TOPIC: ACCEPT YOUR CHALLENGES
Guest speaker: REGI DAVIS
ACCEPT YOUR CHALLENGES
I Love Ted Talk. I could listen to them all day every day. To speak on this subject, I want to share three stories that stuck with me. Each of them offers a different angle on Accepting your challenges. My hope is that you identify with at least one of them.
Here they are.
“STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS”
By Dean Furness
Accept your challenges. Dean Furness did. In 2011 a five foot all, 700 lbs bale of hay fell from the loader and crushed Dea in the seat of his tractor, shattering his T5 and T6 vertebrae. He became a paraplegic. In his Ted Talk appearance he talked about the struggle of comparing his wheelchair self to his walking self. He was encouraged by his PT to join a half marathon, and he has been rolling fast ever since. While discovering this new passion, he said he finally closed to door on his old self.
He finally accepted his new reality. Walking was not the goal anymore, going faster was. He then talks about the danger of comparing himself to the racers he was researching and looked up to, with whom he competed. He argued that we are measured since birth, through school and our professional careers. What matter is your personal average, because that is the only thing that is personal. Dean is someone who has embraced his challenge and has used it to meet his new purpose.
“I was left with really only one choice and that was to focus on who I was at that point in time with where I needed to go and to get back to who I needed to be. Don’t compare your beginnings to someone else’s middle.”
– Tim Hiller
Takeaway: Accept your challenges to get you where you need to go.
“WHAT I LEARNED FROM 100 DAYS OF REJECTION”
By Jia Jiang
Fear of rejection kept Jia Jiang from doing a lot of things he wanted to do, big and small. He tells the story of him being 6 years olf in Beijing, China and his teacher had the brilliant team-building idea of teaching her students how to receive gifts and compliments. With a group of 40 kids, one at a time going up, grabbing a gift and hearing the compliments from their peers, the energy went from high to none at all by the time it was his turn. Kids were tired and didn’t want to gift compliments. He was told to grab his gift and have a seat and that hopefully next year the kids would do better. He said he felt so rejected.
When he was 14 years old Bill Gates visited Beijing to speak at a seminar. Jia wrote a letter to his family telling them by 25 he would build a company that would buy Microsoft. He moved to the U.S. and by 25 he was marketing manager for a Fortune 500 company. He did not buy Microsoft. In fact, he didn’t even start his company until he was 30. Every time he has an idea, he felt the battle between the 14 year old and the 6 year old. The 6 year old would always win. This fear persisted even after he started his own company. He was presented with an investment opportunity and was turned out. He wanted to quit. But asked himself “Would Bill gates quit after a simple investment rejection?”
It clicked! He needed to be a better leader, he needed to be a better person.
He could not let the 6 year old to lead his life anymore. He belonged in the past.
He began his journey of how to overcome the fear of rejection.
Inspired by RejectionTherapy.com where it’s a game that encourages you to feel and embrace rejection for 30 days with the idea that you will get desensitized by it. He came up with his own game. He was going to go out of his way to look for rejection for 100 days. He came up with his own rejection ideas, and he made a video blog about it.
This a little bit of what the blog looked like:
borrow $100 from a stranger
Request a “Burger Refill”.
Ask for Olympic Symbol Doughnuts
Deliver Pizza for Domino’s
Have a Tour in a Grocery Store Warehouse
Play Soccer in Someone Else’s Backyard
He filmed himself as he was following his reflection rules.
Day 1 He asked a security guard in his work building who he didn’t know if he could borrow $100. The guys said “No! Why?”. Jia said “No? I’m sorry” and ran away. He watched the footage and saw the terror in his face. He noticed the man asked him why, which meant the man was engaging with him. So he promised himself the next day he would engage.
After he finished his lunch at a burger joint, he went up to the counter and asked for a burger refill. The worker was so confused, “What’s a burger refill?” Jia answered, “You know, like a drink refill, but with a burger instead.” The worker answered “I’m so sorry, we don’t do that, man” But Jis promised himself he wouldn’t run away this time, he would engage. So he told the worker “Bu I really love your burger, and I really love your joint. If you give me a burger refill I’ll love you guys even more”. The worker replied, “OK, I’ll talk to my manager about it. But there’s nothing I can do today.” Jia said that the restaurant never changed their policy, but he learned the lesson of engaging in fear.
