Last month, my family and I were at a luau on vacation in Hawaii. The host sat us with two lovely people named Chris and Amanda. Chris and Amanda were a middle aged married couple with two children at home, ages 2 and 5.
Chris told me over dinner that he lived only two blocks from his workplace, but that he drove to work every day. In fact, he told me that he once forgot his work keys and had to walk nine minutes to make it from his office parking lot back to his house! I asked Chris why he doesn’t bike or walk to work more often, and he sheepishly mumbled that his bike was somehow out of order.
This is where the night got interesting. I looked Chris dead in the eye and asked him if he would fix his bike and ride to work at least once in the next 31 days – before June 17th. At first, Chris was hesitant. “Ahhh…I don’t know.” “I’m really not sure I can do that.”
Then – the moment I was waiting for – he agreed. “I’ve wanted to start biking to work so, yeah, why not! I’ll do it!”
Chris was surprised at my next move – I asked for his phone number. The look on his face was hysterical! I quickly told him that I was going to text him on June 17th to see if he kept his word to me. He was startled that I cared enough about his goal to take it that far, but I explained to him that this is what I do.
This is what I do. I meet people who want to do something – anything – and I create incentive for them to do it. In this case, the incentive for Chris is keeping his word to a total stranger. It’s funny how far people will go if they have made a promise. But a promise and accountability – even to a stranger – is the perfect tool and opportunity for people to realize their goals and spark changes that can last their entire lives.
We have so many opportunities in life to help others set new goals – and then reach them! Every conversation is a chance to transform someone’s life. It’s a chance to make an impact on that person in a way that will change him/her forever.
That’s why I’m here. That’s why I asked Ted and Pax to join me on this fitness odyssey. That’s why I hope you are here. I want you to join us. I want to inspire you and I want to be inspired by you. I want you to inspire others and allow others to inspire you.
I fully intend to call Chris and hold him accountable for his promise, that’s my promise to him. I can’t wait to see where this journey leads. Take those chances, engage in those conversations, and make those promises to yourselves and one another!
Keep Moving Forward,
Update: In response to one of the comments, I wanted to update everyone on what happened with Chris. I texted him on June 17, the day we agreed to get in contact. Sadly, as of today, (June 27), I have not had any response.
I’d like to think that Chris still rode his bike or walked to work. The truth is, I may never know. That will not stop me from having a similar conversation with anyone else. Work out, Nerd out!