If you have kept score you might have noticed we missed a pair of blogs here at 2020 Vision Quest’s “On The Path” outreach to our community. If you are wondering who is responsible for such things, look no further than me as that’s one of my duties. I’m a little disappointed but I have to tell you the “To Do” list piled up a little more than normal and I had to make some decisions in the priority. Today I get to share both my response to the feeling of being overwhelmed and some of the rather fantastic reasons behind it all.
I do not always respond ideally to feeling like I’m on the edge. This rather fun photo from the United Way “United Over the Edge” event last June highlights one positive response to a physical moment. In life moments I feel the stresses and pressure of a schedule occasionally a bit out of control. For me a list and a priority plan are quality tools but the best tool of all is to share how I’m feeling to inspire a little collaboration on the plan for managing. Essential in that process is to understand frustration leads faster to failure and curiosity creates calm. The quicker I convert frustration to curiosity, the quicker I’m on the path to resolution.
As for what has been building the backlog, I won’t be able to share everything but a few very worthy highlights:
Schools are at the heart of our mission and we are back at schools presenting with reviews already suggesting we are on the right path!
Did I mention we have this enormous book launch incredibly close to happening? You might even expect the big news in next week’s blog on official dates, blurbs and more!
Our 2020 Vision Quest website has been in the midst of a massive redesign and will launch on Wednesday of this week! We are excited to share the many aspects of it we feel will allow it to help us further our mission.
Most of you know I dislocated my ankle badly last November and ultimately dashed my National Marathon Championship hopes. I’m hard at work training to be ready for the December 2 return with Rodney Andre guiding me to the best performance I can provide.
Finally, we are less than 48 days away from our 9th Annual Peak Potential Event. While we are sold-out (Thank you!) and have tremendous sponsorship support, we are still working on the Auction details and ensuring it’s an event worthy of all those who put their trust in us for that very goal!
I hope you’ll forgive the two week hiatus and join us in celebrating the handful of exciting details above as well as the very big news coming next week.
Are you missing out on Tracy, Autumn and my trip to Scotland presently? We are delighting in our vacation at the moment, so to make amends we want to invite you to join us for an exciting opportunity. On September 14 we intend to attend the showing of the “dogumentary” “Pick of the Litter” at the Kendall Square Cinema in Cambridge, MA.
It is easy to marvel and appreciate the incredible work done by all of my Guide dogs from Ostend to Quinn to Ms. Autumn. Many times I’ve been asked for more insight into just how this is all possible and now you can get a look into the process like never before. 2020 Vision Quest is proud to support Guide Dogs for the Blind, as they lent a paw to the process of this film we want to share with you.
So save the date and come join us on September 14!
Below you can see the recent press release about this from Guide Dogs for the Blind:
After several years in the making, we are excited to announce that Guide Dogs for the Blind is the subject of an award-winning, feature-length documentary that is coming to theaters across the country at the end of August. The film, titled “Pick of the Litter,” follows a litter of GDB puppies on their journey to becoming guide dogs. The filmmakers, Dana Nachman and Don Hardy, received unprecedented access to raisers, staff, and clients in order to create this look at our life-changing mission. We hope you’ll go check it out!
I’ve finished writing the book but the complete work is not quite finished! We’ve been teasing at this book release on the front page of our website and in various social media posts for a little bit of time and it’s finally time to dedicate a full blog to the topic. Way back in 2015, inspired by the vast number of request for just such a thing, I set myself the goal to write the book of my life’s journey. As many know, my neurological condition had an interruption planned for 2016 and my writing goal necessarily fell by the wayside.
After the two-year delay, I returned in earnest this year to the project and the result has been a fantastic journey in my own growth. I’m here to tell you the draft is complete! We have already passed several edit cycles though a bit more is still being done to polish the final product for release. Writing a book is no small project and this is no small book as it checks in at roughly 100,000 words.
The process has involved my generating drafts and working on them myself until I feel they are ready to share with Tracy. She and I then go through an edit cycle together and I cannot stress enough how much this is our book as a result of her incredible talent, support, and encouragement. After we finish each section, it has gone to a professional editor who happens to be a good friend–thank you, Gene Lejeune. I’ve also had a few other friends read some or all to give reactions encouraging still more adjustments. Ultimately we are far enough along to be confident in the information I am sharing now.
