We're all busy. I know that I certainly have lowered my definition of success over the years. These days, if I manage to get through all the items on my daily to-do list, I call that a major win.
But in the past few days I've been reminded that there are folks out there who manage to get through the everyday list and then push themselves to do more. People who take the opportunity given to them and not only do it wonderfully, they transform it.
Let me tell you about two of them.
Brenda Novak is one of those people. Many of you may know that each May, Brenda runs a gigantic online auction to raise money for diabetes research. Brenda – an amazing author and speaker – has a son who has juvenile diabetes. Faced with that situation, all of us would immediately plunge into learning everything we could to help our child have the best life possible. Brenda did that and so much more, parlaying her position as an author into a platform to raise (thus far) over 1.6 million dollars for diabetes research. She is an inspiration and an amazing model of persistence, creativity, and going the extra mile. You can learn more about the auction here.
Commander Chris Hadfield is another such person. The first Canadian to command the International Space Station, Col. Hadfield has elevated the position to amazing new heights (no pun intended) and got people excited about space exploration again. Forbes magazine said that he is "perhaps the most social media savvy astronaut ever to leave Earth." He posts pictures of Earth to his Facebook account, has over 700,000 Twitter followers as of April 2013, and created one of the all-time top Reddit AmA threads. Most amazing to me, he has not restricted his efforts to science but has also lent support for music education. He took his guitar to the I.S.S. and is recording an album of original music during his free time. He and Ed Robertson of the Barenaked Ladies co-wrote a space station-themed song, Is Somebody Singing (I.S.S.) and performed it together – Robertson in Toronto, Hadfield in space. Just this week, Hadfield led singalongs of the song with schoolchildren across Canada as part of the national Music Monday celebrations. Hadfield didn't simply go the extra mile. He went to infinity and beyond.
I know that Brenda Novak and Col. Hadfield are far from the only people to take an opportunity and push it into something amazing. Who inspires YOU to go the extra mile?