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Some of you may recognize the title as the words behind the acronym TED as in TED Talks.

You may also have seen the acronym TEDx Talks, the X meaning that the event was “fully planned and coordinated independently, on a community-by-community basis.”

This week I have decided to share some of the moments that impacted my day at TEDx Victoria: Emergence.

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Two words: Adam Kreek

From his bio: “Olympic Gold Medalist and Entrepreneur, Adam Kreek has spent the past decade studying human performance, achievement, and wellbeing. He now shares his expertise and the powerful lessons of high performance and entrepreneurship with organizations and communities globally.”

My take: mega-fit, mega-hunk meets your favourite nephew wrapped up like a teddy bear. (took me ages to get it that brief!)

Now I was aware of Adam Kreek’s existence, not so much from his Olympic win (because I think if you’ve made it to the Olympics you’re a winner whether you get a medal or not!), but from an article in a magazine I happened across in the summer of 2012. (I will admit here to a softness for rowers ever since my own days in a quad experiencing the elation/rush of perfect execution and teamwork)

Pieces of Adam’s article have stayed with me to this day. “The purpose of a personal brand is people like predictability. People want to know who you are. One of the keys to personal branding is to be authentic so you can be predictable. If it backfires, people lose trust. It’s our purpose as humans to inspire each other. We’re all social creatures and we all benefit from what each other creates. We can use a personal brand to inspire each other.”

“Be authentic, honest and real. Create a narrative. Distil what is and what’s been and how you can play on that…. Being who you are and honest and having a firm desire to give back can really inspire people. As long as other people can see themselves in your narrative, then they’ll start buying in.”

“… you need a very strong work ethic and discipline. You need to learn, to find mentors, and find teammates to push you forward. You need to create systems around you and drag yourself forward. Will is far too overrated. Peer pressure is a better tool… but it’s less like a machine and more like a piece of artwork.”

So, by the time I arrived at TEDx, I already thought he was amazing!

And then he introduces his “Capacity Bubble”

Let me back up a bit here and explain that Adam’s talk was titled “I Seek Failure”. Now I can identify with that! I appreciate failure because it challenges me to push myself, to reroute myself, to recreate that which I thought would work. Adam’s Capacity Bubble however, put a slightly different slant on it and I am still puzzling in my head how to apply it to my business. I used to teach fitness, and in an effort to be the most fit I could be I would, on certain days, push a specific muscle group to failure. And that application I can understand.

In Adam’s Capacity Bubble he has two circles: the perceived limit and the actual limit. I understand that we all have preconceived notions of what we can do, how far we can push ourselves… in every aspect of our lives. That is our “perceived limit”. In fitness, when I worked to failure, I encountered my actual limit. Adam’s hypothesis is that once we know our actual limit, if we operate just inside that, we are operating at our maximum and that is where we can excel.

How do I find that point at which I encounter “failure” in my business?  not just a task, but my business.

If I can find the answer to that question, it stands to reason that if I operate just inside that limit, I am operating at my maximum.

I think I’ll leave it there and see what your responses are.

Maybe I’ll ask Adam.