The title of the book is “See You At The Summit.” The subtitle of “A Journey from the Depths of Loss to the Heights of Achievement” provides a little more insight into this auto-biographical journey. When and how can you expect to have a copy? We plan to have the book available for our 9th Annual Peak Potential Dinner and Auction event on November 17, 2018. Why not join us for the evening which will serve additionally as our initial book launch celebration?
This is the unofficial announcement and we expect to make official announcement we hope you’ll help us share far and wide come September. In the meanwhile, here’s the list of chapters in the order presently planned but understanding we are still providing some polish to the final product.
Introduction – A Leap of Faith
Chapter 1: Start at the Beginning
Chapter 2: First Struggles with Blindness
Chapter 3: NERO – Be All You Can’t Be
Chapter 4: Modi Norse Dog of Courage
Chapter 5: Losing Sight of the World
Chapter 6: Full Tilt Full Time Fan of the Year
Chapter 7: Ostend Summit to Surrender and Back Again
Chapter 8: Wheelchairs, Momentum and a Hiking Stick
Chapter 9: A Colebrook Boy At Heart
Chapter 10: Coming of Age
Chapter 11: The Mighty Quinn
Chapter 12: Hooray Tracy
Chapter 13: A Vision for 2020 Vision Quest
Chapter 14: Running, Marathons and Mudders
Chapter 15: Ashes Over Kilimanjaro
I hope you’ll look forward to reading as much as I enjoyed writing it and that soon we will “See you at the summit”!
Strengths, Leadership and Resilience: Meet Randy Pierce, President and Founder, 2020 Vision Quest
Randy Pierce is an impactful keynote speaker and accomplished athlete who founded and manages a successful nonprofit organization. He runs marathons, has hiked all the 4000+ feet peaks in the New Hampshire White Mountains and has been known to participate in extreme sporting events like Tough Mudder. And he is completely blind.
Randy’s top five talent themes are Responsibility, Woo, Connectedness, Includer and Restorative.
Randy, thank you for sharing your strengths with us today! To get us started, tell us about your work and your organization.
I am the president of 2020 Vision Quest. Our goal is to inspire people to reach beyond adversity and discover all they CAN do. I lead by example and share my experiences to motivate and inspire others. I speak regularly at schools, corporations, and everything in between – from large industry conferences to small scout troops. The money raised supports two non-profit organizations:Future in Sight and the internationally renowned Guide Dogs for the Blind. In the eight years since inception we have given over a quarter of a million to charities. So far this year we have raised over $90,000.
What was your first reaction to your strengths report?
I felt like my top-five really fit and I relate to all of them. I was entirely unsurprised by the order and by what was included. The Strengths Insight Report absolutely surprised me for its uncanny accuracy. This played an important role for me, because the tool really earned my confidence. As a result, I was motivated to think deeply about my results and give good consideration to the impact of my strengths.
Which of your strengths do you relate to most strongly?
Responsibility and Includer are the themes that stand out most strongly to me. Woo is also a big part of me, and I am comfortable with it, but it did sound a bit like a snake oil salesman at first. Restorative defines how I adapt to challenges and Connectedness fits because I am very aware of how one person’s actions can have great impact on another’s experience.
During my life I have been fortunate enough to benefit from a process that allowed me to have significant regrowth, and I feel such appreciation. My Responsibility motivates me to propagate that experience and help others. I felt powerless and helpless when I went blind. I was able to shift that with guidance and direction from others. I know how hard that can be and I am compelled to help others.
The very first 4,000+ feet climb I did with my guide dog was Mt. Hale. This mountain was named after The Reverend Edward Hale who famously said, “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.” This has been great inspiration to me. I cannot do everything, but I am going to do my part. What CAN I do? What tools do I have to help me? My Responsibility drives me to do that which I can do.
I know firsthand that one of the best ways to feel better is to help others (Includer, Connectedness). I still have days when I feel bad, but helping others is part of how I manage my own life and feelings. It is altruism? Is it self-servicing? It is both. You can choose what you do and how you do it. This reminds me of a powerful life moment that ultimately helped me lean into my Responsibility more.
That sounds interesting. Are you willing to share it with us?
Absolutely. In May 1989 I was nearly 22 and I started to lose my eyesight. It was unexpected, and it happened quickly. When I was admitted to the hospital, I had a can-do kind of attitude. Just tell me what we need to do to deal with this and I will do it (Restorative). I easily made friends with the nursing staff (Includer, Connectedness, Woo). It soon became clear that there were no easy answers and that there was no path to restoring my vision. In my mind, success was not possible, and I just quit trying.
