Cliff Meidl Is An Above Average Joe! He was a 19 year old college student working hard in the construction industry to earn his tuition. He hoped to start his own plumbing business someday. That dream was derailed by 10 years of surgery, recovery and physical therapy after the horrible excavation accident that changed his life forever. Business: Cliff took that tragic accident, overcame adversity and built that experience into a successful speaking career. He motivates thousands of people each year to overcome adversity in there life like he has done and and excavate safely by using the national One-call system compelling them to call 811 before they dig and have the utility lines located and marked to avoid damage and injury . Cliff overcame the fear of public speaking by telling his story to small audiences and his competitive spirit drove him to hone his speaking presentation skills to Olympic level performance. Greatest Disappointment: After having gone through his ordeal, Cliff wanted a career in medicine but he allowed the intimidation of education cause him to redirect his career to business. Cliff stated that he just didn’t have the academic confidence at that time in his life to pursue that career path. Overcoming Doubt: Overcame negativity by focusing on his childhood role models and how they overcame adversity. That gave him both the means and the method to keep himself motivated to spend hours upon hours practicing, training, and preparing for his dream. Determination: Cliff overcame the doubt about whether he could make the Olympic team in the sport of Kayaking. The sport where winners are determined by margins as thin as a credit card, by not allowing the outcome to rob him of the potential experience. Cliff was successful in his quest to go to the Olympic games, not just once, but two times. Cliff competed both in 1996 in Atlanta and 2000 in Seoul, South Korea and was selected to bear the flag of the United States during the opening ceremonies. Greatest Failure: Cliff’s biggest disappointment in life came after his accident. He had a dream… He was running on the beach and the realization that we would never be able to do that was his biggest disappointment. From that day forward Cliff dreamed of being “Normal” and knowing he would never have the ability to simply run on the beach again fueled his drive to excel in academics and athletics. Giants In Cliff’s Life:
* Cliff’s Mother and her persistent determination to drive the best result for her Son (who was at his weakest point) is the reason Cliff’s legs were saved after his accident.
* Cliff’s canoe coach (Bob) told cliff he could teach him technic but not intensity and he was able to see the intensity in Cliff.
* Cliff’s younger brother, Norman gave him the advice, “Look in the mirror… Focus on what you have, don’t focus on what you don’t have.
Best Advice: I first heard the best advice I’ve ever received in High School when he heard a famous saying told to him by a Vietnam Veteran and the world’s Bench Press Champion at that time… “Winners never quit, Quitters never win, There’s no such thing as an over achiever just an under estimator”! Favorite Book:
* The Devil At My Heals, Story of Lou Zamperrini
* Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand
Best Book: Still Me, by Christopher Reeve Action Items:
- Belief – Declare your goal and declare that you believe in it to ignite the fire in your will
- Persistence – You’ve got to do the work.