One of the greatest ice skaters of all time and 2004 Olympic gold medallist, Shizuka Arakawa of Japan, is estimated to have fallen over 20,000 times in practice on her way to the top of her sport.

That’s a lot of tumbles.

That’s a lot of bruises.

That’s a lot of persistence.

That’s a lot of clumsy and embarrassing moments.

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I had the privilege last night of speaking at the Rotary Club of Glen Waverley, a terrific group of people who are serving their local community and having fun doing so.

As is customary on such occasions, at the completion of my presentation, I was given a special glass, with the Rotary branding as a gift.

When I got home, I carried the glass inside the house and wondered to myself, “What do I do with this glass now?  Do I place it on a shelf somewhere to look at and admire, or do I put it in the cupboard with the other glasses to be used?”

As I pondered this conundrum, it made me think about our gifts and abilities.

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what-does-your-fearDoes your fear prevent you from doing dangerous activities?

Does it stop you from taking unnecessary risks?

Does it protect you from ever feeling rejected?

Does it remind you of the need to colour within the lines and not create waves?

Does it force you to make decisions that create a better sense of comfort and security?

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its-easy-to-say-muchIt’s easy to set ambitious goals.

But much harder to do the work required to achieve them.

It’s easy to promise your family that you’ll spend less time in the office.

But much harder to keep that promise.

It’s easy to join a gym or enroll in a night school course.

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if-you-believe-inPittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown recently signed a contract worth $68M over 4 years, making him the highest paid wide receiver in the NFL.  He has been to the Pro Bowl 5 times and is a superstar of the NFL, but it hasn’t been an easy ride for him.

Nicknamed “Boney Tony” in high school, when he left Central Michigan University to enter the NFL Draft, he was described by scouts as, “Very thin, small in stature, lacks functional strength.”  As a result, he slid down the order and was taken in the 6th round at pick 195.

But instead of being disappointed, he used the snub as motivation, selecting the number 84, because 8×4=32, which is the number of teams that overlooked him in the draft.

After signing his record contract, Brown revealed that he keeps a copy of his scouting reports and went on to say, Read the rest of this entry »

lifes-too-short-andToday I want to encourage you to dedicate yourself to a bigger, more impacting life.

To find a cause that matters.

To make a positive difference.

To live beyond your own needs.

To do something with your life that will last after you’re gone.

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if-you-want-a-betterAs creatures of habit, we often find ourselves repeating the same thoughts, words and actions without even thinking about it.

We’ve done them so often and for so long that we don’t even notice that we are doing them anymore.

So what are you repeating?

Are you making the same mistakes that you have for years?

Are you practicing the fundamentals of your craft to develop them to an elite level?

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your-falls-dont-have-toYou will stumble as you go.

You will trip and fall from time to time.

You will take the wrong path, look around and wonder how you got there.

You will get lost, so very lost, and ask yourself if you will ever find your way again.

You will graze your knee, twist your ankle and hurt your wrist.

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you-were-born-to-standMost of us have an innate fear of looking stupid.

And when you think about it, it’s a logical fear to have.

It’s embarrassing to turn up to an event dressed too formally or too casually.

It’s awkward to walk into a room and think that people are talking about us.

We don’t want to quit our stable job to start a business that fails.

And who wants to stand up in front of a crowd with nothing to say?

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you-are-capable-ofYou’re pretty awesome.

You are valued and valuable.

You have the capacity to do remarkable things.

You are not defined by your past.

Be yourself, everyone else is taken.

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