TLP181: The obstacle is not in the way, the obstacle is the way

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By Jan Rutherford and Jim Vaselopulos, Jan Rutherford, Jim Vaselopulos, and Experts on leadership development. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Winston Ben Clements is on a mission to inspire one billion people. Winston was born with brittle bone disorder, a frustrating and debilitating disease that resulted in multiple surgeries throughout his childhood. Instead of being limited by his condition, he decided to embrace it and build a life with meaning and purpose. His TEDx talk, “Your Limitations Are An Illusion,” has inspired thousands of people from all over the world.

Key Takeaways

[2:25] Winston’s mother is one of his heroes. She walks the talk and inspires him to be a better person.

[4:10] Winston’s first speaking gig went really poorly but he was determined to develop the skills he needed to perform well on the big stage. This drive to constantly better himself (and with the encouragement of a mentor) led him to speak at TEDx.

[6:00] Winston was born with brittle bone disorder, which means his bones can break very, very easily. Throughout his childhood, he had to learn what it meant to be resilient and to overcome obstacles none of his peer group was facing.

[10:15] Winston has a goal to inspire a billion people with his story. It’s a lofty goal and it scares him.

[15:15] With such a big goal, how does Winston plan to help people inspire somebody else? It comes down to living and breathing what you preach. He credits Sean Stephenson for inspiring him and he serves as a reminder to Winston that you can make a big difference by being the person you say you are.

[22:00] People can often overlook Winston as a person because all they see is his disability. Winston has a choice to get upset/angry at the situation or move past it and focus on what’s really important: good friends and good company. We all have a choice on how we want to react.

[28:55] How can the average person cultivate resilience? First, it’s important to take a step back and recognize the difficult situation you’re faced with. It’s okay to feel upset/angry in the moment. Once you’ve given space to feel frustrated, then switch your perspective from seeing it as an obstacle to how this can define you into being a better version of yourself.

[31:15] Get excited that you have obstacles in your life! When you pass through the other side, you will be proud of yourself.

[36:15] Define success on your own terms and use your own values as a guide toward what kind of life you want to design for yourself. Everyone has a different path toward happiness and fulfillment.

[45:00] Are you struggling to make progress? Pick one habit and focus on that habit for seven days. You will see progress. Stop being a strict consumer of knowledge and start being an implementer.

Quotable Quotes

  • One of the most disappointing things is setting a goal that is realistic, and then realize it wasn’t fulfilling at all.
  • “If you’re the only minority, focus on your personality because that’s where your strengths are.”
  • Shift your thinking from the perceived obstacle and shine the light on your gifts.
  • “The obstacle is not in the way, the obstacle is the way.”

Winstonclements.com

Twitter: @WinstonSpeaker

Instagram: @WinstonSpeaker

Winston’s TEDx — “Your Limitations Are An Illusion”

Toastmasters.org

Sean Stephenson

Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win, by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

Instagram: @WeStudyLeaders

LinkedIn: @TheLeadershipPodcast

Facebook: @westudyleaders

Twitter: @westudyleaders

Website: The Leadership Podcast

info@theleadershippodcast.com

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