If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you might remember this post about entrepreneur Len Forkas’ experience as a solo competitor in the 2012 Race Across America — a grueling, 3,000-mile bicycle race that starts in California and ends in Maryland. At age 52, Len finished in less than 12 days, placing first in his age group and tenth overall. Best of all, he raised over $300,000 for Hopecam, his nonprofit that uses technology to connect young cancer patients with their friends at school.
Earlier this year, Len published What Spins the Wheel, a book that describes his journey and lists ten lessons he learned during the race. Lesson #8 is to “See in Others What They Can’t See in Themselves.” By doing so, “we can inspire people to achieve more than they ever thought possible,” he wrote.
That lesson came to mind when I watched Dananjaya Hettiarachchi’s winning performance in Toastmasters International’s 2014 World Championship of Public Speaking. Over six months, Hettiarachchi, a human resources consultant from Sri Lanka, advanced through seven rounds of competition against 33,000 competitors worldwide before taking first place.
A video of his speech, “I See Something,” is below. Take a few minutes to watch it. You’ll be glad you did.