Your Hero is Just a Normal Guy….

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If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?

It’s one of those common interview questions, but until recently, I had never given it much thought.  So, who would I like to have dinner with?

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Jon Gordon – an author and motivational speaker by trade, but more importantly a man who lives to fulfill his purpose, to touch people, to contribute and make a difference in this world.  Jon’s work – his books, presentations, weekly positive tips and inspirational messages on Facebook have impacted me so greatly, I can honestly say he has changed my life!

If it sounds like I’m putting him on a pedestal, I am!

So imagine my reaction when I received an invitation to not only meet him in person, but actually have dinner with him!

Last spring, my friend Lynn invited me to Texas to visit her and hear Jon Gordon speak to her group “First Friday for Women”.  The bonus was that her job was to be Jon’s liaison while he was in town; picking him up from the airport, taking him to dinner, driving him to his hotel and after he spoke the next day, transporting him back to the airport for his departure.

Who actually gets to have dinner with their hero, their mentor, the person they put on a pedestal?  So I booked my flight!

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Parked outside the airport waiting for him, I felt like an anxious teenager anticipating seeing her teen idol crush for the first time.  Then he appeared, in the flesh and blood, and I had a choice to make.  I could gush all over him and act foolish, or I could compose myself, pretend I had it all together and politely say “Hi Jon, it’s nice to meet you”.

Somehow I managed to wear a facade of calm, cool and collected.

Once in the car, there was some introductory chit chat, and then he asked me a direct question.  I was so tongue tied, I felt like I had just left the dentist with a mouthful of novocaine.  I managed to reply in a complete sentence, which led Jon to ask me another question, and before I knew it we were having a conversation.

By the time we sat down to eat, I had become comfortable enough to actually interject my thoughts and opinions into the conversation, without being solicited.  We sat, eating and talking, for well over an hour.  I can’t pinpoint exactly when, but sometime during dinner the magic happened!

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I took Jon off the pedestal I had placed him on!  Not because he didn’t live up to my high expectations, but simply by being authentic, vulnerable and humble, he became just a normal guy.  Being on a pedestal infers that one is above all that takes place around them, and that couldn’t be further from the truth for Jon.

He shared his story, his journey, his purpose.  He shared the hurdles he has overcome as well as the accomplishments he has achieved.  He shared what scares him and what brings him joy.  When he shared his life as a family man, husband and father of teenagers, it really hit me that he’s just a normal guy…..who happens to live an extraordinary life.

I am grateful for the difference his words and message have made in my life.  But I’m even more thankful that in all his awesomeness, he’s just so normal!  His example demonstrated that you can do great things, make a great difference in this world….while being normal, real, authentic, transparent and vulnerable.  It makes the prospect of discovering your awesomeness, living your purpose and contributing to the world, all that more attainable…for everyone!

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I used to want to be just like Jon.  Now that I took him off the pedestal, I realized I just want to be me – a normal, 40-something mom, living an extraordinary life!

Be YOU – Do YOU – Give the world YOUR gifts – Live YOUR extraordinary life!

with Joy & Gratitude,

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