How does one achieve impossible dreams? I'm about to share with you some secrets. Take heed for these were shared with me by someone who has achieved fame, fortune, and honor in her career and personal life. These secrets were shared with me by the amazing Robin Roberts, co-anchor of Good Morning America.
Her career began at Southeastern Louisiana University. There she was a standout player on the women's basketball team. She was one of only three women who had ever, in the history of the team, to have scored more than 1,000 career points and to have grabbed more than 1,000 rebounds. She graduated in 1983 with a degree in communication then married her love of sports and communications together with her first job as a sports anchor and reporter for WDAM-TV in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Between 1983 and 1989 Robin anchored sports at different stations in Biloxi, Mississippi; Nashville, Tennessee; and Atlanta, Georgia. Roberts joined ESPN as a sportscaster in 1990 and remained there until 2005. In 1995 she began also as featured reporter on ABC's Good Morning America. In 2005 Roberts became co-anchor of Good Morning America. Throughout her career Roberts has built a massive tribe of followers. People love her because of her sweet spot for sports, her honest journalism, and her personal transparency. She has openly shared her personal challenges and victories including her battle with cancer in 2007, followed by a diagnosis of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a disease of the bone marrow in 2012, which caused her to take a hiatus from work.
What advice did Robin Roberts have for those of us with Big Hairy Audacious Goals and an absolute determination to win? Here are three lessons on success I learned from the strong, beautiful, and resolute, Robin Roberts.
Patience and Persistence: Robin says that the number one piece of advice she has for others who have big dreams is to be patient and persistent. Robin said that she learned this in her days of playing basketball at Southeastern Louisiana University. She kept showing up for the games and for practice. Often times, people give up too soon because they lose interest or because the work is too much, but Robin says that if you just keep showing up, you'll eventually achieve your goal. Achieving a dream is hard work, and if it's worth achieving, it will never come easy. It will require that you show up even when you don't feel like it and it will require persistence even when you feel the deck is stacked against you.
God's Delays Are Not His Denials: Another important lesson Robin lives by is that "God's delays are not His denials." When going after big dreams in life, Robin says that too often we create timelines of when we expect to achieve our dreams and if we don't remain on pace with this fictitious timeline, we give up. Robin says that she has learned from past experience that God has a plan. Just because we don't get what we were hoping for now, doesn't mean that God has denied us. We must trust that there's a reason for how the journey is unfolding. Perhaps there are still lessons to be learned and so God has delayed us or perhaps there's something bigger and better in store for us. Robin says that there have been times in her life where she's been disappointed that something didn't happen the way she had hoped. Robin points out that if God had answered her prayers then, she wouldn't be where she is today, which is right where she wants to be. Robin says to trust that God has a plan.
Be Chill: I flew to New York to participate in a lunch for The David Lynch Foundation, a foundation that teaches Transcendental Meditation to students, veterans, homeless, and others. This is where I met Robin. She explained that she is a huge proponent of meditation and that she takes purposeful time each day to find quiet and peace. Robin has a hectic schedule and her days are laced with one commitment after another, yet she always will find 20 minutes to get away from everyone and everything to find silence. Robin says that it is amazing the feeling you have after taking back a tiny slice of your day for yourself. Robin was the youngest of four children growing up and she recalls that her grandmother used to require quiet time just to get the household under control. Now, years later, Robin depends on that quiet time so that she can re-balance her mind and soul each day so that she can take on the world.
Robin Roberts, one of the most successful media personalities in history, has achieved massive goals in her career and she is 100 percent self-made. What was most interesting about meeting her is that when it comes to achieving huge dreams in life, we sometimes assume that the secret to success has everything to do with stress, extreme workloads, and achieving goals on a set timeline at all costs. What my time with Robin Roberts has taught me is that perhaps extreme success doesn't have to be a 24/7 battle. There's a lot to be said for patience, peace, and believing that God has a plan.