“Just because you can’t stand up, doesn’t mean you can’t stand out.” - Mike Schlappi

Are you allowing excuses to sabotage your dreams and aspirations?

I have always heard that excuses are monuments of nothing.  And I agree to a certain extent, but I also believe that excuses are a representation of something.  Excuses are dream killers.  One of the easiest ways to sabotage your success is by justifying why you can’t or why you won’t.

I had the distinct honor of attending a leadership-networking event this past Friday.  I was able to network with so many high capacity leaders that have already developed into some great relationships.  In addition, I was able to hear a dynamic speaker in Mike Schlappi.

Four-time Paralympic medalist and two-time world champion in wheelchair basketball Mike Schlappi took all of us on journey from him preparing for the high school football championship as the quarterback to being accidentally shot to living in fear, uncertainty, and doubt to him taking personal responsibility.  In his talk, he made many substantial points that I would like to share with you.

1.    The secret to getting through pain is attaching a purpose to it.  Pain can cause confusion and distress, but attaching a purpose can help you focus and get clarity to move forward with your plans.

2.    Take personal responsibility.  Mike Schlappi said, “The three most important words in life are - Take Personal Responsibility.”  As leaders, we have to be careful of blaming others and trying to find a scapegoat.  Just as Mike Schlappi, success and significance starts with us taking personal responsibility.

3.    Any and every thing we do affects everyone we are associated with.  No matter who you are and what you do, your actions impacts more than just you.  Many times leaders don’t think about how they affect various circles of influence.  Our decisions whether good or bad can impact thousands and possibly millions of people depending on your level of influence.

4.    Face your fears.  Mike spoke about how people avoid the very thing they fear.  He mentioned that we must wake up every morning ready for the challenges of the day.  If you want to enjoy success, sometimes you must face the very thing that frightens you the most.  What business decisions are you afraid to make?  What relationships do you need to develop?  It’s time to face your fears.

5.    Life is all about how we handle “Plan B.”  How many times does “Plan A” work out?  Mike never planned to be paralyzed, but he is now making the most of his life.  Since being paralyzed, he has achieved the following accomplishments: member of the National Wheelchair Basketball Hall of Fame, Olympic Gold Medalist, Certified Speaking Professional, MBA graduate, licensed Financial Advisor, husband, and father of five.  His plan A didn’t work, but handle “Plan B” well.  How are you handling “Plan B?”

There are many other great points I could share from his talk, but I will leave you with this final thought.  Mike has been inspiring many with this message: “Just because you can’t stand up, doesn’t mean you can’t stand out.”

If you would like to hear more about his story, pick up a copy of his latest book Shot Happens—I Got Shot, What's Your Problem.

What challenge do you need to overcome?  What’s stopping you from achieving your dreams?  Please leave a comment below, send me a tweet on Twitter, or leave a comment on Facebook.


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