I’ve spent a lot of time in jails and prisons and I’ve even played with a band on the yard of the Texas prison where executions take place. But I’ve never done a presentation for inmates. It was on personal leadership, responsibility, decision making, and fear.
Sheriff Greg Hamilton had mentioned to the audience that I could have spent my time somewhere else getting paid to speak but that I was there for free. After the cheers and hollering died down, one inmate stood up and asked me this:
“Other than money, what do you get out of speaking?”
Great question. Maybe he couldn’t imagine why someone would do anything for free. Maybe he wondered why I would choose to spend my time in a jail speaking with inmates.
Whatever the motivation for the question, he was really asking me, “Why do you do what you do?”
I told him there was no better feeling than hearing news about people changing their lives because of something I said.
I told him about the man who lost 100 lbs., wrote a book, improved his relationship with his wife and teenage daughters, and is excited about the future for the first time in a long time.
I told him about the woman who lost 40 lbs. and enrolled in a program at the local community college to pursue a dream.
I told him that real power is influencing other people, watching them have an a-ha moment and turn themselves around. It’s not about rank, position, or salary, I said. Those things, in and of themselves, do not make people powerful. It’s what people do with those things that makes them powerful.
I’ve come to the conclusion that real power lies in either improving the situations of other people or helping them improve their own situations.
Why do I do what I do? It’s the rush of watching people see, sometimes for the first time, what’s possible. I love watching realization sweep across someone’s face. I love getting emails and letters outlining the progress someone made in his or her life. I love being reminded that it’s not about me, that I’m just the vehicle through which people can come to conclusions about what they want from their lives, about what’s possible.
I love giving audiences what they need; in return, I get much more than I could ever imagine.
And, so, now we turn to you.
In 2015, this blog has been focused on how you can get more of what you want in life. One way to do that is to know your Why?
What is your Why?
Why do you do what you do?
Get the Nerve!