What’s your mantra?

Diane Nyad completed a 110-mile mile swim between Cuba and the Florida Keys this weekend. When asked, “How did you make it through the tough stretches?”, her answer, “My mantra was, ‘Find a way.’”

And, there were tough stretches. She vomited most of the way because the swim mask she wore to protect her face from Jelly Fish stings also led to taking in salt water.

Yet, she pulled through. What a feat!

Mantra has its roots in Hinduism. I, like most have a more topical approach to mantra, but I do believe they are powerful on a personal as well as an organizational level.

Do you have a mantra that you say to yourself when you’re feeling vulnerable and challenged? What is it? Does it help you cope?

On a personal level, I have a hand-written note on my desk that reads, “Let it sharpen you.” I, like you, have enormous responsibilities. To fulfill those, I need to constantly improve. Luckily, every experience holds another lesson. My mantra keeps my ears and mind open to learn lessons and adapt based on those lessons. That’s my responsibility. To my mind, that’s every leader’s responsibility.

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 On an organizational level, we went through a process – albeit a process that was not all inclusive – but a process nonetheless to help simply and clear communicate what we do. The result, “We succeed when our communities succeed.”

I love our organization’s mantra because it keeps our focus on what matters most.

That’s what mantras do. Used repeatedly, they become simply a part of how you are in the world. That strong center helps us stay on the path even if say a boulder were to cross our path. (I love that resident-owned communities are “ROCs”. The metaphors are irresistible.)

Mantras are calming. They bring perspective. They bring strength.

Nyad used “find a way” to accomplish an amazing feat. You do amazing things, too. What do you say to yourself to help you find your way?

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