Beyond Competition

The nonprofit I run (Training Minds) is mostly about training young people for academic speech and debate competition. We’re doing it right, year-in and year-out the results speak for themselves. Our students end up national champions and the top of their game. My coaches and I are very proud of our status.

I love it when my students win, but what they do beyond competition is what really interests me.

But the purpose of the organization is not in the success of competition. It lies after competition, the action taken that utilizes the skills of speech and debate. While we relish our success and 1st place trophies, we are much more pleased with young adults who tackle their passions and change the world for the better.

The organization’s motto is “train the mind for action,” a reference to the first book of Peter in the Bible. To the apostle Peter, training the mind was a non-negotiable. Simple belief in God wasn’t enough; Christ followers needed to be thinkers and speakers in a culture that needed persuading. Action needed to be taken, just as action needs to be taken today.

There are five intentional “action” steps that lead to the action Peter was talking about. Take time to think about these steps in your life.

  1. Discover your passion. Are you doing what you love to do? Or are you just filling a job? Life goes by quickly. Choose to do what you love.
  2. Articulate your goal. Have you taken the time to map out your passion? Getting that down on paper – word for word – can be extremely helpful.
  3. Take your first steps. Just do it is a great motto. There is a time to “go to press” and get that action statement done. Even if they are baby steps, the first steps are crucially important.
  4. Hone your skills. Once you’re out the door, returning back to your hub and refining what you’re already doing is a constant sharping process.
  5. Expand. Business doesn’t stop growing. If it does, there is something wrong. There should always be ways to take your passion into other developments and markets.

Question: Which of these steps are you strongest or weakest?

Are you a debater? Join me in Colorado in July for the Training Minds Camp!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Strongest- taking the first step. I am an action person. Weakest, probably a tie between the mapping it out and the expanding. I have a difficult time figuring out how to get something to an end result. Good words.