What I learned from the Ironman that changed my life

The Ironman triathlon consists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride ending with a 26.2-mile marathon run. What went on from the very instant I decided to attempt it to finally finishing the race taught me more than I could have ever learned from a college degree of study.

“It was like anything that has ever been worthwhile in my life; it was hard, painful and memorable.” Michael Lantz

It was like anything that has ever been worthwhile in my life; it was hard, painful and memorable. I learned a great deal about the conflict of my body hurting and wanting to stop and my mind playing tricks on me, tempting me to quit.

If I had to sum up the top three things I learned about myself it would include these.

Commitment

I learned that my level of commitment is equal to the importance I place on my goals and dreams. When I decided to do my first Ironman on April 15, 2007, I was all in. I was not going to let anything get in the way of crossing that finish line. 

Daring greatly; what’s it like in the arena?

I’ve often thought why sports are a big part of American culture. Billions are spent on it annually. Fans flock to opinion talk shows and discussion groups are flooded with arguments why an athlete is or isn’t good.

As a fan I have my favorite teams. I have my favorite athletes. I’ve been on the courts and field of play. I’ve had fans yell for me and against me.

Perhaps sports are a microcosm view of life. Especially in the pursuit of owning your own business. Being employed for yourself, by yourself, completely independent as an entrepreneur is always scary.

One of my favorite excerpts from a talk is a corollary to entrepreneurship. It reads:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

(Excerpt from the speech “Citizenship In A Republic” delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910 by Theodore Roosevelt)

I honor all those athletes who dare greatly. I have little regard for the talking heads and especially fans who express disdain for an athlete as if to judge him/her for not making the fan’s team or perhaps the fan’s prediction look good.

I honor those daring greatly in the independent pursuit of entrepreneurship.

They are each to be honored and respected. Not the critic or skeptic “who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.”

Each of my heroes, an athlete or entrepreneur,  who “strive[s] to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”

Daring greatly is a way of life for some.

No wonder the athletes and entrepreneurs never hear the jeers from the critics and skeptics in the stands. Critics are everywhere only to watch (and judge). Critics are to fearful to play and dare greatly because they couldn’t take what they dish out.

The only courage is from those on the field of dreams.

Am I Enough? | Poem of Self-worth and Beauty

FacebookpostAm I Enough?

By Michael Lantz

 When you passed the veil to the earth
You knew of your infinite worth
Pure and sweet and ready to gain
You had never experienced the pain of shame.

You knew the risks a life would be
All you wanted was to be free
Mistakes you’d make to learn to be you
You knew it was better to be happy than blue.

Little by little your courage was tested
Some worth was challenged, some growth rested
You asked the question, “Am I enough?”
The caregivers you loved at times were rough.

Yet you overcame and loved your less
Acceptance of your imperfections to progress
No you were not always the best
But you were grateful and passed the test.

The test of self-love of all your flaws
Seemed to be your life of purpose and cause
I am enough you owned in humility
Would hold you steady in mortality.

Life threw you rocks and many darts
But not one could bruise your warrior heart
And what gave you strength to continue true
Your vision of greatness was your only view.

Some of your brothers and sisters had it rough
Their caregivers passed their shame and it made it tough
They didn’t accept their perfect souls
They couldn’t see their greatness but only their holes.

Shame they gave them as their legacy to hold
In time their heart turned from warm to cold
The internalized pain could not be released
Your brothers and sister’s demon became their beast.

That demon was a lack of self unconditional love
The worse disconnection was Father above
Their pain was real they avoided it’s release
Never could they find the freedom of peace.

Pretending to be not at all them self
Rejection was hard they felt alone on a dark shelf
Deep inside their body without it’s smile
When the light of God called their inner child.

This child while layered over with shame
Has the ability to heal with the self-love flame
It takes accepting all their weaknesses toll
Yes I am enough, I’m not incomplete but totally whole.

Healing begins when they started to believe
Back in time they went the hurt inner child to grieve
As the inner child begins anew to grow
Life starts to happen and peace begins to flow.

The values they hold dear and inside the child
Is not rushed and never reckless or dangerously wild
Giving all their focus on God and His grace
Any new pain goes away with his healing brace.

In the completion of healing the shame goes away
Never again will they feel they have to stray
When they complete this new process each day
They express their gratitude and always pray.

Again they pass the veil to the earth
They now know their infinite worth
Pure and sweet and ready to gain
They’ll never again experience the pain of shame.

The Undeniable Spark Inside | the Surprising Twinkling of an Eye

14838747191_9e72529a91_zHave you ever experienced wanting a better life but couldn’t pull the trigger to proceed? What is that tiny little spark that exactly happens where you move from the dream to the action?

 

Conclusion

That tiny little voice that give you courage to proceed is the spark.

That little courage and action of hope is the spark.

That yearning for more and the knowledge it won’t be easy but you do it anyway is the spark.

Be small in a large way to live large in a small way!

eye_0dcf3Ever want to be under the radar screen and create abundance but didn’t think being shy would ever benefit you?

