Expose Yourself to Winners

This is part 4 of a 12 part series that I call the 12 X’s of Leadership

Now for you “sickos” out there, “Expose Yourself to Winners” has nothing to do with flashing or trench coats. This principle is based on the idea of surrounding yourself with people who are “winsome”. You know the ones I’m talking about. There is something about them lifts your spirit and energizes your soul (as opposed to those who suck the very life out of you).

In my speaking career, in the past 20 years, I have had the pleasure of working with tens of thousands of teachers from all 50 states and they all understand the “power of modeling”. Typically, you hear this concept as it pertains to role models, but the idea is still the same. We tend to follow the influence of those people we surround ourselves with—good or bad.

A great habit to form is to spend time with people who inspire us to be our best (or at least better than we are right now).

Some folks call them mentors. Others call them heroes. They can be people we know personally or maybe only admired from a distance, but they still infuse us with an energy to be more, to do more.

Let me tell you about one of my heroes. Her name is Fanny Crosby. See, just her name makes you smile.

I can’t wait to meet Fanny. She was born almost 200 years ago and at a very young age she got an infection in her eyes. Her parents took her to an ignorant doctor whose “treatment” actually caused her to go irreversibly blind! What a devastating blow to her life!

She had every reason to grow up angry and bitter…life had dealt her a horrible hand.

But she didn’t. She is a winner.

At the age of 5, her mother recorded one of her prayers: “Oh Lord, help me learn to run and laugh and climb trees like my friends.”

She climbed.

At 8, Fannie wrote the first of over 8,000 poems she would write in her life (by the way her most famous is entitled “Blessed Assurance” – you have probably sung it in church).

Listen to the short two verse poem by a blind 8-year old who is more mature than many adults I know:

Oh, what a happy soul am I,
Although I cannot see.
I am resolved, that in this world,
Contented I will be.

How many blessings I enjoy
That other people don’t.
To weep and sigh because I’m blind,
I cannot and I won’t.

Isn’t that amazing! Here is a young girl who has already made a conscious decision as to what her attitude and emotional response is going to be in spite of what has happened to her.

That is the kind of “winner” I want to expose myself too.

That is the kind of attitude I want to catch.

Expose yourself to winners, and see yourself become one!

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