Category Archives: Success

Find information and resources on how to achieve success in your life, what defines success for you.

Far Better To Dare Mighty Things

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One of my favorite quotes in the world is Theodore Roosevelt’s, “Far Better to Dare Mighty Things”.

“Far better to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor souls who neither enjoy nor suffer much, in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”

No one on earth lives this wisdom more than one of our Project Athena “Survivors”, Alli Morgan. I created Project Athena to help women survivors of medical or other traumatic setbacks achieve their adventurous dreams.

When Alli was 15 years old, she tore her ACL in a soccer game. She went in for a routine surgery to fix her ACL and was progressing toward recovery until she faced intense pain and couldn’t advance further in her therapy. It was discovered in an x ray that a screw was lodged in the joint and the replaced ACL was too long. So she underwent a second surgery to correct the first. A few weeks after her second surgery, a staph infection set in, and her surgical wound refused to close. The ligaments and hardware in her knee became septic and were removed, but the infection continued to spread.

Over the next four years, which were spent on crutches, Alli endured over 40 surgeries and spent a collective 15 months in the hospital, missing college. To literally add insult to injury, her leg had become irrevocably locked straight, and no surgeon could provide her with an answer about whether she would ever be able to bend that leg or walk again. So at the very young age of 20, Allie decided to make a very brave decision to avoid the “gray twilight” her life had become, and she dared to do a very mighty thing.

She decided to become an elective above the knee amputee to gain her life back. She applied for a grant to become one of our Project Athena “Athenas” for the Keys to Recovery Adventure, which is a kayak and bike ride from Key Largo to Key West. She completed all 120 miles of that journey in 2012 surrounded by a supportive group of fundraising gods and goddesses in and crossed the finish line with her new bionic leg and her new life. She’s now a member of the US Paralympic Skeleton Team.

For me, Alli truly embodies Theodore Roosevelt’s Far Better To Dare Mighty Things quote, because she knew that there would be fear, failure, and pain along the way….but a far bigger fear for her was to take rank with those poor souls who neither enjoy much nor suffer much in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat. She knew her life would be harder in many ways, but as she said in an interview, “I didn’t know if I was going to get my life back or what would ultimately happen, I just knew I had to try”. Brave words, from a brave young lady who would much rather have victory or defeat than what ifs.

So what is your gray twilight? How are you in limbo in your life? It’s time to channel your inner Alli Morgan and dare mighty things!


Robyn Benincasa is a World Champion Adventure Racer, 3x Guinness World Record Kayaker, San Diego City Firefighter, 10x Ironman Triathlete, sought-after leadership speaker, New York Times Bestselling author of ‘How Winning Works’, proud owner of 2 bionic metal hips, and the Founder and CEO of The 501c3 Project Athena Foundation, which helps survivors live an adventurous dream as part of their recovery. In her spare time, Robyn’s favorite hobby is inspiring people to do insane, life affirming things like run their first triathlon, start their own business, hike the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim, or kayak and ride 100 miles from Key Largo to Key West. For more information visit www.robynbenincasa.com and www.projectathena.org.

The 7 Gifts That Give You Everything

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By Derek Rydall

Nothing enters into this world except through the process of giving. If we don’t give, there can’t be more. If you want more to come into your life, you must let more life come out of you! You are a divine power plant, and a power plant doesn’t receive energy, it generates it. Even the word human comes from a Sanskrit term for ‘man’ that means ‘The Dispenser of Divine Gifts’. That’s who you are, that’s why you came here — you really are God’s gift to this world!

But there are many forms of giving. And you must engage all of them to fully activate the Generator in that divine power plant and create unlimited abundance in your experience. Continue reading

An Open Letter To All Graduates: Create Something That Makes The World More Luminous, Curious & Golden

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Dear Graduate,

Congratulations you have crossed the finish line. As you know, your route here was filled with tears of joy and sorrow, dreams shattered and fulfilled, moments that dispatched you to the arms of a beloved, remarkable beginnings and ends sealed with generous promises.

