Before I delve deep into the second phase of the LEAP, "The E," and what it means to me, I must first give a few shout outs and explanations. First, in my last post I talked about "The L," Love, in LEAP, and I mistakenly forgot to mention the three people that I love the most, my wife Kristin, and my two beautiful daughters, Maddie and Maya. Secondly, I would like to explain the logo pictured at the top of this post. Last Friday, as I wheeled myself in to work, I had no idea what I was in for. As I got in to my office, people from work started showing up in bunches with one thing in common. Everyone, and I mean everyone (teachers, administrators, secretaries) had on a gray t-shirt with that logo on the front. This was orchestrated by two of my great friends, Mark Tremayne and Lou Vazquez. The m squared represents my initials, and the Stay Strong has been my mantra throughout my journey. Thus, I would be remissed if I did not give a great big thanks to the staff at Darby High School, so I thank you from the bottom of my heart! If that is not a real life example of LOVE, I don't know what is. Additionally, the ENERGY that was generated in the building last Friday was intense. Which leads me to the subject of today's post.
As I mentioned in my last post, Steve Farber uses the acronym LEAP to describe the essential qualities in becoming an "Extreme Leader." Today, I would like to discuss the E, ENERGY, and what it means to me in my daily approach to life. As Farber states, it more than just energy that the extreme leader possesses, it's the ability to generate energy in those around them. In the A Daily Handbook for Extreme Leaders, on page 169 to be exact, there is a quote that resonated within me, and one that I have often asked myself throughout my life, especially in times when facing adversity:
"What effect does my action have on the energy of the people around me?"As I've mentioned before, I have experienced a great deal of adversity as a result of the numerous ankle surgeries I've had. At a young age, I learned that my reaction or approach to these directly effect how those around me respond.
Whether it was returning to play football, returning to teaching and coaching, or most recently returning from the amputation of my right leg, I have found jumping back in to whatever I'm doing head first with focus and a great work ethic has enabled me to overcome any obstacle or adversity that stands in my way. Additionally, this has approach has made me feel successful in whatever challenge I have faced. I want to make it clear that when I say successful, I am not defining that by being named all league or coach of the year. I simply mean, I did not let my legs determine my future, and I'd like to think that along the way, I may have inspired some around me to work hard and take on the same approach as they face a difficult time in their lives.
Although I do not wish bad luck or injury to any of you, I do hope that when an obstacle or any type of adversity presents it self, you take it on and conquer it with hard work and a positive energy. Trust me, others will notice and feed off that energy. If you've never been presented with any type of adversity, I apologize to you and hope you will begin to challenge yourself and set your goals higher. There is no better feeling than coming back stronger and defeating something that's in your way.
Finally, just recently I started reading another business parable, The Energy Bus, by Jon Gordon and there is a line early in the book that exemplifies my approach to life, or ENERGY:
"Every problem has a gift for you in its hands as my man Richard Bach says. You can choose to see the curse or gift."I have chosen to find the gift, and I challenge you to do the same!!! Sorry for such a long post, but as you may be able to tell, I am a firm believer in the power of positive energy. I will return soon with my thoughts on the A and the P. Tomorrow I get to test my leg at 3:30 pm tomorrow afternoon, and I hope to have pictures and video to share. So, until we meet again, take care, remain positive, and stay strong!!!
p.s. Many people have expressed an interest in buying a shirt. I'm trying to coordinate this, and sell them for $10. I would like to donate all profits to kids that need prosthetics.