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FPRA 2013 Annual Conference: General Session A; Vision, Mindset, Grit; Scott Burrows

By Amanda Mestdagh, APR

Paralyzed from his chest down at the height of his athletic career, Scott wondered how he could go from having the time of his life to fighting for his life. A sobering thought.

With a great sense of humor, Scott continued to share throughout the session how he drew upon three words: vision, mindset and grit to overcome that frustration and discouragement. When put into action these words – Vision, Mindset, Grit – are powerful enough to become part of your organizational strategy. They can have a significant impact on your life and profession as well.

After all, as Scott stated, “Life is what you make of it.”

He stressed that it’s important to make sure that your mindset doesn’t become your biggest handicap. If you can focus on the positives in your life … this conference, your profession … it can have a tendency to create clarity. That clarity has the possibility to take you further and give you that drive to surpass your goals. It seems simple enough, but is an excellent reminder, particularly as we kick off this first session of the 2013 FPRA Annual Conference.

Scott then prompted us to ask ourselves: What inspires you to get up in the morning? What is your vision? What are you fighting for? Your vision can bring you everything. It’s the beginning. With that vision in mind, realign your mindset and put yourself in a better position to achieve your goals. As Scott stated, “Mindset is what you do with what you can control.” You can control your willingness to set goals – business goals – and stretch your mind.

Even when Scott had setbacks during recovery, his father prompted him to remember that vision and mindset that drove him to milestones like moving his wrists. He’d then realign his mindset and push himself further. As he pointed out, anyone can change the way they’re thinking. Whatever your job responsibility is, you can always change the way you’re thinking. He was willing to fail, but unwilling to quit. That can be a driving force if you’re willing to embrace it.

Our fears can paralyze us, but as Scott shared, “Go with what scares you. You’ll experience unbeatable strength.” Explore uncharted waters and new opportunities that can help you create success. That’s the grit – determination.

When you’re learning, your vision, mindset and grit are strengthening. Stretch yourself a little further. Today you’ll need to be more flexible and adapt like never before. Make the decision to adapt or you may be left behind. “Do those things that you want to do, need to do, and that others simply think you cannot do.” Scott stated.

Tying it all together, Scott ended with this note: When you know your vision, believe that your mindset and grit will be there to carry you through.

Scott Burrows was a star athlete and fierce competitor. He played college football at Florida State University under legendary coach Bobby Bowden and was a top-ranked kickboxing champion whose last fight was broadcast by ESPN. On Nov. 3, 1984, a serious automobile accident left him paralyzed from the chest down and diagnosed a quadriplegic. Despite his grim diagnosis, Burrows refused to be sidelined! He took control of his life by implementing three powerful principles: Vision, Mindset and Grit. Through painstaking focus and unshakable optimism, Burrows boosted his recovery and achieved seemingly unattainable results that astonished doctors, therapists, family and friends alike.

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