"Many people don't push because they don't want to feel pain or failure."
There is a fundamental approach to life for those with a warrior mentality: Don't get conditioned to accepting the status quo and do consistently seek the next level. I spent some time recently speaking with Dawn Nadeau, a business warrior of the first degree. Dawn is a team member for Women Moving Millions, an international community of philanthropists who seek to instill "a thread that runs through projects for women to inspire giving at the million-dollar level." She was part of the original Fast Company team, served as a director at Fortune, and was a vice president at Goldman Sachs. She knows a little about how to take herself -- and the people around her -- to the next level.
Lisa: How do you consistently do that -- take yourself and those around you to the next level?
Dawn: I push myself athletically and intellectually. They seem to feed off each other. I then apply this to creativity and philanthropy. I believe there are always places and moments to look at the status quo and push it. I go to the limits and then push just a little more. Fast Company did that intellectually -- we pushed the limits of the conversation. The same thing with Women Moving Millions: We push beyond where you are so you can achieve a new level of comfort and expand the entire conversation.
Lisa: How do we get past our own limits?
Dawn: Through the understanding that this does not come without pain or failure. Many people don't push because they don't want to feel pain or failure, and they focus on that instead of seeing what's possible. Women Moving Millions is pushing collectively. If your limit is more than mine, it opens me up to possibility. If my limit is one idea, then you can easily match me. But if I come with more than one idea and an attitude of possibility, the conversation explodes. You only need one or two people in a room with this mentality to show others what's possible.
Lisa: My husband is an athlete. When I ask him how he gets through incredible athletic feats, his answer is simple: "You've got to want it." What are your mechanisms for getting through the daunting moments that come with going beyond your current limits?
Dawn: There are a few musts:
Thank you, Dawn.
Taking yourself beyond your limits to reach new heights goes hand in hand with knowing your boundaries, having a vision and being honest about whether you're getting there. Leading yourself to new heights is an act of greatness. And it spawns bold, courageous actions (like giving a million dollars to a noble cause). What would inspire you to push for greatness?
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