One of my nurses got a day pass and took me on her sailboat. She had an honest talk with me. She said I arrived at the hospital fun loving, gregarious and upbeat, and that it was easy for the nurses to work with me and do everything they could to help. She said that I had disconnected and closed them all out, but they were still going to help me. She wondered aloud if other people in my life were going to feel the same way if they met this new version of myself. She feared that others might step away from me, not go towards me, and she asked if I could make my way back to the person I was.
I’m sad to say I was annoyed with her at first, but I thought a lot about it. I wanted to change my behavior, but it was hard. We can logically know something, but our emotions are still there, right? In the hospital I got better with the nurses, but I stayed distant with friends, getting off the phone quickly when they called. I couldn’t do anything fun, so why would anyone want to be around me? My family was too far away to visit. My girlfriend was overwhelmed and didn’t take my calls. I was isolated, bitter and angry. I knew I had to go through the stages of loss, but what could help me get headed in the right direction? How could I get out of this?
Things slowly got better when I got home. I started reaching out and sharing my truth, opening up and making connections. And by doing this, I started to help other people. My Responsibility grew from that. I am not even sure Responsibility would have been in my top five prior to this experience. But now whenever people lean on me, it grows. It combines with my Includer and Connectedness, and okay, Woo, to drive me to do more for others.
Woo stands for Winning Others Over and you said you didn’t love it at first because it sounded a bit like a snake oil salesman to you. How do you use your Woo?
I don’t intentionally try to influence people or win them over. That is not my objective, but I am aware that I do influence people. I want to relate to people and share my stories and experiences. I want them to take what matters to them and works for them or is helpful. I don’t approach my public speaking with, “here are the answers, here you go.” The reality is that my influence does exist, and I can tell from experience that it comes through to others in how I address a crowd, how I tackle challenges and how I live my life. I want it to be present and visible for others to choose to be influenced by – or not. That is how I put it out there.
Do you think your blindness has caused you to rely on some strengths more than others?
Complete blindness takes away all sight, and with that goes 80% of the way a typical person interacts with the world. All my skills of people interaction had to go up. One of the best things that blindness did for me is that it gave me a really good dose of humility. I was fresh out of school, had a great job as a hardware design engineer and had lots of things going my way. I hope I wasn’t arrogant, but I was closer to overconfident than humble. Losing my sight gave me perspective on the ease in which our world can change and our challenges can become different than we think. From this point forward, I had greater compassion for what others might be experiencing. I began to look through other people’s eyes, literally and figuratively, after that moment.
How has blindness changed or impacted your strengths – as you perceive them? Do you ever wonder if your themes were the same before and after losing your sight?
Yes, I do wonder. There is no way for me to go back and take the assessment, but I suspect it would change because being blind has changed my brain. Parts that did sight processing now do language processing. I visualize everything internally with no external mnemonics. In my mind, people are feelings and attributes more than anything physical. Helen Keller, who was incredible, says the most beautiful things in the world we see with our hearts, not our eyes. I try to look at things this way too, though I still enjoy having someone describe a sunset to me.
I don’t get to look at facial expressions, but my strengths give me candor! I will ask you anything, and I will do so with respect. If there is something I need to know, I will just ask. With my Connectedness and Woo, I can’t imagine not asking.
How have your strengths helped you in your role as the President and Founder of 2020 Vision Quest?
I have a great team of people who work with me, and I do a lot of the work myself too. My wife, Tracy, manages the finances, and I have staff and a board. With my Responsibility, I don’t let things slide. Connectedness and Includer keep me reaching out and building relationships. Woo is so important for all the public speaking and it helps me be comfortable sharing about myself and my accomplishments. Restorative comes into play when there are challenges. I am ready to solve problems and keep things moving forward.
How do your strengths help you in your role as a keynote speaker?
When I step in front of a group to speak, in most situations I am the first blind person many people will encounter. I just assume people are going to be uncomfortable with me. In order to establish an effective learning environment, I need to put others at ease and in a very real way, win them over (Woo). I can’t see faces and body language, so I rely on sound to collect information about the audience. I listen to get a sense of the baseline of room from a distraction sense. When people are not attentive they shuffle, so I listen for that. I tell a few jokes and pay attention to what their laughs sound like. Different types of laughs can tell you things about the comfort level in a room.Most importantly I note the change in these laughs as we progress, so I can measure the impact I’m having on their comfort and engagement.
