While watching “Live with Kelly” this week I learned a valuable business and life lesson. Show host Kelly Ripa and her co-host for the day, Bryant Gumbel, welcomed Snigdha Nandipati, the 2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee Champion. At 14 years old, she took the prize over a total of 278 contestants, including a six-year-old.
Of course, winning the contest is a great feat. Youngsters from around the world compete for cash prizes and scholarships. What astonished me is how Snigdha took what could have been a potential failure and achieved her dream of becoming the spelling bee champion.
During the interview on “Live,” Kelly asked Snigdha about her participation in the 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee. The young champion admitted she placed 27th! Kelly followed up by asking Snigdha what she did to prepare for this year’s competition. “I realized I had to work harder,” Snigdha replied, and then went on to explain that her father created software that extracted information from an online dictionary and she studied words every day. How many words did she learn each day? 2,000-3,000!!
At that moment I pressed the pause button on the DVR. I had to process that information – after placing 27th last year, Snigdha studied 2,000-3,000 words per day, doing whatever was necessary to learn as many words as possible to give herself the best possible chance of winning the spelling bee in 2012. As a young teenager, Snigdha realized already that if you want to be your best, if you want to achieve your goals, you have to take a no-excuses approach and create your reality.
Think about all the times you have said, “I’ll try” or “I’m too tired” or “I don’t have time” or any other reason you may offer for why you are not living the life of your dreams and reaching your goals. If I had a penny for every time I uttered those words…
This is not to say that you haven’t tried or that you aren’t really tired or that you aren’t really busy. The phrases may be your experience but don’t have to be your reality.
What can you do today to reach your goal of losing weight? Eating healthy food? Reducing or eliminating medication? Getting in shape? Benefitting from restful sleep? Enjoying a successful, fulfilling career? Spending quality time with family and friends? What’s your equivalent of learning 2,000-3,000 new words a day for a year?
Are you willing to take a no-excuses approach and do whatever it takes to achieve your goals?
- Believe in yourself. You can achieve your goals.
- Write out one big goal.
- Wear a rubber band around your wrist for a week. Every time you say, “I’ll try” or “I’m too tired” or “I don’t have time” in connection to the goal, snap the band.
- Implement changes as necessary so that you are no longer trying but doing, getting restful sleep and eliminating time wasters in your life.
- Commit to being the healthiest, happiest YOU.