As we wrap up January (already!), I have one more key to achieving your goals in 2022 and beyond. Once again as I reflect on the biggest goals and accomplishments in my life, it is evident that success was achieved because I had the “right” people in my corner. I am fortunate in that it wasn’t hard for me to find supportive voices. My parents and sisters have always supported and believed in whatever goals I set forth for myself. Even when I wasn’t physically near them while I was away at college and graduate school, I knew they were cheering me on. While that was great, it also helped to have some people nearby to lift me up when I needed it. Again, while I was at college, I was lucky that I didn’t have to look far. I had great mentors, professors, advisors and friends to lean on in time of doubt.
As the years have passed, I have found it essential to maintain fundamental positive relationships. As we set forth on planning for, training for and running across America it became a little harder for us to find people who were truly behind what we were attempting to do. In fact, we ran into many people who said we were “crazy” for even trying it. We were told by more than one close friend or family member it was “too dangerous”, or “risky”, and that we had no idea what we were doing. Some of these sentiments were expressed out of concern and were delivered with love.
However, despite that fact the mission was born out of Shamus’ dream to run from coast to coast and focused on making that dream become a reality while promoting inclusion, we were even told that I was just seeking publicity and attention for myself and that I should not put my family through it. Needless to say, we had to distance ourselves from that kind of negativity, even if that negativity was coming from friends and relatives. We needed to immerse ourselves in belief and positivity. We needed to be enveloped by people who wanted us to succeed and were excited about the journey. As word got out about our planned run, those people, organizations, and sponsors emerged organically.
Groups like Ainsley’s Angels became instrumental in the planning and eventual success of our mission. They gave us points of contact from coast to coast, helped us to find chair recipients, provided us with the chairs we presented, aided in our fundraising efforts AND helped us to secure our home for the summer in the form of our beloved Ainsley’s angels RV, Peggy! In addition to organizations and unbelievable sponsors who were excited to be part of our mission, there were countless families, individuals and strangers who reached out and helped us along the way. And of course, finally, when it was just the four of us on the road in the middle of nowhere, I had my own personal three blonde haired, blue eyed cheering section whose smiles and hugs every step of the way made the journey possible.
As you set your goals and dream BIG, be sure to set yourself up for success by surrounding yourself with those who will inspire, reassure, and bolster your efforts. After all, when we have positive people on our side, TOGETHER, we are able to accomplish so much more, and TOGETHER, ANYTHING is possible!