Sunday, June 19, 2011

It's all mental

Last year, I was running in my first 10K - the Calgary Women's Run.

I was thrilled to find that, on this particular day, I was running harder & faster than I had in some time.  Part of it was that I was running with a friend who runs faster than me, and I just focused on keeping pace with her - didn't have to think about anything but keeping up.  As well, I was prepared - ate a good breakfast, rested the day before, and had trained and prepped to go the distance.

Somewhere around the 6K mark, it occurred to me that so much of running is mental.  Your body can handle a lot, but so often the brain makes you slow down.

How many situations is this true in?  How much of what we experience and are challenged with can be won or lost mentally?  And in those situations, how much stronger would we be if we simply recognized this truth and used it to our advantage?

The truth is that your body, physically, can handle a lot.  You can run as fast and jump as high as you can possibly imagine.  Similarly, your brain can do more than you know.  You can think through more complexities and solve greater problems than you ever have before.  Yet, you have to believe you can.  You have to allow yourself to do it, push yourself to do it, and trust and know that it is possible.

So often, we stop before a goal is reached, or before we've accomplished all we could.  In most cases, this isn't because the dreamed-of goal is un-reachable; it's because our negative self-talk and debilitating perception drags us down, stalling progress and eliminating any chance of achievement or success.

This isn't to say that you can achieve anything if you simply believe - if that were true, I'd be able to fly.  But, perhaps if you believe, and talk to yourself as if you do, you can achieve more than you ever thought possible.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

JCI Conference

Why should you consider going to a JCI Conference?  Why spend your time, energy and money going to training sessions you've never heard of with people you may not know well?

No matter which JCI Conference you choose to attend, days of valuable information and training and evenings of fun and networking are nearly guarunteed.  From training sessions on positive attitude to practicing speaking skills, you will likely find a number of opportunities to learn something new.  And, evenings will be full too; from receptions to suites hosted by various JCI Chapters, there will be many opportunities to kick back, get to know some people and have fun.

Take, for instance, the recent regional convention hosted by the JCI BC/Yukon Region.  Seven members of JCI Calgary were fortunate enough to attend this weekend event in Richmond, BC.  This event featured three training sessions.

Patrick von Pander opened the weekend with a session on credibility and leadership, reminding everyone of responding to our audience and speaking from experiences.  This was followed by a scavenger hunt throughout the casino (complete with being yelled at by security) and a number of fun challenges that helped everyone get to know each other.

The next morning, Wilf Mulder and Kathleen Dubois led an engaging morning session about Roberts Rules (yes, engaging - even at 8am!).  Roberts Rules is a structure for operating orderly, fair and focused meetings and making decisions.  The great information in this session was helpful, particularly for those who don't currently use this structure, providing some great ideas for keeping meetings on track and discussion flowing.

The next morning session was led by Patrick Knight, an inspiring and engaging speaker who is certified as an International Trainer by JCI.  Patrick's session focused on the Power of Positive Seduction, and was full of ideas that anyone can implement to move their own lives in a positive direction and have a positive influence on others.  Patrick's session was inspiring, relevant, motivational and I'm certain each person left with a strategy they can implement right away to point their own lives in a positive direction.

An afternoon Effective Speaking competition gave a number of participants a chance to present their ideas on this year's topic, "The Power of One".  Within this topic, each speaker presented their own prepared speech, all very passionate and compelling.  Then, each participant had a chance to present an impromptu speech, on a topic that was given only moments before they spoke.  All the speakers performed well, and it's always exciting to see people take on the sometimes intimidating task of speaking in public.

A High Roller gala topped off the evening, with some deserving award presentations and a live DJ and dance.

So, why attend a JCI Conference?  Great people, excellent training sessions, a chance to visit a new city... why not?  There are lots of conferences coming up - check them out here.

As an added incentive, if you're a member of JCI Calgary, you have an opportunity to apply for travel funding for eligible conferences.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Making Change

Everyone can make change.  What kind of change are you making?

If you don't think you can - and there are lots of excuses and things that seem to get in your way - check out this talk with Jeff Skoll for some inspiration.