Last week, we had the privilege of going to hear Erik Weihenmayer speak, and what I assumed would be your typical “motivational speaker,” quickly turned into one of the most enlightening evenings of my life. You see, Erik Weihenmayer is an incredible man. But it wasn’t the fact that he has kayaked the Grand Canyon that got me, nor the fact that he has climbed the Seven Summits, the highest peak on each continent including Mount Everest. It wasn’t even that he did all of those things and countless others being blind.
To me, Erik Weihenmayer is an incredible man because of the way he lifts those around him to reach new heights. It’s the way that he allows you to see the greatness within yourself, and see the greatness in those around you.
In one hour, Erik taught me that we have a choice. Bad things will happen to us – that is undeniable. However, between the time that something bad happens, and our reaction, there is a space. A tiny little space, but that space makes all the difference. In that space, we have a CHOICE. Will you let what happens to you define you, or will you define it? Will you CHOOSE to react in a way that serves you and those around you?
Simple but powerful beyond measure. Let’s say you get injured – you could choose to think about how far behind you will be, the competitions you will miss, the hard work it will take to get back to where you were. OR, you could CHOOSE to see this as an opportunity – an opportunity to let that hard work fuel your fire to become an even better athlete and human being than you were before. You can choose to see this obstacle as something that will build you up, not tear you down.
“What’s within you is stronger than what is in your way.” This is the statement that is the cornerstone of Erik’s “No Barriers” foundation. A foundation thats sole purpose is to empower people to push their comfort zones, to live with vision and purpose, to build connections with others that inspire community and trust. To help people realize that the key to turning lead into gold is within themselves, the world, and the people they surround themselves with. I encourage you to check out the website: http://www.nobarriersusa.org. I can guarantee you will be in awe of the things that people have accomplished simply by CHOOSING to believe in themselves and their inner strength.