In our first webinar, we discussed this quote from the world champion boxer and social activist, Muhammad Ali.
“Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them – a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.”
To me, this calls upon our inner strength to stay focused on the goal. In our case as champions, the goals include our personal well-being, our employee’s health and productivity, and ultimately the overall financial health of the firm. As we develop our competencies and skills as champions, we will likely always come back to this inner strength. Wellness is still not a high priority for most businesses. There will be continual challenges. It will likely be a continual process of returning to this sense of commitment, perseverance, and willingness. Here is a different quote, actually from a song, that speaks to this quality of commitment. I like Ginger Roger’s and Fred Astaire’s 1936 version of this one:
“Now nothing’s impossible, I’ve found for when my chin is on the ground,
I pick myself up, dust myself off, and start all over again.
Don’t lose your confidence if you slip, be grateful for a pleasant trip,
And pick yourself up, dust off, start over again.”
Music by Jerome Kern; lyrics by Dorothy Field
I love the line “If you slip, be grateful for a pleasant trip” because it also speaks to resilience and self-efficacy, which are the “core” of the core, not just in our work as champions but in life in general and in all aspects of wellness. If you ever have difficulties, there are two major insights that can help when you “slip.”
First, be careful of mis-attributing problems to yourself. If you are the only person in the firm who is leading the pack with wellness, you may think that it is your fault when things are not moving fast enough or employees are not engaged. In coming weeks, we will be sharing results from our survey that clearly show there are many factors associated with program success. Many of these are beyond your control. At the same time, it is important to do some problem solving after the “pleasant trip” – Lindsay and the entire ACEC Designed Wellness initiative is here to help.
Second, remember that each time you solve the problem you are building that self-efficacy in a way that would never have occurred if things just ran smoothly. Later in the song, there is another line: “I’ll learn by easy stages If you’re courageous and wait.” Yes, at every STAGE there is something to learn and the payoff is great! The amazing thing is that commitment grows in strength every time you can see a small growth. This is why every one of the champions is encouraged to share their small successes.
I think about these two quotes – one from a boxer and one immortalized by Rogers & Astaire. Both of these were really dancers. One who “took on the world” and the dancing team that really just had a great time, had a lot of fun, and brought smiles and entertainment to millions across the world. Both are inspiring in their own unique way. Over time, as we grow as champions, we will also be inspiring in our own unique way.