You like living small but are trying to figure out how that works to create more?

Ever wanted to punch the loud and obnoxious person who bumped into you while lumbering to their seat on an airplane?

As I had boarded my flight and sat down in my seat I noticed a large gentleman making his way down the isle. He was about my size however he seemed to bump into every person as he lumbered down the isle. He was pulling his luggage bag and it seemed to have a life of it’s own and was also bumping into every seat. People that had to endure his bumps were almost laughable rolling their eyes back in their head with the “Well I never!” huffy puffy look on their face.

As I witnessed this spectacle I said to myself, “I wonder if he wished he were smaller?”

I pondered the answer to that questioned and thought to myself that there are distinct times in my life that I wished I were smaller than my six foot five inch 193 pound frame, especially sitting on an airplane for 5 hours!

Then I wondered in our lives what are the times that it is actually beneficial to be small and even stealthy, staying out of the way and under the radar screen, of other people.

I believe in living big and going after your big dreams. Living big with your dreams means that you have to stay small and even stealthy in their accomplishment. No amount of abundance was ever earned by being large, obnoxious and bumping into others and drawing attention to you.

You’ve all experienced the loud person who seems to need to draw attention to him or herself. You may have even called that person obnoxious and self-centered. Certainly you may have secretly or even vocally wished they would live small and stealthy so you could avoid their unpleasant loud and even obnoxious behavior

If you’ve ever been around a person who was able to live big and true to their dreams then you’ve observed many times in their life how small and stealthy they were. They seem to be able to accomplished a lot but on the surface, if you didn’t know them, you’d think they were mild manner Clark Kent, a pushover of sorts, without his Superman uniform on.

Staying small and stealthy is a huge benefit in the creation and accomplishment of your goals. It’s a sign of a person focused on their vision. They don’t have time to “bump” into things or draw unwanted attention to themselves. They have a quiet confidence and are sure of themselves and that allows them to not need the acceptance of others to feel wanted and needed.

Brene Brown, PhD even has a name for this type of person. In her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, she refers to them as living “Wholehearted.” She says that those that live a quiet, small and stealthy life have one thing that sets them apart from those that need to lumber and draw attention to themselves; they believe they are worthy of love and acceptance and are thus authentic. They can stay small and vulnerable, putting their true selves on the stage for all to see, because they can accept that others may not accept them. She defines being authentic as, “the daily practice of letting go of who you think you should be and accepting who you really are.”

Being small and stealthy is not without it’s challenges. There are times that you may need to be bold and not under the radar screen. Certain leadership rolls may call upon you to be large and seen so you can share your message and vision for those you are leading. But those times are only mastered by preparing to be bold. Preparation is best done being small and stealthy.

Abundance is earned with many consistent small acts accumulated over a period of time. Small acts are best accomplished by living small and stealthy.

In my own experience as a very large person who felt a need to bump into things so I would be noticed (yes, I was one of those obnoxious people I spoke about) I had to learn to be small in order to live my big dreams. Taking Brene Brown’s message to heart, when I was able to let go of who I thought I needed to be as a pleaser, performer and perfectionist, and accept who I really was, a kind hearted fun loving passionate soul, my small life started producing some really great and large accomplishments.

Take my recent finish in the Ironman Triathlon World Championship. It took me 5 months of daily small tasks to prepare to complete the 140.6 miles in the allotted time. Each day preparing to race I would do a lap swim, a run or even ride several hours on my bike, small increments in comparison to the 2.4 miles in the actual Ironman swim, or the 112 mile bike portion and the very challenging 26.2 mile run. All that small consistent training prepared my body to complete the entire 140.6 miles and a finish in the greatest triathlon in the world.

In my business the same holds true. I enjoy a great income because my network marketing organization has over 13,600 people who consume a product that I earn a commission on and thus residual income, every time they purchase it. The network had to be built just like my preparation for the Ironman with daily and consistent small and stealthy steps.

It took me about 6 years of consistent small and stealthy actions to build this organization. I had to recruit over 180 people but I had to talk to at least 400. I had to spend many one-on-one hours with those that I was teaching to become a skillful network marketing professional so they could succeed. As they succeeded in being small and stealthy too, they added more to the 13,600 people in the organization than I’ve added.

Any thing in life that is meaningful takes a large dose of being small and stealthy. Those that master being authentic and vulnerable, also master being small and stealthy. The great orator Will Rodgers said, “Start big, grow little. Start small, grow big.” I’ll echo and say, “Be small in a large way to live large in a small way.”

For those who think that you’re shy, introverted and lacks confidence and thus could never live big, think again. You already have a good part figured out. If I can learn to be small and fit under the radar screen and actually feel at peace not being noticed, then so can anyone else. I’m always humbled when someone makes a comment about my big accomplishments, like the Ironman, by saying, “That’s a great accomplishment! You should be proud of yourself! I’m inspired by it but there is no way I could ever do that.” My message to them is that if they can perform small consistent daily actions in stealthy mode under the radar screen, they too can accomplish any big thing they desire!!!