Both the media and specialized literature often relate failures rather than success stories. Based on the notion that we learn as much from good things than from bad, here’s a positive post on a good news: successful transformations that came about from helpful strategies. Now that feels good, doesn’t it?
I just had a truly extraordinary experience. I’ve just come back from the World Transplant Games (yes, that’s right, the World Transplant Games!), where my son competed in five swimming events. The experience helped me grow, and I came away energized and amazed by what people can do when they work together in a positive spirit. It was a real pleasure to see these people who had faced such serious health challenges push themselves, share their excitement and celebrate life.
More than 1,000 athletes of all levels, from 44 countries, gathered in Mar del Plata, Argentina to compete in 14 different disciplines. What do they have in common? A love of sports and pushing their limits, of course, but they’re also all organ donor recipients who have lived through something that has made them appreciate the good things in life, the beauty of life and especially how precious good health is. Some had been near death, others had been living a very difficult life for many, many years. I’m thinking of Addison, a four-year-old from British Columbia and recipient of a new heart at three-weeks old, who bravely and proudly ran her 25 metres. I think of Lloyd, 34 years old, from Saint-Laurent, who had a second kidney transplant after the first was rejected just one year after his surgery. And then there’s Jean-Claude, 82, who had a heart transplant 25 years ago. During the 800-metre track event, he sprinted the last 50 metres to pass another racer and finish second!
This was the 20th Games in 40 years. Their goal? Pushing oneself, yes, but mainly they highlight the return to health. It’s also an event that is in itself an excellent ambassador of the importance of organ donation. Indeed, we’ve noticed a 30% increase in organ donation in the countries that have hosted the Games. And it didn’t take drums and trumpets; all it took was a real-life illustration of the positive and direct impact of this social gesture.
What can we learn from this success? What manager doesn’t dream of improving the company’s performance by 30%? Do we focus enough on the successes, the good outcomes? The small things that make all the difference in our transformations? What if we banked on human strengths instead of on fear and negativity? What if we put the focus on each person’s desire to play a part in the wellbeing of others and of the organization instead of dwelling on the failures of others?
It wasn’t a question of generation or of performance that changed the organ donation situation in the host countries, but human goodness and our desire to want to help society in our own way.
So let’s believe in these men and women in our organizations. Let’s trust their willingness to want to help, to make a difference. Think about it: a 30% impact is a smashing success!
P.S. My son won three silver medals, two gold medals and now holds the world record in the 200-metre freestyle in his category. He’s come home full of pride and gratitude. And Mom is pretty proud too! 🙂