Encouragement is important. At any age. I always kind of knew that, the way we ‘know’ everything we assume we know. But it took becoming an athlete for me to realize just how deeply that need runs through all of us, no matter how old we are. And along with the encouragement, that comes from others, we need a healthy dose of stubbornness in order to succeed.

This week, I was the Keynote Speaker at a conference in San Diego called The Presentation Summit (for people who do lots of presentations for work); the title of my talk was “How to Succeed at Anything”.

Sounds…ambitious! Smacks of hubris, even. But as a relatively new athlete (I started long-distance running at 55, and rock climbing at 59), I’ve learned things that I probably never would have learned otherwise, about how essential those two elements are. In order to accomplish what we want to, we need to be stubborn — or tenacious — and we need just a bit of encouragement (modern pundits call it positive feedback). 

That resonates with a lot of folks who dream of accomplishing something  — as evidenced by the standing ovation in San Diego after I spoke! Success comes from accomplishing your dream — like Thomas Edison (inventor of the light bulb, who tried and failed 10,000 times), or Tommy Caldwell (c.f. the movie “The Dawn Wall”), who worked on the Dawn Wall for 7 years. 

Tenacity, a bit of encouragement…and there’s one more element that’s an essential key for success. Stay tuned for more on that. . . .

First, I’m off to Europe, to speak on that topic and sign books at climbing festivals in Italy, Switzerland and Greece. Lots to get ready..!