This Sustainable Life
449: Chad E. Foster: How Do You Handle Huge Challenges? Not Big. Huge.
How do you face challenges? Not little ones like a pandemic lockdown for a year. Big ones.
Regular listeners hear me talk about role models like Viktor Frankl and Nelson Mandela in the context of handling life challenges. During the pandemic, for example, I recognize there was suffering before, there will be suffering after, and there's suffering now. Our challenge is not to take on things outside our control since we can't, but to figure out how to respond, not just to the world but within our hearts and minds.
We're locked down. Nelson Mandela was locked down for 27 years. If he could create meaning forced to break rocks, I can find meaning in my home, able to go out every day, with access to communicate with everyone, access all the culture ever digitized, and so on.
In the context of sustainability, do we just give up? How do we find hope and resolution to act even when everyone around us says what they do doesn't matter or that only governments and corporations can make a difference? What role models can we find.
Today's guest, Chad E. Foster, lost his eyesight as a teenager, but that didn’t stop him from becoming an executive for Red Hat, the world’s largest open source software company and securing over $45 Billion in contracts throughout his career.
He is the first blind graduate of the Harvard Business School leadership program and did what Oracle said could not be done; he built a software solution that created job opportunities for hundreds of millions of people. His direct and confident style, combined with a go-for-it inspiring belief system (he is an avid downhill skier… and that’s not a joke), has made him a high-impact speaker for leaders at companies such as Google, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, GE and Microsoft.
He also skis double black diamonds, which he talks about learning.
From Chad's Quotable Quotes page:
- Happiness is not a feeling, happiness is not an emotion, happiness is a decision that each of us make every single day when we wake up.
- You do not know what you cannot see when you cannot see it.
- The facts are far less relevant than the stories we tell ourselves.
- Life without obstacles removes opportunity for growth.
- If you’re not getting outside of your comfort zone, then you’re not growing.
- Life begins outside of our comfort zone.
- You have to take advantage of your disadvantages.
- It is a great time to go blind.
- This stuff is so easy I can do it with my eyes closed.
- All of us are blind. Blind in some aspect.
- Don't let other people define your vision of your future.
- If you never dare to be great, you'll always be mediocre.
- Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is doing something despite the presence of fear.
- If you're not failing from time to time, you're not aiming high enough.