Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Power of Yes

We’ve been partying with some very cool people in the last 72 hours, a group of incredibly successful, interesting, and well connected people with a network of amazing relationships that extends around the globe. The question is what makes them who they are? Are they products of their environment? Their genetics? Hard work? Just plain luck? Some mystical combination of all four? Everyone we’ve met has an intellectual curiosity and sense of discovery that keeps them engaged and excited about learning new things. But how did they get to where they are? For some there was a time they questioned some fundamental belief they held dear and found to their own astonishment that their passion, if not their calling, lay answering that question. Nancy was one of Washington’s most powerful women and remains one of the best connected people in the world. Educated in a convent, her college-aged curiosity in paleoanthropology shook the very foundation of everything she had been taught, eventually leading her to Africa and time with the world’s leading discoverers of the origins of humankind. Vern, a retired chaplain, was brought to his calling kicking and fighting all the way from the age of five. Having found his path through a process of self-enlightenment in his early twenties, his life became incredibly fulfilling in ways that he says he neither imagined nor comprehended when he was younger. Perhaps the one common distinction for the folks we’ve met this weekend is they had each harnessed the power of ‘Yes’ at pivotal points in their lives. Whether it was a call to Washington to serve in the White House, or a call to China to open diplomatic doors in the late 1970’s, those three letters were the turning point for each of them. To a person they said yes despite their own doubts; taking faith in other’s faith in their abilities - plunging forward and eventually making the world a better place. The world is built on relationships and it’s much easier to start a relationship with ‘Yes’. 

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