Closing this chapter in your life offers a time of reflection on you. In fact, the day you were born the world became more luminous. Chances are along the way you forgot this truth. At times it was overshadowed by fear or dismissed as insecurity, but I am here to remind you that it is still present. It is something that is uniquely yours, and can’t be outsourced. In fact, there is no end to your luminosity.  It is there amidst the lump in your throat and misty eyes. It is there in your sweaty palms and confused mind. It is there deep in your belly and lined in your heart. It is there.

And so I am thinking of the very word ILLUMINATE and asking you to use it as you move forward. Let it become a part of your being, your manifesto if you will. I am thinking of the very letters that make up this bold ten letter word.

I am looking at ILLUMINATE as what it literally spells out. It is here. Continue reading

I.L.L.U.M.I.N.A.T.E  A Ten- Step Plan For Creating Abundance In Your Life

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By Kristin Meekhof, LMSW

A little over two years ago, I began sharing a bit about my writing journey. I embarked on an entirely different career while maintain my day job as a clinical social worker. I wasn’t sure how to write anything for a national platform. I didn’t have a literary agent, a publishing contract, any type of media connections or a marketing background. I simply wanted to share my story and that of other widows in the hopes that they would feel less alone. I did one blind entry about gratitude to the Huffington Post and to my surprise, they published it. They were not the only major company to open their arms to me.

What followed in the past two-and-a-half years is nothing short of phenomenal. I became friends with Dr. Deepak Chopra, who did the cover blurb for my book, “A Widow’s Guide to Healing”, and I began to contribute to Maria Shriver’s platform, and she also did a cover blurb. In addition, I was interviewed by Katie Couric, American Greetings, my story was on the USA Today website, and I found myself at ABC’s headquarters doing a live hour long tweet chat. Most recently, I was at the United Nations.  By the way, Deepak did not introduce me to any of these individuals, nor, did a publicity team garner this support.

The question I am most asked is this- How did I manage this on my own? 

Many of the practices I developed evolved as my own writing / publishing process evolved. However, I can share with you that I know that because I practiced what I call I.L.L.U.M.I.N.A.T.E. this ten- step program which I developed over time, my world is richer and brighter. These practices aren’t exclusive to the publishing world. Anyone who is interested in creating more abundance can integrate these steps. Continue reading

The Emotional Rollercoaster of Launching a Book (Or Anything Really!)

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Dear friends:

Today, Living with Intent is officially out in paperback – available online and in bookstores. (On Amazon, you can get it for less than $10 right now!)

I was reflecting this morning on how different I feel today than I did a last April when the book was originally released.

To be honest, the day of the release I was anxious, an emotional wreck and felt a bit like a failure. I  didn’t have much media on “launch” date, and spent the day getting my hair done for my book party at ABC Home… Not what I had anticipated.

At the event, which the amazing Gabby Bernstein graciously hosted, I felt emotional when we started – I saw friends and family there to support me, as well as kind, passionate, interesting people who were there to celebrate. All the effort I had spent writing and promoting the book left me speechless until at last I let go (with a few choking tears) and enjoyed the evening. Continue reading

Best Marriage Advice for Everyone

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Most people believe that only those people who marry their soul mate have marriages that last.  A myth is that long marriages are the result of two people falling deeply in love and never losing that feeling.  Romance novels and romantic movies both show the same myth – that only those passionately in love have strong marriages.  The truth is far different.

The best advice you will ever hear is that the best marriages are created when two people fall in love and then work hard to stay that way.  Marriage is not easy and both spouses need to work to be happy and in love every day.  You may not believe this, especially if you are new in the relationship and still see stars when you and your special someone kiss.  This is an amazing feeling and one you never want to end.

In reality, the stars will fade if you depend on emotions to fuel the feelings.  You need to make a conscious effort every day to let your spouse know how much you love and respect him/her.  This can be really tough when life gets busy with jobs, children and a house to take care of, but if you don’t want to do all of this alone, you need to make your spouse your first priority. Continue reading

Mildly Medicated: ADD, Normalcy and Finding Acceptance in Music

Pay Attention!

