The only limits are those that we place on ourself

We have enjoyed amazing success in the Bring Smiles to Seniors program. I always say that this was a little dream that turned into a very big reality. Yet, despite that success, I set a goal this year that had me shaking in my boots. I often talk about the importance of setting goals to stretch your perceived limits. However, even I initially questioned if I may have pushed our program a little too far beyond our capabilities.

At the beginning of each year of the program, I set a goal for the amount of cards that we are going to deliver for the year. Many things have to come together for us to achieve that goal, all variables that are out of our control. First, we need to receive enough cards from donors and ensure that those that come blank inside get decorated by our individual decorators, schools, civic groups and corporate partners. Second, we have to receive enough donations to be able to mail the card packages to the senior communities across all fifty states. Finally, our volunteers have to find the time and energy, in addition to their regular jobs or life responsibilities, to process the massive amount of cards that go out. If all three of those things are in synch, then the goal becomes possible.

The first year of operation we delivered 7,719 cards in the nine months that the program was in existence. In our first year that was tough because we had to collect donations and buy most of our cards. Despite that I set the goal for 2017 at 10,000. That year we wound up delivering 18,810 cards. I really felt like setting the goal at 20,000 for 2018 was an even greater stretch, but by mid year I knew something magical was happening. At year’s end we had delivered 40,515 cards to senior communities in all 50 states. Not only did we deliver that massive amount, but every single card that we delivered was donated. Then came 2019.

As I sat down to set the goal for 2019 at the end of 2018 I was at a crossroads. Getting to 40,515 in 2018 took an amazing amount of work on everyone’s part. We had sent all the cards we had received and just how much further could I push the limits? I eventually made the decision to go all in and set the goal at 50,000. There were those that questioned what I had done, including myself, but with my grandmother’s spirit driving the program and my belief in the “power of we”, I set the course. We are now at the end of July and we have delivered over 37,000 cards. That’s right, we are near what we delivered in all of 2018 and there seems to be no stopping us.

It is true that the only limits to what we are able to accomplish are those that we place on ourselves. When we believe and go all in we can do massive things. Casting the doubts aside and harnessing the power of what is inside you, as well as the “power of we,” truly can change the world. We do it, “one card, one smile at a time”.

Have a great day and remember to be the reason someone smiles today.

Mornings with Ron is available as a podcast at anchor.fm/morningswithron or on iHeartRadio, Apple and Google Podcast, Spotify and most podcast sites.

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