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Secrets of Success

Iron Lessons

Last month I had the privilege to speak to over one hundred local business leaders.
My talk centered on the lessons I had learned during my four Ironman finishes and
the application of those lessons to life and work.
Here are a few of the lessons:

Nothing grows without resistance.
As we age we become more risk aversive.
To combat this do one thing a year that excites you and scares you half out of your mind.
The rule in life seems to be: no risk, no growth.
This is true of individuals and organizations.
Ironman stretches, challenges me and helps me grow.
What can you do that will stretch, challenge and help you grow?

Lightening will strike on occasion.
In 2005, I was swimming in Mirror Lake training for the 2006 Lake Placid Ironman.
I was caught in a sudden electrical storm.
The lightening hit the lake and then coursed through my body.
I kept my head, came up with a plan and was rescued.
Individuals and organizations also go through sudden surprises.
They are a little scary but need not be fatal.
Having a plan and staying focused will allow you to survive your own “lightening strikes.”

Life is a series of decisions.
An Ironman race can last as long as seventeen hours.
During that time one makes countless choices.
“Do I slow down or speed up?”
“Am I eating enough?”
“Am I drinking enough?”
Some decisions work.
Some don’t.
Just like in life.

You’ll make mistakes.

I’ve made more bone-headed decisions than I can count when preparing for
a race, rehabbing overuse injuries, etc.
It’s ok to make mistakes.
When mistakes are made cut yourself and the others around you a break.
It means you’re trying.
Learn from the experience and move on.

Ask for help.
During the swim portion of the race in the 2012 Ironman I had a sudden severe leg cramp.
Two good Samaritans stopped their race to help me relax the cramp.
I have a team of doctors who help me stay limber and recover from
training –related injuries.
I have a wonderful wife who supports the long hours required to be sufficiently prepared to race.
Nobody does anything of significance alone.

You will seldom get to compete in optimal conditions.
I have raced in ninety-two degree temperatures, in a driving
rain storm and with a torn rotator cuff.
Life is about adjusting and adapting.
The better you do that, the more successful you will be.

You don’t always control what happens to you.
But you have total control over your response.
An Ironman race, like your life, is full of surprises.
You always have a choice.
When obstacles occur do you become curious and respond
or do you react?
That decision alone will often time make all the difference.

At the beginning of each Ironman race participants are given the following instructions:
Take what the day gives you.
All you can control is your attitude.
See you at the finish line.
These are great instructions for an Ironman and great instructions
I would suggest for life.

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CTS Consulting, Inc

3126 Berkshire Road

Baltimore, Maryland 21214

phone 410-444-5857

cell 443-286-2488