Are you impressed by the things around you on a daily basis? If not, today is your reminder to appreciate the “magic” that surrounds you every day.
Take a few seconds to contemplate these facts. Do you realize right now you are reading ideas from my mind that were typed into a machine and then somehow sent to you from one of the most remote spots on planet Earth? And how about you are reading them on some electronic device that has more technology than was used to put man on the moon? Maybe today you ate food that came from far away and or drove in a car that was able to carry you at high speed? You hopefully have also had a shower with clean water. Do you have any idea how difficult it was to make those things possible? I do, thanks to a great lesson about appreciation in Sydney, Australia last week.
Like most weeks, I spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday presenting. Friday was a full day on Coaching Greatness and the weekend covered the TFW Level 1 Certification. Those 25 hours of presenting coupled with the 28 hours of travel it took to get to Australia had my mind full of excuses why I should stay in the hotel and rest. But that isn’t my style. With the beautiful Sydney Harbor only a few minutes walk away, I had to see more.
The Sydney Harbor is iconic. At night, the beautiful high-rise buildings of the south side of the city nestle around the bustling harbor filled with ferry boats navigating the water like people crossing at an intersection. The visitors all flow toward the jewel of the harbor, the Sydney Opera House. One of the world’s most recognizable landmarks, the sail-inspired structure is bathed in the light of the flashes from people’s cameras and phones. Opposite the beloved opera house spans the less revered Sydney Harbor Bridge. Although the Harbor Bridge is the tallest steel arch bridge in the world, it does not get the appreciation the opera house receives, and it surely didn’t get it from me. That is until, a tour guide got my ear.
As I sat having a coffee under the opera house, I noticed something strange. There were people up on the highest point of the arch of the bridge! At almost 500 feet above the water, I could see a group scaling the arch like a team summiting Mount Everest. As soon as I saw this, I had to ask what was going on. That is how I met a tour guide that talked me into the Sydney Harbor Bridge climb.
“268 dollars?!?! To climb up some bridge? You have to be kidding?” These were the words that came out of my mouth when a woman explained what it cost to scale the structure. “Do you know anything about the bridge?” she asked. I said, “no.” She then guaranteed me once I did the climb, I would not only understand the value of the trip, but also “know” the bridge. Now if you know me, I am pretty tight with my money. So tight in fact, when I hold a quarter, I can often hold it so tight that the eagle on the coin will scream! I say this because this lady had me so intrigued, I took a chance on the trip: and I am glad that I did.
The Harbor Bridge climb can only be described as “an experience.” You start off in one of many staging rooms learning about the climb. Then after signing waivers and gearing up in a body suit, you get your climbing equipment and radio headset. From there, you and your team practice climbing ladders to simulate some of the demanding sections of the climb. Then it is your time to climb.
During the 3 hour event, you pass through a series of emotions. First, you are nervous and scared as you walk perilously over open grates hundreds of feet above the harbor. Then you hit shock and awe as you stand above the city lights below. But there is a final emotion I was left with from the climb. That was the less often talked about emotion of appreciation.
On the climb, the bridge transformed from some steel structure to get cars across the water to an incredible architectural and engineering marvel. I learned the bridge was completed in 1932 and took almost 10 years to build. During that time of the Great Depression, over 6 million rivets were hand placed by brave men risking their lives to create the structure. All without a safety rope or net! In addition to that, over 40,000 blue granite stones were hand cut by European stone masons, not for structural integrity, but just to appeal to the eye. Each stone took over 1 week to carve and not once was an error made in calculations. The steel is estimated to weigh almost 60,000 tons and was designed to expand and contract without ever challenging the integrity or safety of the bridge. As I walked down after spending my time at the summit, I didn’t see the bridge or myself the same way. I was ready to appreciate more things in my life about which I had forgotten.
5 Things To Appreciate Today
Do you have any “bridges” in your life? Are there any things you may not realize have a lot more behind them than it may seem? Here is a list of five things you may want to take a closer look at today:
- Your Family and Friends
The magic is right in front of you. Don’t just see the greatness of the people around you. Let them know about it.
- Your Health
You are living and breathing. Appreciate that fact and know a great way to make the most of each breath is to take someone else’s away.
- Your Liberty
You have freedoms available you may have forgotten. You can think what you want to think. Be what you want to be. Do it!
- Your Community
There are things available to you in your area of which you have not taken advantage. Get out and appreciate what it offers. See a park. Visit a restaurant.
- Your Career
You have an important job. Remember why you do what you do. Then do it to the best of your ability.
The Sydney TFW Certification was the last one of 2015. If you didn’t get to an event in 2015, the 2016 schedule is almost complete.
- Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida – January 23-24, 2016 (21 spots left)
- Huntington Beach, California – Feb. 20-21, 2016 (25 spots left)
- Nottingham, England – March 12-13, 2016 (24 spots left)
- Houston, Texas – April 9-10, 2016 (24 spots left)
Do you know anything about the certification? Learn more here and I guarantee once you attend, you will not only see the value, you will “know” what TFW is all about.
What Gets Appreciated Gets Repeated