In 1962, President John F. Kennedy delivered a powerful speech about his goal to get man on the moon.
At the height of the Space Race and in the face of intense public scrutiny around the sheer expense and difficulty tied to his proposed Apollo program, JFK needed to rally the nation’s support.
In what has become the most memorable part of his speech that day, he explained why he’d chosen to shoot for the moon:
“We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organise and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win…”
What struck me was JFK’s belief in doing something because it’s hard, not because it’s easy.
If we applied this to our own lives, what bigger and better goals would rise to the surface?
What excuses would reveal themselves alongside our oldest challenges and wildest dreams?
Most organisations are risk averse. Many choose the paths of least resistance and, therefore, of least consequence to their future growth.
After my race was removed just two years before the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, it was easy for me to just give up.
But every time we choose something easier, we’re choosing to take a step back and fall behind those game enough to choose the harder option.
That’s why I chose to go for the hardest race of my life to date: the Norseman 2020 triathlon.
This goal, in JFK’s words, will measure the best of my energies and skills. It will become the next record for me to break and the toughest trainer yet for me as an athlete.
So how will you lead your team? Will you build them up, or will you shelter them from greatness?