I had a chance to watch an interview with Peyton Manning on NFL Today yesterday morning. James Brown asked him about his rehab progress. Peyton made some great comments that sparked my interest. I'll paraphrase below.
He said that he's always had pre-season goals and post-season goals. Now he has rehab goals. Also, he mentioned that he needs to be patient with getting better and not look too far ahead to predict the future of his career.
There are many times in our careers where something happens that throws us for a loop. In Peyton Manning's case, he sustained several neck injuries that have taken him out of the game for 12 weeks. Prior to that, I'm sure he had set goals on how many games the team would win, yards he would throw, and touchdowns he would help make. Now circumstances have caused him to throw those goals out the window. Instead of focusing on goals related to winning, he has had to shift his perspective to focus on getting and staying healthy.
If you've read my blog or follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you've probably noticed that I like finding spiritual messages in everyday places. Sometimes I'm watching a sitcom or reality show when someone's comment peaks my interest.
Earlier this year, I started designated certain celebrities and other public figures as honorary Spirit Drivers. These are people who have demonstrated the principles from my book, Driving to Success: Let Your Spirit Take the Wheel in their professional and personal lives.
So far, I have bestowed the Spirit Driver designation on the following individuals. They received a personal letter (an excerpt is included in the linked blog post) and an autographed copy of my book.
- U.S. Surgeon General, Regina Benjamin
- Baja Fresh CEO, David Kim
- Actor, Singer, Producer, Donnie Wahlberg
Since I let my Spirit guide me on when to make these Spirit Driver designations, I don't have a particular number that I'm giving out in a month or a year. Also, I don't take recommendations from others (sorry!). Instead, I just allow the messages to find me. Since the media often focuses on the crazy mishaps of celebrities and other public figures, I thought I would focus on putting some positive energy out there.
So, what exactly is a Spirit Driver? It is someone who meets many, if not all, of these criteria:
- You're authentic to who you are instead of living someone else's dream.
- You keep an eye on your GPS and enjoy the journey on the road of your professional life.
- You understand that Money is just one of your possible Success Drivers.
- You believe that you have a Destination (Mission) to reach through your professional life.
- You regularly Turn on Your Signals to recognize your role in the Universe.
- You shift Gears, when appropriate, based on the Signs you receive from the Universe.
- You aren't afraid of making occasional U-Turns.
It's always a pleasant surprise to receive an acknowledgement, but that isn't the point of this exercise. It's just a fun way to reach out to others and let them know that their efforts aren't going unnoticed.
Also, please know that I'm not saying that these individuals are perfect. That isn't what being a Spirit Driver is about. Instead, it means that a significant event in their past or something about the way they live their lives now continues to meets the above criteria.
Those of you who know me personally know what a huge New Kids on the Block fan I am. I follow them all on Twitter to keep track of any upcoming appearances. Imagine my surprise when I noticed all of the positive and spiritually-focused tweets coming from one of the members of the group, Donnie Wahlberg.
Here's the letter that I enclosed with my autographed book in August 2011 (around his birthday):
First, I want to wish you a belated Happy Birthday. I have been an NKOTB fan since the late 80's. I was interested in writing to you now after reading all of your positive tweets.
As an author, speaker, trainer, and entrepreneur, I understand what it means to work hard and strive toward my dreams. In today's world, it's common for many people to avoid hard work and focus on having an easy, cushy lifestyle. You've proven to me that “rising and grinding” is a way of life.
Please accept my book as a gift to you. You are the type of person that I am writing about. Someone who is passionate about his work and even sees adversity as a blessing. Someone who knows that the Universe has something in store for him and shares his gifts with the world. Someone who has fun with life and encourages others to do the same. It's no wonder that you had such an outpouring of gifts and good wishes for you on your birthday.
Thanks again for all that you do. I wish you the best in all of your personal and professional endeavors. I will definitely continue to follow you on Twitter as it brings a smile to my face everyday!
In April 2011, I was watching an episode of "Undercover Boss" where the CEO of Baja Fresh, David Kim, went undercover to work alongside his employees. I really enjoyed watching how the experience of going undercover transformed the way Mr. Kim interacted with his employees and his family.
Here's the letter that I enclosed with my autographed book:
I enjoyed watching your episode of “Undercover Boss” yesterday. It is by far one of my favorite shows on television today. As an entrepreneur, I enjoy seeing the story behind the leadership of well-known companies.
I was especially touched by what you said about success. It is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle and forget about what is really important – relationships with parents, your family, and your overall experiences in life. Whenever I find myself focusing on material things, I take a step back to think about what is really important.
Since you are a religious and spiritual person, I wanted to give you this gift of my book, Driving to Success: Let Your Spirit Take the Wheel. You embody a lot of the principles that I discuss. You demonstrated how you recognize the Spirit of the people that work for Baja Fresh®. You understand that many of them have dreams and want to go further in their lives. I also liked the way that you asked about their personal lives and realized how much of an effect that can have on how they perform professionally. The gifts that you gave to your employees were invaluable. I'm sure that you made an impression on them that they will never forget.
Thank you for being a good example of the moral and caring CEOs in this world. I wish you continued success in your personal and professional life.
In March 2011, I was watching the NAACP Image Awards and was inspired by Surgeon General Regina Benjamin's story. She overcame many obstacles to keep her health clinic open. Her inner drive allowed her to stay focused and eventually landed her the lucrative position of U.S. Surgeon General.
Here's the letter that I enclosed with my autographed book:
I was interested in writing to you after seeing you win the Chairman's Award on the NAACP Image Awards. As a young African-American woman, I was inspired by your story.
After watching what you had to endure to launch and keep your health clinic open, I was amazed to see a woman who believes so much in her dream and has a strong faith that keeps her going. I have encountered adversities in my business, but nothing like what you have seen.
Please accept my book as a gift to you. You are the type of woman that I am writing about. Someone who is passionate about her work and doesn't give up even if it seems like everything is against her. Someone who knows that the Universe has something in store for her and rides the figurative and literal storms to get to something bigger and better.
It's nice to know that someone so passionate is in charge of public health in our nation. As a mother of a toddler, I am concerned about her health and dedicated to providing her a healthy, natural lifestyle. Also, I am glad to see your support of breastfeeding.
Thanks again for your inspiring story. I wish you the best in your position and will continue to follow your work.
She graciously wrote back a few days later. I was pleased to receive her thoughtful response.