My manager Linda emails me articles every day to comment on and to post on social media. Last week, she emailed me an article on how a woman started an ad campaign with the words, “You are amazing” on public billboards.
In my mind, the word amazing is special and should not be thrown around lightly. I am constantly striving for “amazing” and don’t want anybody to tell me I am amazing until I earn it or else the word loses its cache. Amazing is the last step not the first. I always surround myself with amazing people. One characteristic they all had is they do not care about praise. My mother and father are amazing because they dedicated their life to my sister’s and my happiness. My best friend Patrick is amazing because he gives me what my disability robs me of. My mentors are amazing because they give me lots of tools so I can strive. Most of all, my mentors don’t let me believe I am amazing when I’m not.
At some time or another we all need cheerleaders even when our performance is less than optimal. I always have my dad for that. My dad is my biggest cheerleader.
Ironically, my biggest problem was not enough praise. My problem was I had to seek out critics. Someone who would tell me “hey handicapped guy, you gotta try harder.” I even pay for that! I hired Larry Winget and Joe Calloway to yell at me sometimes. When I wrote my first speech almost 10 years ago, my mentor Frank Miles said it sucked and told me what I needed to do to make it better. I was so happy to hear his honesty. It’s like if you are going the wrong way on the freeway and everybody tells you, keep on going down that road when you should actually get off and go the other way.
If you want to be amazing, learn and execute those critical activities that will make you amazing.