In my career, I have been lucky enough to have heard many extraordinary key note speakers. They’ve ranged from comedians to musicians. From Into Thin Air’s Jon Krakauer to Catch Me If You Can’s Frank Abignale.
As I fly back home from the #ITAFall2017 Collaborative, my mind keeps coming back to the keynote speakers from our Sunday evening and Monday morning sessions – Mike Rayburn and Chris Helder, respectively. Although, very different in their delivery, both speakers had a common theme – In order to move forward, you need to take action.
Mike, a very talented guitarist who could mix together songs in the most unpredictable and amazing ways, had a very simple, but powerful message to share: In order to move forward, you need to move out of your comfort zone. Most often that doesn’t mean making a huge change or reinventing the wheel, it just means asking the question “What if?” Then step out of your comfort zone and put a new twist on an old classic – much like his music. As Mike reminded us, many of the great disruptive products of our lifetime, such as the iPod, are just new ways of applying the current technology and resources out there. You just need to take the time to assess what’s around you and then take action.
During Monday’s keynote, Chris Helder took us through the actions behind Useful Belief, which in many ways is a new spin on thinking positive, a concept we are all very familiar with. I’m sure many of us can close our eyes and still picture the Little Red Engine That Could huffing and puffing up the steep hill repeating ”I think I can, I think I can!” From the time we were little, we were told “If you think positive, you can do it,” or even better “It can’t be that bad, you just need to make lemonade out of lemons.” Unfortunately, as we grow up and become a bit more aware of the realities of the world, we start to become a bit more practical or cynical, pending one’s perspective, and realize that “thinking positive” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It’s not a switch that one can turn on and gain instant results. Often times after thinking positive we are still dealt an unfavorable hand. Why? Because as Chris reminded us, thinking can only get you so far. In order to obtain results, you first need to have a Useful Belief – an idea or thought that you believe is the most useful thing you can do to get from point A to point B – and then turn that belief into action.
Two very different speakers, one clear message: without action you cannot obtain results.
So what kind of action am I talking about? Here are my key take-aways…
- Turn your thoughts into action – You can think all you want, but if you don’t act you will wind up exactly where you are.
- Keep developing yourself – The brain that got you to this point, will not be the brain that gets you further.
- Step out of your comfort zone – Most of the great things in life happen when we are out of our comfort zone.
- Make the choice – We usually know what we need to do, we just choose not to do it.
- Wake up and face the day with a smile – The energy you put forth is completely your choice.
- Take notice of your body language – Communication isn’t really about what you say, it’s about how you say it. 55% of communication is based upon your body language.
- Be present – In order to move forward, you first need to be present in your current surroundings.
- Stop complaining – Yes, we all have things we can’t or don’t want to change so take action on the things you can and are willing to change
- Don’t wait – If you want to do it, do it.
- Make the most of out every day – Happiness is a byproduct of going out and making the most of your life.