I use my Restorative in these moments too. I need to know where the audience is, or I might rotate a little and no longer be facing them. I develop ways of orienting myself. I am not always at a podium, which can set you apart from the audience. If there is a stage behind me, I might orient by tapping my heel
When I am at schools I make things as interactive as possible (Includer, Connectedness). I ask questions like, “What do you think a person who is blind might not be able to do?” This gets the students thinking and talking, which helps me achieve the all-important engagement of the students.
Your specific physical affliction could cause more difficulty for you at any time. How do you stay in the moment? Do you ever worry about your health?
Yes, I have an ongoing rare neurological disorder called chronic demyelinating polyneuropathy, which causes nerve damage. It can attack any part of the nervous system. There is no telling if or when the disease will progress nor what part of the body it might impact. There is no comfort in not knowing. My mindset is that I don’t like it, but I can’t immediately affect it. I have to avoid hypochondriac feelings. The disorder could affect any part of your system, so you don’t know what to look for. It could be intensely frustrating.
Do any of your top five strengths themes help you stay in the moment?
There is a higher chance of a car accident than my neurological condition being my end, but I am not irresponsible about either of these things (Responsibility). There are plenty of good times and good experiences ahead, but I have already won. I choose to not live with the shadow of affliction darkening out present and future possibilities. This mindset has already let me have wonderful experiences and much success. To me this is demonstrable proof that I am taking the right approach. When I have a set-back, I am frustrated in the moment, but I find the new baseline and build from there (Restorative). And I have had incredible rewards from doing this. I am living life to the fullest.
People always say when you are faced with adversity, you choose how you react. I like to take it a step further. WHAT we choose to do, the specific choice we make, will have a bigger impact on our life than our adversity. My choice of following all my dreams, hiking, founding a company, giving presentations, these are what impact my life – not my blindness, not my neurological disfunction. The specific choices I make impact my life and this is how I view it.
I am 6’4’’ tall, have gray hair, and am blind, but the strengths at the top of my list have a phenomenally larger impact on my life than my height or sight. My choices, which involve continuing to use my strengths, are what defines my life and leads me to my success.
For more information on 2020 Vision Quest and Randy Pierce, visit 2020visionquest.org. Stay tuned for Randy’s upcoming book, which will be published later this year.
On Saturday, June 2, in Concord, NH we’ll all gather for a short 3k (1.8 miles) stroll together for the Walk for Sight.
If you join us, you can see some of the amazing work of Autumn guiding me, many other guide dogs and cane users, and several hundred supporters helping us raise awareness and funds for the more than 30,000 people we hope to provide training and service at Future In Sight. We’ll finish the walk and have lunch together, and somewhere in there our 2020 Vision Quest team will present will also present a check for nearly $30,000 raised through our tremendous community of support throughout the year.
We fund raise through three main methods: our Peak Potential Dinner in November, this walk, and my corporate presentations. This walk is a low cost way to join in, literally, or by a donation to one of our team members (pick me!), but time is running out so please consider making the choice today!
Less than a month to the event and our team has been growing slowly so we hope to make this push for a full team and for all our walkers to hopefully hit their fund raising goals.
Save the Date: November 17, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. Proudly returning to the Courtyard by Marriott
Tickets will officially go on sale June 1 and we encourage you to begin organizing your tables early. For the first time, we are inviting you, our generous supporters, to pick your table location. All of the normal on-line sign-up will still be in place, and we’ll reach out to table purchasers in the order that the payment is received with the layout of the available tables, allowing you to select where you and your fellow supports will enjoy a great meal and event festivities.
We are also keeping our early purchase pricing in place at the same $500 for a table of 8. There is also a limited number of larger tables for those of you whose group is 10 or 12, available on a first come, first served basis. So start your table coordination now and be among the first tables booked to use our new location selection feature!
We have begun preparation and planning for sponsorships, auction items and many event specific planning, so we invite you to visit our updated website:
As always, we understand how fortunate we have been for the incredible support of our community. We continue to work hard to ensure our mission and effort are always worthy of your support. This year we believe we’ll be delivering a few additional surprises to take this event and our appreciation of you to the highest peak yet.
We hope to see you in November. Please help us to spread the word!
– Randy Pierce at the founding of 2020 Vision Quest in 2009
I believe that you achieve vision not from sight, but from viewing the world mindfully. Our 2020 Vision Quest team strives diligently to serve our collective vision to our best ability, or as we prefer to phrase it: peak potential! One way we achieve this is through an open-minded view of all the opportunities the world presents to us. As such, we recently did a thorough exploration of new opportunities and found to our overwhelming appreciation an obvious and worthy one to share: We are excited to announce a new partnership with Guide Dogs for the Blind.
