Posts tagged "Challenge"

Spirit of the Gulf Coast Exhibition

My experience with Spirit of the Gulf Coast is culminating in a public Exhibition tonight (10.14), and I’m feeling the incredible rush of energy that I only get when really big things are on the horizon.  The night before our trip down to the coast in August, I stayed up very late and got barely any sleep before we left.  It’s now 4:08am, and I’m still not ready to call it just yet.  See, when I sink my teeth into something, it’s hard for me to let go, even if it means pushing myself beyond anything I think I’m capable of.

Spirit of the Gulf CoastI’ve been fortunate to have some incredibly passionate people around me throughout this process of learning and discovery.  Perhaps most exciting to me is that most of them I have only known for a short time.  It’s been very rewarding to meet people with similar passions and have them jump right into something as challenging as this initiative.  I feel extremely lucky to have this incredibly inspirational creative energy in my life right now.

Today is a big day for me.  The auditorium that we’re holding our event in seats ~350 people, and I’m expecting it to be pretty full if not over capacity.  This will mark my first time speaking to a group this size and there is definitely some pressure there, but for some reason, I’m really not worried about that aspect of this experience.  I feel very comfortable with the material, and I am looking forward to getting up there and sharing my truth in front of a crowd of people that are coming out to hear about our experience along the Gulf Coast.

I have to continually remind myself that everything is going to work out perfectly, and I don’t need to second guess any decisions I’ve made up until this point.  I’m really good at beating myself up for the ‘should have done’ or ‘could have done’ things, but this time around I really don’t know how I could have done much to make this any better than it’s turning out to be, given the resources I had to work with.

Spirit of the Gulf CoastPart of this for me is pushing the envelope on what’s possible.  I’m pretty good about that actually, and what we are producing (with essentially no budget) is quite remarkable, all things considered! I have to remind myself and the rest of the team often that this is a volunteer initiative and the fact that we’re doing it in the first place is a big deal.  Whatever we can do to make it great from here is the icing on top.

Nothing I’ve ever worked on in my entire life has felt this fulfilling or important.  It’s been an incredible journey thus far, and I know that it’s only going to get more exciting as the day unfolds.  I haven’t really given myself much of a break lately, and that part of it isn’t healthy for me, no doubt.  I can’t imagine not doing this actually, so waking up on Friday without a major rush to produce something like this event is going to seem pretty unusual I suspect.

Earlier, I had the opportunity to look at one of the film edits that Nathan has put together for tomorrow’s exhibition.  I am honestly blown away by how powerful the documentary is turning out to be! There is one section that I got a little emotional over, which I was really not expecting.  Nathan’s a very talented individual, and it’s been amazing to work on this with him.  I also got some great input from Kim on the action items that we’re going to leave people with at the end of tomorrow’s event.  She’s been burning the midnight oil as well, and I know she’s really excited to see all this come together.

On that note, I’m going to call it a night (or morning), and get a few hours of sleep.  If you are in Atlanta Thursday night (10.14), I really encourage you to check this out.  It’s going to be quite a night!

Thanks for following along.

Photos courtesy of Terrell Clark

Channeling JFK

For many years, I’ve been greatly inspired by some of JFK’s speeches from his time as President.  Perhaps the most inspirational of them is the speech he gave at Rice University regarding the space program and his challenge for the USA to go to the moon in the 60s.  As a side note, I find it somewhat disturbing that a video of this historical significance has less than 200k views, yet random videos of people falling off of treadmills get millions of views.  But I digress.

JFK at Rice UniversityThis speech is particularly powerful to me because of the challenge that JFK put forth to our nation.  It was a challenge of almost unimaginable proportions and one that he had no concrete plan for how to solve.  I thought about his message this past weekend at Creating Irresistible Presence when we were talking about stepping outside our comfort zones and pushing all the chips to the center of the table.  The parallels are clear to me. Sometimes we have to push ourselves beyond what we know intellectually and into what we know in our core.  When we know something at the gut level, when that burning passion is there, we must go and do what we are called to do.

Perhaps the most quoted portion is at 8:48:

We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard. Because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills.  Because that challenge is one that we’re willing to accept – one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win, and the others too.

This famous message holds lessons for us all.  On a personal level, we each have our own challenges that we must overcome – some of which seem insurmountable right now.  But we can overcome, and we can achieve greatness when we believe in our dreams.

If you have never watched this speech, I highly recommend it.  It’s just under 18 minutes long, but is a true testament to the power of inspirational leadership.

What does this bring up for you?  Feel free to share your thoughts or reactions in the comments.

photo courtesy of nasaimages.org