I was on a plane to Las Vegas for business. No, seriously. We flew out of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on an 8 a.m. flight on a Wednesday morning in January of 2019 with tickets to fly back that same day. Our plan was to fly into Vegas, walk the strip, check out some locations, scout the competition, sell a concept to a major ‘Luxury Resort Destination,’ and return a success.
All of that happened, but that’s not why that trip was, and remains so important to me.
Two days before our departure my younger daughter, who was a senior at UW Madison at the time, called me and asked me if I could go to Barnes & Noble to pick up a book she needed for a class. Before I purchased that book, I asked an attendant if they had a copy of another book I had heard about on the internet and wanted to check out for myself. Turns out they had one copy, which I purchased and threw into my work bag to take with me on the trip.
One thing I’m not proud to admit is that I am notorious for falling asleep on planes. Well, I’m actually pretty good at falling asleep just about anywhere, but especially on planes, and with this flight having been an early departure, falling asleep seemed a likely.
However, when I got on the plane, I dutifully pulled out work I had to do on a couple of projects and proceeded to knock that out. Then, before I settled in for my much anticipated mid-flight siesta, I pulled out the book I had just bought and cracked it open.
Turns out there would be no sleeping on this flight, or on the return flight either. Once I started reading the book, I got so excited that I reached back into my bag and took out a yellow highlighter. Then, as I started to highlight passages, I got so worked up that I wanted to get up and move around! After several chapters, I went back and noticed that I was highlighting most of the pages.
Eventually I reached a section that had been boxed in where the author encouraged readers to reach out to her saying, “Hearing from you helps me stay on purpose! I cannot wait to hear about your journey to high performance.”
I love reading, and I love books that are inspirational, that seek to make you a better person in one form or another through. But in this book, the author was not only seeking to inspire you to create a better version of yourself, she was also offering a virtual tool box to work with and a blueprint to show you how to do it, step-by-step.
I was so moved by this book that not only did I almost read it cover-to-cover in that day, I reached out to the author as soon as I got home, and you know what? She responded.
The book is ‘Beyond Grit’ and the author is Cindra Kamphoff, PH.D. Professor at Minnesota State University, Mankato, founder of ‘Mentally Strong Consulting’ and keynote speaker who provides training to business and sports teams about how to be mentally strong and gain the high-performance edge.
Together, Cindra and I launched the ‘Beyond Grit Podcast’ through the National Sports Center in Blaine, MN, where we take listeners through the 52 chapters and 10 practices that make up the book, ‘Beyond Grit.’
So, why tell this story now? It’s not to sell books or to gain followers, it’s to get the word out that if you’re struggling during this unprecedented time of isolation and uncertainty, help is out there.
I don’t know if everyone will have the same reaction to Dr. Kamphoff’s work that I did, but coming to know her for almost a year and work with her on a weekly basis, I am quite confident that everyone can benefit from the practical application of her life’s work.
You got this, you just may need to get a little gritty.