Documentary filmmaker Bud Greenspan, who chronicled the stories of Olympic athletes for more than six decades, died this past weekend at his home at age 84.
Cynics sometimes gave Greenspan grief for focussing almost exclusively on uplifting stores.
To this he said, “I spend my time on the 99% of what’s good and most people spend 100% of their time on the 1% that’s negative. I’ve been criticized for seeing things through rose-colored glasses, but the percentages are with me.”
Agreed. Given the odds, it’s smarter to be an optimist than a pessimist.
My favorite quote from Greenspan is his response when asked, “What’s your favorite Olympic moment?”
You might think he’d say sprinter/long jumper Jesse Owens winning the gold in Nazi-era Berlin, but instead he cited a last-place finish by Tanzanian marathoner John Stephen Ahkwari in Mexico City’s 1968 Games.
“He came in about an hour and a half after the winner. He was practically carrying his leg, it was so bloodied and bandaged. I asked him, ‘Why did you keep going?’
He said, ‘You don’t understand. My country did not send me 5,000 miles to start a race. They sent me to finish it.’
That sent chills down my spine and I’ve always remembered it.’
Hmmm . . . Greenspan referred to a couple non-negotiable characteristics of SerenDestineers.
#1: They choose to look at the world through rose-colored glasses. This is not “Pollyanna.” They simply know their outlook determines their output and that choosing to be positive keeps them pro-active.
#2. They understand that finishing things is part of doing our half. Unfinished books, abandoned dreams, incomplete goals don’t move us forward. As a client told me last week about what finally motivated her to self-publish a book she’s been talking about for years, “God can’t steer a parked car.”
Have you parked a priority project? Have you put a dream on hold? That unfinished business is stalling your destiny. Incomplete projects help no one.
If we want to move forward, we need to take responsibility to finish a meaningful project we started. Only then does the universe (or God, your angels, divine intervention or whatever you want to call it) say, “All righty then, you’re keeping your end of the bargain. We’ll keep ours and meet you in the middle.”
So, what is something you care about that’s . . . undone?
How are you going to hold yourself accountable for getting it done?
Think ahead to the many good things that will happen when you complete this. Imagine how good it will feel to know you acted on your own behalf.
And please report back when you finish this. Let us know what happened as a result of you getting this out in the world where it’s making a difference for others and for you.
Tell us how it feels to ACT with rose-colored glasses so you’re both seeing life as a positive thing and pro-actively contributing to it being a positive thing.