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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Business Unusual - Going Beyond The Ordinary

By George Chingarande

If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven played music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well. (Martin Luther King Jr)

Erik Weihenmayer is undoubtedly a famous and successful man. He has a series of stellar achievements under his belt. In May 2000 he successful climbed to the top of Mt Everest. On September 5, 2002 he became one of only a few people to reach the top of all the Seven Summits (the highest peaks on each of the seven continents) when he reached the top of Mt Kosciusko in Australia. He has been featured on the front cover of reputed magazines such Time, and Outside and Climbing. He has been a guest on popular television shows such as The Oprah Winfrey Show, NBC's Today, Tonight Show, and Night News with Tom Brokaw. He is also author of the successful book Touch the top of the World. That is remarkable by any standard, but even more remarkable is that he is blind. He lost his sight at the age of 13. Hence, when he climbed the Seven Summits, he made history by becoming the first handicapped person to do so.

It is not my intention to dwell on the folly of accepting, nursing and nurturing excuses in this installment, however so early I choose not to resist the temptation to declare that there is no can't. Anything can be accomplished by any person who dedicates him/herself to the task this year. Suffice it to say that blindness and all other obstacles, physical or otherwise, may tower in a person's path but they can neither define, nor stop, nor confine nor relegate that person to a place of failure or poverty without that person's permission. Where one will be at the end of this year has little to do with the obstacles or difficulties that now stand in the way. Obstacles present opportunities for greatness. In a free world one can become as great as he decides to be and works for.

The focus today is on what we shall call business unusual. Like will always attract like, and a seed will always produce fruit after its kind. An orange seed will always yield oranges. In the same manner a superlative approach will yield super results, but shoddiness and carelessness give birth to poor quality. It matters what you bring into 2007 and into the arena of life. You have probably set goals and made resolutions already, but what mentality did you bring to bear on the process? A winning mentality will produce victory but an underdog mentality will surely produce failure and defeat. Likewise a handicap mentality will whisper to you that you are a dwarf, only a small rural priest in the game of cardinals and popes therefore undeserving of the cream of life. The size of a person's resolutions and goals for 2007 is not a reflection or measure of that person's ability or potential but an indication of who he thinks he is not. If you think you are not a champion you will not set goals like a champion and you will not act like a champion. Instead by your thoughts and actions, you will confine and relegate yourself to smallness.

Winners think and act like champions and losers think and act like losers, and this begins at the stage of resolutions and ambitions. There is a rowdy dwarf and a gentle giant inside each one of us. The impudent midget always shouts at us and declares, "This far shall you go in life and no farther. There is a river that cannot be bridged in front and for that matter there is also a scary lion in the path ahead." The gentle giant prods us gently and encourages us saying, "There is much more to achieve why are you settling for little? Why are you too willing to die before you are fully born? What does it benefit the world for one more tulip to whither before it blooms?" The truth is that for every tulip, and for everyone there comes that day when the risk to remain shut up in the bud becomes greater than the risk to bloom. I believe 2007 is that year. The voice that each of us listens to, encourages and promotes especially at the moment that we set our agendas is what will determine what the future will be. Winners wrestle the small dwarf to the ground and take the counsel of the gentle giant. They defy, like Erik, their handicaps.

Each one of us has handicaps. Erik's is blindness. For others it is physical disability but for some it is an inferiority complex or poor self esteem. To some it is poverty and lack of capital or formal education or a seemingly lowly and unrewarding career. What is important is not the label given to your handicap but how you respond to it. And respond you must.

If your complaint is that your career is too lowly, I put it to you that Erik did not achieve fame by excelling at rocket science but at a lowly thing such as walking up the mountains. Ronaldino did not become a millionaire by discovering the secrets of atomic physics, but by perfecting the art of kicking that inflated animal skin that they call a football. Winners are ordinary people who do common things in an uncommon way. They are common people who learn to do common things so extraordinarily well that none can improve on them, and by so doing they make their services indispensable. They go beyond the ordinary. They understand that thoroughness and exactitude in little matters is the very soul and heart of excellence. They understand that merit, no matter under what skin color or gender or nationality found, will in the long run attract recognition and reward.

Mantra of the week:
Winners are ordinary people who dare to do extraordinary feats, and common people who do common assignments in an uncommon manner.

Tip of the Week:
Do your work so well that the heavens will say this is tr4ully the work of a great master. Go beyond the ordinary.


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