Last week I did something I've never done before. Something exciting, something totally new, and something that had never occurred to me to do before. And to top it all off, I did it in front of 25,000 people...
January 25th, Christmas Boy and I attended an all-day event called Get Motivated! It was held in Philips Arena downtown (where our beloved Thrashers chase the puck around), and although the arena only holds about 18,000 people, there were 25,000 tickets sold with the the overflow crowds watching the speakers on a big screen next door at the Georgia World Congress Center . The event was "in the round" and we were fortunate enough to nab really great seats in the VIP area on the floor of the arena, so we were in a group of chairs three rows back from the stage and on the end of a row.
Peter Lowe, the event organizer and promoter, had booked all kinds of different speakers for the day, including Larry King (live via satellite), Michael Eisner, Rudy Guiliani, John Smoltz, Tom Hopkins and Zig Ziglar and General Colin Powell. It was quite the speaker line-up, with topics ranging from leadership to sales success, to goals, and many more.
Anyway, Peter Lowe is a speaker himself, and when he took the stage, he brought with him a piece of unfinished pine board a foot square and 3/4 of an inch thick. He proceeded to speak about the topic of belief and how it's more powerful than we can imagine. Well it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that he was likely going to bring someone from the audience up on stage and break that board, so I decided it would be me.
Sure enough, about 45 minutes later toward the end of his presentation, and before the words "...to break this board" had barely left his lips, I was out of my seat and on that stage in front of 25,000 people. (that's 50,000 eyeballs but who's counting??) I don't know what it was, but I just couldn't stop myself from going up to take on that challenge and miraculously, I didn't see ONE other person get out of their seat.
When I got there, Peter asked me my name, we shook hands and he proceeded to take me through some mental board-breaking preparation. (I suspect my breaking this board was just as important to his presentation as it was to my pride) He showed me how to hold my fist, the motion I was to take, and we had a little chat about belief. Even though I had never done anything like that in my life, I knew I could break the board and frankly, faced with the prospect of breaking my hand or not breaking the board in front of 25,000 people, let's just say I was pretty well committed to success and breaking this board. And it did. (here's the board as it sits in my office at home)
Understand, it wasn't my belief alone that broke the board. I could stand there believing all day long that the board would break and it wouldn't have. It wasn't my action alone that broke the board. If I had tried to break it without really believing I could do it, I would have hesitated, and probably not broken anything but perhaps a knuckle. It was the powerful combination of the belief and the action that broke that board.
I have long said to my clients, "What you believe about yourself and your life plays a big part in creating your chaos and disorganization." When you believe you're a packrat, you are. When you believe you have a hard time staying organized, you do. When you believe time is always scarce and you always run late, you will. You see, we create our reality by what we believe.
To change your reality you must first change what you believe. Believing RIGHT NOW that you're an organized, decisive, successful, together person who has power over your domain is the first step in making it so. For my next trick, I think I want to walk on hot coals...