Day 3 he walks into a Krispy Doughnuts shop and asks “Can you make me doughnuts that look like olympic symbols? Basically you interlink 5 doughnuts together.” He thought there’s no way they would do it. The doughnut maker took him so seriously. So she took a piece of paper and started jotting down the colors and the rings, and 15 minutes later he walked out of the shop with olympic rings doughnuts. That video got 5 million hits on YouTube, and brought him popularity. He was in newspapers, talk shows, received tons of email giving him props for what he was doing. He wasn’t impressed by the fame and notoriety. What he really wanted was to learn and change himself. So he turned the rest of this 100 days of rejection into his playground, a research project. He learned so much, so many secrets. For one, if you don’t run when you get rejected, he could actually turn a “no” into a “yes” and the magic word is “why”.
He showed up to this man’s house with a flower and asked if he could plant it in his backyard. Guy said no. Jia asked why. Guy explained he has a dog that digs up everything, but he suggested Jia went across the street and knock on Connie’s door, who loved gardening. He did that, and Connie allowed him to plant the flower. If he had not asked why, he wouldn’t have known the reason he got rejected and probably would’ve created some dark reasons why in his head. He learned the guy rejected him because what he offered did not fit what he wanted. And he trusted him enough to offer a referral (connie) and converted that referral (planted the flower).
Mention the doubt your audience is having, It shows you are thinking just like your customer.
Takeaway: “I learned I could fulfill my life dream by asking.” Jia Jiang
“GET COMFORTABLE WITH BEING UMCOMFORTABLE”
By Luvvie Ajayi Jones
Do it anyway.
Luvvie wanted to be a doctor, until she realized she didn’t. It was a childhood dream which did not agree with her dislike of hospitals. After getting her 1st and last D in her academic career, she spoke to her counselor about changing course. That’s when she started blogging. It took her 9 years of writing to finally call herself a blogger. “I was afraid of what happens without 401ks” It took her 9 years to own the thing that fulfilled her purpose. “Fear has a very concrete power of keeping us from doing and saying the things that are our purpose.” She decided she would not let fear rule her life. She would not let fear dictate what she did.
In 2015 when she turned 30 she decided “do it anyway” would rule her life. She would do the very things that scared her. Being a woman who loves her feet on the ground, she decided to take her first trip solo where she went zip lining, where she swam with dolphins, and where she skydived for the 1st time. All things that keep her feet from touching the ground. She used her skydiving experience as a metaphor to how she faces the giants in her life. When she would’ve stayed in a perfectly conditioned plane, she decided to jump out, which turned out to be one of the most beautiful experiences of her life as she witnessed the Earth from a different and new perspective. When she decided to speak up against the people who feel bigger than she is, she feels like that movement when she left a perfectly safe airplane and jumped into the scary unknown.
“I realized comfort is overrated. Being quiet is comfortable. Keeping things the way they’ve been is comfortable. And all comfort has done is maintain the status quo. So we’ve got to get comfortable with being uncomfortable by speaking these hard truths when they are necessary.”
If it’s wrong, fearfully or courageously speak up. Keeping quiet SERVES NO ONE.
“Everyone’s well-being is community business. If we made that a point, we’d understand that, for the times when we need help, we wouldn’t have to look around so hard if we made sure we were someone else’s help.
Be the trouble maker. Be the disruptor. Be the first domino that makes all dominos fall in line.
“People and systems count on our silence to keep us exactly where we are. So it is our job, it is our obligation, it is our duty, to speak truth to power, to be the domino, not just when it’s difficult- especially when it’s difficult.”
INVITATION TO ACT
‘I commit to ___________’
This concludes our 7th week together. What has come over again and again the past 7 weeks? What’s stirring you and you are ready to commit to?
Check out my talk with Regi Davis
Click here to hear my guest speaker and mentor, Regi Davis, talk about Accepting Your Challenges and how he uses it to navigate his career and to show up to what matters to his in life.
ABOUT OUR GUEST SPEAKER
Actor and Director Known for Arrested Development, Game Shakers, Mind hunter, grey’s anatomy.
regi will walk you thru a workshop of slating and interviewing. you will receive pointers of on-camera interview, get to review your work, and apply new feedback to improve your on camera presence and delivery.
Whether your Kryptonite is a comparison, rejection, or fear of speaking up, I hope these stories will inspire you to turn your kryptonite into your superpower. One thing all these three stories have in common is CHOICE. They each made a choice to live their life by choosing their perspective and response.
Go ahead. You can do it, too!
Written by: Ferly Prado Mason