If there were two words that I could have stricken from the English language growing up, it would have been those two. You would think that hearing them countless thousands of times you’d become desensitized, but you don’t, or at least I didn’t. People with ADD, which is very different from ADHD will know what I’m talking about. It has nothing to do with being smart or mental capacity, it’s just that your brain has its own set of commands and protocols that it intends to follow, and getting it to do something completely different and focusing just goes against the grain. In fact, it really wants to do something completely different most of the time, regardless of how much I want it to do what everyone else is doing. It’s not a question of desire; it’s a question of a biological constraint. The sooner you learn to work within that constraint, the easier things become.

There are a lot of very good people who I know I frustrated early on, my mother is one, and this woman has the patience of a saint. She was raising 3 boys on her own, and I’m sure I didn’t make the task any easier for her. My family, my teachers, all people who had the best intentions of trying to help me, sometimes made matters worse. I learn at my own pace. Sometimes that can be slower than normal, and sometimes faster. It depends on the protocol. Thankfully I was able to find a connection with music. Listening to it, understanding it on an intimate level, and being able to play it was somehow within my ADD brain wiring protocol. I must admit that in the beginning I was not very good, but I found out early that my condition seemed to exclude music while my brain usually bounced around from subject to subject, or topic to topic. I realized I was actually able to practice for very long periods of time and get things accomplished. Through music, I was able to be recognized as more normal, or should I say “more acceptable”. I dove into it with everything I had. I knew that in some way, it would be my salvation. Continue reading

Daily Opportunities to Live My Gratitude

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By Ryan Skinner

I had the wonderful opportunity this week to travel to Aruba for a vacation with my fiancée and future stepchildren. One evening, while sitting alone on the balcony of our room, gazing out in awe at the beautiful landscape and feeling warmed the balmy breezes, I was overwhelmed with a feeling of gratitude. I’m blessed with so many things – family and friends who love me, opportunities to meet and work with amazing people and the daily opportunity to express how grateful I am to God for giving this recovering addict a second chance at life. I’ve been in very dark places and know that my story could have ended differently. But this night in Aruba, like all of the days since I made the commitment to be clean and sober, offered another moment to reflect on the reality that if you do the right things, hang in there and choose to live God’s way, all of those blessings are possible.

Since I renewed my commitment to God and a life of meaning and purpose dedicated to helping others both professionally and personally, I’ve developed daily prayer, meditation and journaling rituals that help me get into the right spiritual mindset. I’ve been doing this ever since I got sober. I wake up by 6 a.m. at the latest and spend 30 minutes on a combination of praying (sometimes on my knees on a clean floor, but sometimes even at my kitchen counter having my morning coffee) and doing affirmation readings from books of positive quotes and writings that inspire me to live that day and be present. I spend a lot of time on gratitude. Whether it’s dark or light, I always light a candle. It’s just my way of bringing spirituality into the moment and connecting with God. My morning journaling is simple, just writing thank you to God for another day He has granted me. Continue reading

7 Ways to Get Out of A Slump: And One Reason Why Not To

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By Andrew Bryant

I’m in a slump. I’m sure you’ve been here, or maybe you are in one to?

How do I know I’m in a slump?

My batteries feel flat, focus is elusive and I am drawn to my couch like a moth to a flame. Your symptoms may be different, but you know you are not operating at your best.

What’s really embarrassing about this, and causing me some guilt, is that I am an author on personal development and self-leadership – surely, I shouldn’t be in a slump?

The surprising fact is, I don’t want to get out of my slump, well not yet anyway! I am like the man who is happy at the bottom of a hole, you see I both know the way out and I know the benefit of being in the hole.

Mostly I maintain pretty high-energy. Zest is, in fact one of my strengths, but when we are ‘go, go, go’ we can miss the subtle things. So I am accepting my slump. Why? Because it’s my slump. Nobody did this to me. It’s my body signaling me something, and in accepting that I can get the message.

Often we force ourselves to push through low performance, but if it really is a slump, the best strategy is to call it. By naming and owning your slump, ultimately you put yourself back in control.

Everything in life has cycles, the weather, the stock market, and your energy levels. The secret of success is to ride the cycle, and benefit from the down-time.

So I’m in a slump and you maybe you are too, so what’s the benefit?

It’s time to reflect, to regroup, and to decide on what’s important and what’s not. Use your slump to nurture yourself and become aware of what really matters to you. When you have answered this question, and given your body some rest, do the following: Continue reading

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