Deri's Blogs

Never Give Up!

I just saw this video and was completely moved by it!

Heather Dorniden of the University of Minnesota races the 600m at the Big 10 Indoor Track Championships.

She reminds us what a race really is about.

What life is really about.

We will fall. We can rise.

Never give up!

It’s a simple, yet powerful, reminder for us all.

When I was 16, I left my comfortable home in northern Manitoba to attend the University of Winnipeg Collegiate for Grade 12.? My parents were determined to help me transition to ‘university life’ by acquiring a broader perspective at a larger learning institution.

Before I left, some of my ‘friends’ made comments like, ‘you won’t make it’, ‘you’ll be back, just like the rest of us’.? At the time, I thought, ‘I’ll show you!? I’ll do this and I’ll do well!’

Well, the?University of?Winnipeg?was indeed a larger institution!? I’ll never forget my first day of school – it was orientation day.

I walked into Wesley Hall…and froze.? In that building – in one room – there were more people than I had ever seen in one place in my entire life!? I was from a? town with?a population of about 1,500…and I found myself standing among 500 of my peers waiting to enter the lecture hall.? Well, actually, I did not think of them as my peers.? I actually think I heard that Sesame Street song playing in my head ‘one of these things does not belong here, one of these things is not like the others…’.?? That one thing was me.? I did not look like anyone else, and I was pretty sure I did not feel like anyone else.? They all seemed so sophisticated and worldly; and I …well…not so much!? My hair and clothes were totally ‘uncool’ and I could not make eye contact with a single person.? I felt ‘invisible’.

A part of?orientation day was an IQ test (yes, they did that in those days).? I felt like I was in a different country – I could hardly answer any of the questions!? I did the best I could, but I knew I was ‘guessing’ mostly.? I felt a confirming thought appear in my mind.? ‘See, you can’t do it!? You don’t belong here!’

A couple of days later, I was summoned to the Dean’s office.? I’ll never forget this experience.? The Dean asked me to sit down, and he then proceeded to tell me that I had scored the lowest score he had ever seen on an IQ test.? He wanted to check and see if I had understood the test and if I was ‘okay’.? I did not know what to say.? I sat stone-faced as the Dean talked and I remember that? I wanted to run!? I wanted to run fast and I wanted to run hard and I wanted to go home.? I had indeed ‘fallen’!

The Dean was very kind and reassured me as best he could.? I went back to my room in residence at Sparling Hall, called my mom, and bawled histerically for an hour.? My mom, in her kind and gentle way, listened …and then encouraged me to give it a day or two, and she said that I would feel better soon.

I remember laying on my bed that night and thinking…’I can’t go home…I can’t let those people be right…I can’t give up…I WILL show them.’

I decided that I needed to work my tail off…and that is exactly what I did.? I went ?to class, I listened intently to my instructors, I did all my homework… I didn’t socialize, I barely ate, I just studied (No, I am not recommending this as?the most?useful strategy for academic success…it’s just the one I chose at the time.)

When I graduated, I achieved not only my diploma (of which I am still most proud today – even over my Bachelor’s Degree and my CSP Designation) but?I achieved it ‘With Distinction’.? I remember looking at the list of graduates, and there was my name near the top…I belonged.? I ‘rose’.

That’s only one example from my life…of falling and rising.? I am grateful for them all.? How about you?? What are your examples?

Are you a leader who tried a new strategy with your team, and it failed?? So what???Think about what you have taught them…that?you are open to new innovations, and you know that not all of them will work (but some surely will!!)? Isn’t that what you want to inspire in them?

Are you?a parent whose child is struggling with a social situation at school, and it’s breaking her heart (and yours)??? Have a?discussion with her about?what can be learned from this situation, about the gifts that adversity (the ‘fall’) ?brings, and about how she can learn to be her own support system (she’ll need that resilience?for the rest of her life).

Are you a friend, who is an ‘ear’ for someone dealing with depression???Remind yourself and your friend,?that falls happen and so do rises.? In fact, the rise is far sweeter after picking yourself up from the fall!

If this video?inspires you as?it did me,?I’d love to hear your story about a time you experience a fall and rise.

Deri Latimer, B Mgt, CSP, is an expert in possibilities for people! She is one of fewer than 10% of speakers globally who hold the designation of Certified Speaking Professional, the speaking profession?s measure of excellence in professional platform skill. Deri combines a Business degree in Human Resources with experience from business sectors including health care, manufacturing, education, agriculture, government, mining, transportation, tourism, and professional services. Deri helps individuals and organizations optimize their performance by managing their energy; applying the latest research and practice in positive psychology, appreciative inquiry, emotional intelligence, and employee engagement.?

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