It took seven seasons for anyone to complete Stage 3 of the world’s toughest obstacle course that serves as the centerpiece of American Ninja Warrior … and then not one but two contestants scaled the final 75ft rope climb to conquer the final Stage 4. One man — Geoff Britten — earned the title of being the first successful American Ninja Warrior. However, it was the second man — Isaac Caldiero — who earned the title of ANW Champion and the cool $1 million that goes with it.
Watch any of these amazing athletes for any length of time, and one can’t help but take notice of the one thing they all do that we all should be doing as well: pushing our limits. Growth is about finding the outer boundaries of ourselves, and pressing beyond them. This is far more than a training mantra for the physical challenges of athletic competition. It is the game inside our own minds where limit-testing Growth is most needed … and hardest.
This little guy has been an American Ninja Warrior fan for the last 18 months or so. As recently as just a couple of months ago, he was terrified by the thought of being lifted up high enough to just put his hands on that pull-up bar, even while being held securely by Dad. Forget hanging, swinging, or jumping down — just being held up to touch the bar completely freaked him out. His Lizard Brain literally screamed out in terror … and that primal spasm announced something else: an opportunity to grow. Forget keeping the peace in our home; his reaction made clear that it was now time to do some old fashioned character building.
Less than ten minutes later, he was swinging as easily and freely as in the above video from last night.
The obstacles may be in front of us, but the game is in our mind. The people you are charged with leading deserve to follow a growing leader. They need to see you stretch, wince, hang … but press onward. Seeing you fall and get wet every once in awhile wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world either. Forget the learnings you have already made and the things you have already done. What is next?
- What is the next new idea you are going to investigate?
- Who is the next author you are going to learn from?
- When is the next meeting you are going to speak up and stir things up?
- What is the next rut of habit you are going to climb out of?
- What is the next failure you are going to risk enduring?
- What is the next skill you are going to acquire?
- What is the next leap you are going to faithfully take?