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February 4, 2011 / jasonpinto

Bob Berland Can Beat Me Up… and Be Inspiring

Bob Berland

I had the opportunity to meet Bob Berland yesterday. If you’re not familiar with his story, take a moment to read it and watch some of the videos on YouTube. It’s pretty amazing. 

He delivered the opening presentation at the MFSA Mid-Winter Conference yesterday. It was entertaining and a bit moving. I jotted down a few of my favorite moments and quotes. Here they are:

“Our paths often change, but our goals shouldn’t”.

I don’t want to steal all of the thunder from Bob’s site… But here’s a quick synopsis: In the midst of preparing to go to the Olympics, he blew out his knee. Nearly every doctor said that there was no way he’d recover in time to participate in the Games.

Well, they didn’t know that he’d find a way to turn his hospital bed into a gym (he did pull-ups and sit-ups!) and work out 12 hours a day when he was released.

It’s not always fun when things turn out differently than how we originally planned. We may feel disappointed if a new competitor appears and takes market share from us, or steals some thunder from us regarding a new product. Or maybe we lose a customer, and our budget shrinks quickly.

Yes, those types of things may force our path to change. But if we believe in our goal, we will find a way to accomplish it. 

Reinforce Positive Messages Daily

Now, I’m not saying that you need to look at yourself in the mirror and say “Oh yeah. I’m the best.” everyday. But, Bob’s point was that reinforcing positive messages on a daily basis builds mental toughness. Thus, when a day filled with events that are less than desirable arrives, you will be ready to deal with it.

The Importance of Eye Contact

Alright, this one hit home with me. I don’t think of myself as a “smartphone addict”, but I do spend a lot of time with mine. I mean, I really enjoy what I get out of it! But I know that I glance at it in the middle of conversations more than I should. Bob gave the audience a gentle reminder that relationships still grow stronger through human interaction. When it’s time to focus, make eye contact and push aside all distractions.

There were a few other points that I enjoyed as well, but I’ll save those for another time. Bob Berland also inspired me to do one other thing: get my butt back to the gym more often! Gotta go hit it now.

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