Guide Dogs for the Blind is more than an industry-leading guide dog school; they are a passionate community that serves the visually impaired. With exceptional client services and a robust network of trainers, puppy raisers, donors, and volunteers, they prepare highly qualified guide dogs to serve and empower individuals who are blind or have low vision.
We were impressed to learn Guide Dogs for the Blind produces roughly twice as many working teams each year than other US schools. They also have an enviable financial efficiency, with an average cost per team that lower than most if not all other schools, making them an excellent value for our donation. All their services are provided free of charge and they receive no government funding. GDB is headquartered in San Rafael, California, with a second campus in Boring, Oregon. Since their founding in 1942, they have graduated more than 14,000 guide teams; today there are approximately 2,200 active teams in the field across North America. For more information, please visit guidedogs.com.
We will continue to equally split our charitable donations between two outstanding vision assistance organizations — Future In Sight and Guide Dogs for the Blind — with full confidence that we are conscientiously serving our mission.
With this announcement, we will have a cross-country partnership with a team eager to work with us on our shared vision. This is also a reunion with the school from which I received my very first Guide Dog, Ostend — but don’t worry, Autumn and I are doing fine. She is healthy, happy, and working very well with me. I expect that she and I will continue our successful work together for many years ahead.
We are excited for our new partnership and the increased impact that our support will achieve. We think you will find many reasons to appreciate their work and find them deserving of our support. Please join me in celebrating the inclusion of Guide Dogs for the Blind in the mission of 2020 Vision Quest!
“The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth, dwelling deeply in the present moment and feeling truly alive.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
On Saturday, June 2, 2018, I will celebrate walking at the 15th Annual Walk for Sight at 25 Walker Street, Concord, NH which is the home of Future In Sight. I will celebrate the thousands of lives uplifted by their life-changing training, services, and support — including my own!
What I hope to celebrate even more is the many people who will gather to walk the 3-kilometer route or otherwise support our ability to ensure thousands more in need will have the same opportunity. We can raise awareness, funds, and community connections by joining together to enjoy the late morning and early afternoon.
We have had so many commitments and activities for ourselves and our many friends that it has been more challenging to sustain our commitment to this wonderful event for the incredible 15 years. Yet the need persists and the organization’s commitment to improve it each year while elevating the incredible work they achieve has enhanced their worthiness for our efforts.
So Autumn and I implore you to consider joining our team and using the new website to help reach out for donations to support the 2020 Vision Quest effort as well as Future In Sight. We will be splitting our fundraising in a 50/50 program, assuming we meet our minimum fundraising requirements of $1,000 as a team. We have managed this each year since the program began and I can tell you that Autumn and I have made that amount our personal goal. If you cannot join our team — which is our absolute first preference — then please consider making a donation to our effort.
The earlier you make the choice to join the team, the easier it will be to hopefully help raise a few sponsorships for your walking or general donations of support. So please consider one of my personal quotations: procrastinate procrastination! Join us today and we’ll keep you informed of all the ways we hope to keep the event and our team growing together towards our goals!
” …it rocked the entire audience of 130 people. There were farmers, lawyers, doctors, teachers, artists from young to old… Everyone felt that Randy was talking to them. It was a profound experience.” – Celeste Barr, Beaver Brook Association
I always strive to connect with people. It is perhaps one of the foundations of who I am and not surprisingly how I have been able to achieve. It is why Celeste’s kind words above inspired me. Through the evolution of 2020 Vision Quest, my keynote presentations to corporations and other organizations have developed into a fundamental part of our connection and the means by which we raise funds to do our charitable work. I appreciate the outstanding and often longstanding ovations received for the method and message in our keynote approach. I intend to keep building on the worthiness and expanding our outreach.
What is the goal of my keynote presentation? While my experiences have equipped me with a foundation of prominent speaking points such as goal setting, managing adversity, teamwork, communication, managing failure, finding purpose, motivation, and more; the essence of them is my ability to customize each presentation towards the target audience.
The presentation has a highly relational conversational tone which most who attend find captivates their attention and broadens their vision. In order to do this, I typically will take the time to understand the objectives of the conference, meeting, or event to ensure the right anecdotes and themes are brought to the forefront. I encourage a positivity which is well grounded in understanding and embracing realistic challenges in a resilient, problem-solving mindset utilizing collaboration and communication to best affect.
