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The Five Magical Rings

In Junior High I decided to go out for track because my friend was a runner and loved track. When I stopped to cry on the track because I was in pain, the coach made me the team’s trainer.  And that is the sum total of my athletic ability.  (It’s okay, I have other talents. I just hadn’t discovered them in Jr High. Unless you count playing the bassoon.) In spite of my Herculean deficiencies, I love the Olympics.

The Olympics are magical!  Captivated by athletes capable of superhuman feats, we sit anchored on the couch with our mouths open.  Why do we love the Olympics so much? Maybe it’s the competitive spirit, perhaps its our loyalty to our country, but more likely than not, it’s the fact that these people defy the odds.  They hold nothing back. Their tenacity mesmerizes us.  

It’s not that they perform or play or compete fearlessly.  It’s that they do it afraid.  Sheer determination doesn’t allow the fear to stop them.  Passion to fulfill their dreams causes them to be single minded, focused on the task in front of them.  Their very courage, daring, guts renews our own energy and excitement.  As we marvel at athletes that are too young or too old or too marginalized to perform the very act we are viewing, we get inspired.  

If we took an ounce of what we are seeing poured out by the gallons in Rio, what could we do right in our own back yard?  

When you sit down to watch the Olympics tonight, ask yourself these questions:

  • In what ways can I best use my strengths and talents to serve my organization and the world?
  • What are the wider benefits of pursuing and achieving this?
  • What really motivates me to pursue this goal?
  • What might be stopping me from following my dream?
  • What are the five most important things that I will do every day to achieve my goal?

Let Rio2016 move you to be more, to bring more, to push for more. 

The Way to Get There from Here

This week, America witnessed a monumental moment that will forever be marked in time.  

Jerry Emmett was 8 years old when women in Arizona were given the right to vote. At the age of 102, she stood on the convention floor and nominated the first female candidate from a major party for President of United States.  In 1984, our first female vice presidential candidate represented a major American political party.  The Nineteenth Amendment of United States Constitution prohibits any United States citizen from being denied the right to vote on the basis of gender.  The key vote came on June 4, 1919 when the Senate approved the amendment 56 to 25 after four hours of debate.  Susan B. Anthony started fighting for equal rights for slaves and women in 1837 when she was 17 years old.  When she first began campaigning for women’s rights, she was accused of trying to destroy the institution of marriage.  For her 80th birthday, she was invited to the White House to celebrate her accomplishments, in 1900.  For eighty years she persevered.   She died in 1906, 13 years before that pivotal vote on the floor of the senate. 

When I was a child in the 70s, I told people I wanted to be the next president.  They all smiled and patted me on the head.  They gave lip service to the idea that I could be anything I wanted to be.  At the time, I was too naive to know that it wasn’t true.  (Thankfully, now I’m too smart to want the job, but that’s not the point.)  Regardless of what candidate you stand behind or the fact that you don’t stand behind any of them, we are in the middle of a historical moment which Susan B. Anthony could not even fathom and Jerry Emmett had trouble taking in.

If Jerry Emmett and Susan B. Anthony could sit down today and have a conversation, I imagine they would agree on a few things:

When you see an injustice, the very fact that you have recognized it tags you as the one to champion the cause.  Never pass up an opportunity to fight for what’s right.  

When those around you can’t see what you see, keep on educating, keep on working for a solution, keep on moving the needle.  Never give up.    

Whatever you are doing today needs to be paving the road for a better tomorrow.  Never settle.  

Endurance is indeed the price tag of achievement.  What cause are you designed to champion?  Where do you need to keep working for a solution?


What motivates you to move forward?