Last weekend I had the immense pleasure of attending my first National Speakers Association Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. Due to my work schedule, I was unable to arrive until the third day. But, the time I was able to attend was, quite literally, life-changing.
These conventions have it all: speakers, trainers, authors, educators, entertainers. I got to meet some larger-than-life ‘rock stars’ of the speaking industry. Despite any fears of feeling inadequate in the presence of such luminaries, my personal motto of ‘Play Big or Go Home’ stood fast.
From the moment I arrived, teachers presented themselves. Whether it was during a breakout session or in the foyer outside a conference room, any question I asked was answered with respect and helpful assistance. Any photo I requested for my personal ‘Wall of Fame’ was graciously accommodated. Any compliment I handed out was received with class, respect and sincere appreciation.
My personal high-point manifested itself at lunch on Monday afternoon. Nando Parrado, whose story came to life for me at age 17 in the book ‘Alive’ was the main speaker. One of 16 survivors of a 1972 plane crash in the Andes Mountains, Nando was one of two rugby players who challenged the mountains and won, trekking for 10 days through life-and-death conditions to arrange the rescue of his teammates.
To say this man has been a hero of mine for over 2 decades is an understatement. I am so thankful to have had the chance to express my feelings.
Who are your heroes? Have you ever had the opportunity to meet them? Speak with them? Write to them? If you did, yet failed to act on that opportunity, why not?
Heroes and teachers are people, just like you and me. They have their strengths and weaknesses. Best part, they once had heroes and teachers who inspired them. They probably still do. Reach out to them, share your appreciation, and ask how they were able to find the strength to accomplish their victories.
Inside their replies will be seeds of greatness…seeds that may be planted in your life as inspiration for you to reach your highest heights.
Embrace your heroes and teachers, and learn from them. Emulate their bravery and compassion.
You never know who you may inspire.
Someone may approach you someday with the words: “You are my hero”.