Yesterday was my monthly Leadership Austin meeting, as I am a proud member of the 2008 Essentials Class. This is an amazing group of local leaders from around Central Texas, and I am honored to be involved with this years program.
Our assignment was to complete a "This I Believe" style essay. Based on Edward R. Murrows 1950s radio show of the same name, "This I Believe" is a national media project engaging people in writing, sharing, and discussing the core values and beliefs that guide their daily lives. NPR airs these three-minute essays on All Things Considered and Weekend Edition Sunday. I am not sure that piece is good enough to be selected for the radio show, but I submitted it anyway.
Below is my essay. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
People Are The Power
Opportunities come from people. This is why it is important that each soul embrace the power of having a network of diverse and amazing contacts, while creating mutually beneficial relationships. Sometime I get shy or apprehensive, washed with a feeling of inadequacy that holds me back from reaching out to other people and attaining my potential. Yet I know in my heart that people instinctively want to feel connected to others at their spiritual core. They want to know me as much as I want to know them.
Those who are comfortable with their own success, (be it financial, spiritual or otherwise) are never jealous, instead they find joy in being the catalyst that lets others soar to greater heights.
Endless opportunities await those who know that the world is intertwined and larger than what is in their circle of vision. Life is a process and discovering the right mix of people who will assist you in your journey toward achieving your goals is as important as the goals themselves. Professional speaker and success guru Jim Rohn says “you are the average of the five people that you hang out with the most". Wow, that is powerful. When I ponder this thought I am reminded of how easily we are influenced by others.
I am the man who I am today because of the experiences I have had and the people with whom I have shared these milestones. While I have witnessed that bad things do happen to good people, I have also seen how adversity can bring out the best in people. When my youngest daughter, Kate, was diagnosed with a rare medical condition that required her to undergo massive surgery to reconstruct her skull as an infant, we thought our world was spiraling out of control. However, I was forever impacted by the people, friends and strangers, who appeared around us to provided us with a foundation to carry forward. These people provided information, referred doctors, gave us airline tickets, donated blood, prayed, and sent us the good vibes that helped us through this horrific event.
Five years later, Kate is fine. She has no medical side effects and is both beautiful and intelligent. While she has no memories of her surgery, her mother and I will never forget that time in our life. The people who were there to help us were gifts from God, and we now know that no person is an island. We need each other.
There are times when we receive the love and assistance of others, and there times when we give that support. While you cannot always directly repay the same individuals who impacted your world, we all succeed when we follow the example of the movie “Pay It Forward”, and take those gifts and pass them on to the next person in need.
I hope that I am a person who lives by this philosophy and gives as much or more than I take.
We need people. This I believe.
Have A Great Day.