Living an Unstoppable Life
By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
|The number one thing Jay Platt finds as a personal coach is to get people to be really clear about “what” they want and “why” they want it.|
Everyone experiences barriers and setbacks in life. Some are more life-altering than others. For Jay Platt, von Hippel Lindau, a cancer-related syndrome, forced him into medical retirement from his career in the Marine Corps in 1998.
Platt suffered brain and spinal tumors, kidney cancer, and the loss of his left eye. He felt angry and cheated of the life he had anticipated. But once he accepted his loss, Platt decided to challenge himself by setting extraordinary physical goals. He become one of 300 to hike the entire 2,100-mile southbound Appalachian Trail; one of three to swim from Alcatraz Island to San Francisco with hands and feet tied; and the only person to swim across the Mississippi River while blindfolded, handcuffed and shackled. Today, Platt offers personal coaching.
He spoke with Home Business Magazine recently about keys for success.
Home Business Magazine (HBM): How does fear hinder success?
Jay Platt (JP): Fear actually holds us back more than any other thing. It's usually the fear of the unknown, especially for a home-based entrepreneur. Oftentimes, we start making things up that can go wrong.
HBM: How can entrepreneurs overcome their fears?
JP: There is a lot of power in knowledge, but we are helped only by the knowledge we apply. Determine you will face up to your fear. Maybe you need to go out and speak at the Rotary or someplace and you're scared. Do it anyway. It builds the courage muscle and every time you exercise it, it gets stronger. Some fears are legitimate. That's where a plan comes into play. Any fear or obstacle you can think of, chances are, someone else has done it. That's where mentorship can help. It has really made me believe any goal you think of can be broken down into steps and can be accomplished. Once you fully commit, all sorts of things will fall into place.
HBM: What are your greatest tips for success?
JP: The number one thing I find as a personal coach is to get people to be really clear about “what” they want and “why” they want it. The "why" is more important than the "what." Be clear, have courage, and be committed. If you're not totally clear about why you're doing something, it's easy to give up on it.
HBM: What is the number one motivator?
JP: The "why" is probably number one. There are two types of motivations, external motivation and internal. If you work for a company, it might be money. Intrinsic motivation is truly the "why." It's what your purpose is and what you want to be remembered for. When people read your eulogy, it's what people will talk about. It keeps you going when others would quit.
HBM: What can entrepreneurs do when setbacks happen?
JP: No matter how well we're doing, there will be a bump in the road. You've got to prepare to face adversity now so you will be ready. That doesn't mean it won't hurt or be hard, but you'll be able to handle it. The people you associate with, books you read, and things you listen to make a huge difference. When I was first diagnosed with cancer, I realized I was not prepared at all. I learned a hard lesson to be better prepared. Sure enough, I had another brain surgery later when the cancer came back and I was better prepared for it.
HBM: How can one prepare for setbacks?
JP: It's important to have personal and business contacts you can talk to. Don't leave things bottled up when you're going through a hard time. There are all kinds of positive books to read. I like biographies and autobiographies of people who have faced hardships themselves. They may not say, "I did such and such," but you can see how they overcame it. It also shows your problems are small. If that person overcame that, I can overcome this. That belief can help you overcome what you're facing.
HBM: What about the "spiritual preparedness" you mention in your writings?
JP: I'm a Christian. Everyone can believe what he wants, but I don't know how someone would live their life without spirituality. We need to develop ourselves mentally, physically, and spiritually. Many people don't do the spiritual part until they're going through a hard time and then afterwards, they forget. Things like giving back are part of that. Often times when we give to others, we receive more than we have given. That is vital. I know for a fact I couldn't have overcome the things I have if I were doing it myself. HBM
The proceeds from Platt's adventures and sales of his documentary, available at http://livingunstoppable.com, benefit non-profits, including the VHL Family Alliance (www.vhl.org). He and his wife, Paz, live in Beaufort, SC. Paz serves as an active-duty Marine.
About the author: Deborah Jeanne Sergeant writes from her home in Clyde, N.Y. Her work includes articles for magazines and newspapers, press releases, marketing materials, and web copy. Visit her online at www.skilledquill.net.
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