Several of us are getting together to go through all of our photos this year and selecting twelve photos that highlight the best, worst, happiest, saddest, coolest, most adventurous, or most terrifying moments of our year! Here are my #12x12x12 and looking forward to seeing yours! Remember to use the #12x12x12 on social media so we can see your 12 photos!
Photo 1 – Completing the 2013-2014 North American Tour: I learned so many lessons, met so many fantastic people and visited 50 cities in North America with my wife! We lived in hotels for half the year and it was more than difficult to pack for three months at a time but it was worth every minute! Thank you to everyone who came to one of our workshops. Remember, don’t wait for things to happen, make things happen!
Photo 2 – Taking my family to Alaska: The thing I look forward to is spoiling the people who have taken care of me! My mom and dad have always wanted to go to Alaska and after Chelsea and I got on our feet this year we decided to take our family on a 7-Day cruise to say thank you for all they have done for us! We laughed, ate way too much cruise food, went whale watching, played cards and took home a life-time full of memories! I can’t wait to take them on another trip soon!
Photo 3 – Starting the 31 Days of Kindness Challenge with you: This was for sure a highlight of my year! One day I posted this idea on my personal Facebook page and 48 hours later I had over 500 people sign up and jump onboard. We shared photos with our #31DaysofKindess hashtag and together we did more good than most people do in a lifetime! We will do this again next year and make it even bigger, better and spread kindness around the world together! Thank you to everyone who joined in this year!
Photo 4 – The World Record Attempt with Speaker Leader Champion: With the help of 60+ day-of-event volunteers, family and friends all over the world, 16 local and global organizations and partners like McGraw-Hill and CSU, we came together to do something BIG! Our goal was to sign and sell 5,000 books in 12 hours. We sold 1,300 in nine hours. Although we did not reach the goal this time, we raised money for a good cause, showed the world what happens when people come together and helped more than 1,000 people be better leaders! We will break this world record one day and thank you to everyone who supported this attempt, we could not have done it without you! Always go for your BIG dreams, they are worth it and no one benefits from us being average! Even if you don’t make it on your first try, you learn, you get better and you try again!
Photo 5 – Getting our puppy: I mean look at this photo! Sugar (our dog) and Chelsea (my wife) bring so much joy to my life. I will have to say they have made it even harder for me to work from home now that I get stare downs like this! Sugar has been such a joy in our lives (she is even sitting right next to me as I type this article) and thank you mom and dad for saving her life and sending her our way!
Photo 6 – 17 speeches in 17 days in China: Thanks to D85 and D89 this was at the top of my speaking experience this year! It started out with me planning to give four speeches in China and two weeks before I arrived in China we had book events with Speaker Leader Champion, corporate speeches and even more trainings. When I found out it was 17 speeches in 17 days I thought, “Let’s do this!” They treated us so well, we experienced culture, tasted delicious foods and meet so many amazing people! We can’t wait to be back soon!
Photo 7 – Becoming Toastmaster of the Year in my home District (7): This award means a lot to me! District 7 has done so much for me over the years and they are like a second family! When they asked to do a group photo, I thought, “It’s time to beat Ellen’s tweet and make our own!” This one got about 400+ likes so we were only off by only a couple million! Thank you D7 for all you do and have done for me!
Photo 8 – Scuba diving with one year old whales: One of my hosts and meeting planners asked what I would like to do while I was in town and I usually look for places to scuba dive. Well, they gave me the best gift as they took me to a “Sea World” type place and let me scuba dive with whales in one of their aquariums. They gave me a full scuba tank and let me stay in as long as I wanted! It was an experience I will always remember!
Photo 9 – Becoming an approved Vistage Speaker: When I speak at Vistage groups I feel like it is where I am supposed to be! They are all professionals who have businesses and are looking for ways to improve themselves, their customers and their employees! I teach leaders how to use the power of storytelling to sell and motivate others. I am looking forward to speaking to several Vistage groups around the world, starting with four in January 2015! They are a great group of leaders and Garth… if you are reading this… thank you for taking the chance on me, I could’t have done it without you!
Photo 10 – 5th Honeymoon in Thailand: Chelsea and I received advice when we got married to take a honeymoon every year and I think that is some of the best marriage advice we received! This year we explored Thailand and sat on the beach, went scuba diving, played with baby monkeys and relaxed as we reflected on our relationship! If you are married, start planning to take a honeymoon every year to rejuvenate your relationship and reflect on what you like and how you want to improve it moving forward!
Photo 11 – Walking into the Convention Center I am speaking at and seeing myself on the billboard: I start walking to the venue where I am about to speak and look up and there I am! This was one of those “Oh, wow, I am a real speaker!” feelings and I had such a smile on my face I felt like I was an avid football fan and someone told me I just won Super Bowl tickets! Thank you Tim for making this happen and thank you to everyone who came out that night!
Photo 12 – Seeing my book sitting on my nightstand: Without Jeremey Donovan as my co-author, McGraw-Hill as our publisher and my awesome literary agent Jackie, this book would not have been possible! Writing a book was one of the most mentally exhausting challenges of my life with edits, re-writes, edits and more re-writes! Did I mention re-writes? But it was worth it as we created a resource that helps leaders become more influential leaders and succeed at work through the power of public speaking! I am so proud of this book. It has hit #1 on Amazon, been translated into four languages so far and I enjoy receiving emails from readers. But this photo was the one that stopped me in my tracks one night as I was getting ready for bed after a long trip back home I walked into my bedroom to find my book next to my nightstand! It was one of those moments where you get caught off-guard and no one knows why you are smiling other than you! For me, this photo says so much! Thank you to everyone who supports this book, learns from it and shares it with others! Please keep speaking and using your voice to make a difference! Our voices are the most powerful tools on the planet and if we learn how to master the art of communication, we can make a big impact while we are here!
This was a fun exercise and a great way to reflect on your year. I hope you too take the #12x12x12 challenge with us. I am looking forward to seeing your photos! As always…