These successful keynotes have enabled us to present across the country to hundreds of organizations. Whether a small business group or full corporate event, the testimonials continue to confirm that we meet and more often exceed the objectives professionally while providing an uplifting personal inspiration for those who join us.
As compensation for these keynote presentation, we request an honorarium to the 501(c)(3) charity, 2020 Vision Quest. With all the positive aspects involved in this opportunity, we again encourage you to consider scheduling us for your event or recommending us to someone you know in need of such a speaker for their event. We think you’ll join many people who believe it was one of the best decisions they made.
Be the main character in your life, and the supporting character for others, especially in those lives of the people you hold dear.
When Randy asked me a few days ago if I wanted to write the guest blog about his foundation’s main event, Peak Potential, I was thrilled. When I realized that he asked me because of a conversation we had had months ago – marathons ago, difficult times ago, ages ago – I was honored. I have never heard an unkind word spoken about Randy or Tracy – in fact, everyone always says they are both inspirational, awe-inspiring, amazing. That’s all true, and last night’s event was a complete testament to that. But that wasn’t my take away from last night’s dinner and fundraiser.
I arrived fashionably early last night, and was immediately greeted by Tracy, Randy’s beautiful and also inspiring wife. Tracy isn’t just the woman behind the man – she takes on her own challenges – school while working full time, running, etc – and handles them with grace and sometimes, I’m sure, a few choice words, but nonetheless she handles them! I was handed my name tag, given a few details about the night, and directed to the room where the silent auction items were laid out. There were people milling about looking at items, but what struck me was the team that was still working diligently to take care of those last few details to make sure the event went smoothly. As my friends arrived, we drank, ate and chatted. And that’s the second time I was awe-struck again. I was surrounded by friends – amazing people who were doing amazing things, some small, some large – none more amazing than the next and everyone had chosen to spend an evening in support of our friend, Randy, because of what he meant to us.
The items for the silent auction were plentiful and amazing – from jewelry, to weekend stays at a ski resort, to a beautiful, handmade afghan blanket made by Randy’s mother (probably the most valuable item in that room). It was wonderful to see how many different people and organizations had come together to donate items to support 2020 Vision Quest.
We were slowly ushered into the dining room, where dinner was served. The food was delicious and the atmosphere lively – somehow you felt and knew that Randy and Tracy, and their friends, had orchestrated every last detail so that we would all have an amazing evening (although I must admit, the coffee was lacking in quality, but I’ll let it slide).
The Live Auction was next and brought laughter, bribery with puppies, bidding wars, and an extraordinary amount of money raised for the charity! And apparently someone is being fed homemade scones by Randy while riding in a hot air balloon – I’ll let you decide if that’s a prize or not.
Then, Randy spoke. I don’t want to say he gave a presentation – he does that almost every day to various schools and organizations. Nope, last night, Randy spoke. He spoke to a room full of friends, family, supporters – he spoke to his team – the people he has in his life who help him get through the big challenges, the daily struggles, the happy times and sad days. Randy spoke about being the main character in your life story – making the choices that allow you to be the best person you can be, to reach your Peak Potential. No matter who you are, you need to surround yourself with a team of people who will help you, guide you, catch you when you fall, laugh with you, and love you. Randy spoke about building that team so that you could be the main character in your life story, not just a backseat driver. And I’ll take it one step further: on top of being the main character in your own life story, be a supporting role for others, particularly those people that you hold dear. Life is too short to live it in solitude, thinking you can achieve your goals alone. Besides, when you get to the top of the mountain, you want someone there to share in the champagne, whiskey, coffee, and cake (okay, maybe not the coffee!).
Guys, life is not easy, but it wasn’t meant to be. We all have our stories, our struggles, our journeys. I own my own business, have two small children, attempt to be a runner, and try to be there for my friends and family – the people I hold close. Because without those people, I wouldn’t be able to even THINK about achieving the goals I want to achieve. They believe in me, even when I do not.
The final “event” of the night was a team/table event where people could make pledges towards 2020 Vision Quest. The team – everyone in the room – raised more than $13,000 in less than 10 minutes! That’s teamwork!
At the end of the night, I grabbed one of the posters that was being handed out. I didn’t open it up until this morning, but when I did, I knew it was a poster that was going to be hanging in my kitchen so that I could see it every day, so that my kids could see it every day. It is the embodiment of what I want to teach my children – climb your mountain, reach your peak potential, and remember, you can’t do it alone – build your team and be there for the people who have chosen you to be on their team.