked out only once by the legendary Jack Dempsey, was struck down by a fatal illness.  But his family’s future was at stake.  So Billy kept on fighting, risking everything, including his life.”  So the show started, and I wasn’t planning to watch the whole thing, but it held my attention, and it’s an amazingly inspiring story.

Billy Miske, known as The Saint Paul Thunderbolt, was born in 1894. BoxRec.com calls his final career record of 77 wins (33 by knockout), 15 losses (1 knockout), 14 draws, with a total of 103 fights, and 782 rounds boxed.  He was considered to be an underrated, fast, and dangerous fighter.

I found a Sports Illustrated article that tells the story, between that and the Fox Sports show, here are some of the highlights:

In 1918, when Miske was 24 years old, Doctors diagnosed him with Bright’s disease, now called acute or chronic nephritis.  This is a severe kidney disease, accompanied by back pain, vomiting, and fever.  Doctors told Billy that he had five years to live… if he quit boxing.

For many reasons, Billy’s sole method of supporting his family was boxing.  He recognized his commitment to his family, and reportedly witheld the severity of his sickness from them.  You see, he had run up somewhere in the neighborhood of $100,000 in debt in a failed auto dealership business, and believed in both paying his debts, and providing for his family.

Billy fought in 30 more bouts after the doctors ordered him to stop, among them was his single knockout by Jack Dempsey in a 1920 title fight.

In 1923, Jack realized he was too sick to fight, and retired.  However, as Christmas drew near, and as he knew he would not live much longer, all he wanted was to provide his family with a Christmas to remember.  So he asked his manager, Jack Reddy, to set up one more fight for him.  Even though Jack knew Billy was sick, he understood his plea, and set him up with a fight with Bill Brennan, who later went six rounds with Jack Dempsey.

Though he was too weak to train properly, Billy knocked out Bill Brennan in the fourth round on November 7th, 1923, and won the fight.  He used his purse to provide money for his family, and a Christmas they all remembered, including a piano for his wife (a singer & actress), and all the latest toys for his kids.

The day after Christmas, he woke up in excruciating pain, was rushed to the hospital, and died on January 1, 1924.

Maybe it wasn’t always the smartest choice (healthwise), but what an example of not quitting.  Of doing whatever it took – to follow through on his commitments, to take care of his family, and to leave a legacy.  What’s your legacy?

Another great quote on perseverance comes from Dan Rather, “Courage is being afraid but going on anyhow”.

And it’s true.  It’s not luck, talent, or genius that makes success, character, or high moral value.  It’s perseverance.  Hard work.  “Chopping Wood”.  Being the best you can be.  Working to the best of your ability, and not being afraid to challenge yourself or those around you.  Leading by example.

When I make a commitment, I want it to always be known that I gave it my all.  That I pushed forward until it was done, done right, and when I looked back, I far exceeded even my own expectations.