Because I said I would.
There’s something special about those words. It’s about making promises and keeping them. This was the foundation for a presentation given by world renowned speaker and social movement leader Alex Sheen.
This past week, I had the opportunity to attend an event held at the Chatfield Center for the Arts in Chatfield, Minn., and I’m glad I made the time.
It was one of those events that doesn’t come along too often. Possibly a life-changing event for some attendees embracing his message.
I first learned about Alex coming to the area when I was chatting with Chuck Johnson, Jr., at the First State Bank of Fountain. Chuck shared how Alex’s presentation inspired him when he saw him speak at an Independent Community Bankers of America conference.
Chuck was inspired so much that he wanted Alex to come and share his message with people in Fillmore County. Hence, Chuck Johnson, Jr., President and CEO of First State Bank of Fountain and Root River State Bank, along with Dan Christianson, CEO of F&M Community Bank with locations in Preston, Chatfield and Rochester, partnered their resources to pave the way to make this possible.
When I arrived at the event, Alex was out in the lobby shaking hands, smiling, and chatting with attendees. Over the past few decades, I’ve been to quite a number of events involving speakers, and this is rare in itself. Most speakers are behind the scenes waiting to be unveiled on stage. Not Alex. He’s a likable welcoming kind of guy. His positive persona is contagious.
When it was time to gather in the auditorium, there were so many familiar faces. People from around the area came to hear Alex’s message, which I think is very telling. We wanted to hear what Alex had to say for a reason. We wanted to be inspired just like Chuck and Dan were.
I knew a little bit about what to expect with Alex’s 50 minute presentation, because I watched one of his five TED Talks. But, I also know that seeing someone tell their story in-person is a completely different experience.
Alex talked about his journey in life and how he arrived at where he is at today. He gives upwards of 300 speeches per year, maintaining a significantly busy schedule. And, while his story of “because I said I would” began in 2012, the evolution of Alex and his social movement has become bigger than any one person.
When his father died, he came to a realization. Alex was a successful young programmer in management at a Fortune 100 company with more than 1,400 employees. He made a six figure salary with big bonuses and stock
options. By most measures, he had the world in the palm of his hands. But, after his father died of cancer, something changed in Alex. He wanted to help people make commitments the same way his father did. If his father said he was going to do something, he did it. He made promises, and he kept them.
I really can’t give you the full picture of Alex Sheen’s message in this commentary. To me, there’s so much more to his story that speaks to divine intervention. How he chooses to live his life – committing himself to helping others – truly changes the lives of others.
Alex talked about how he once committed himself to volunteer for a different non-profit organization every weekend for a year – a total of 52 non-profits. He shared that in America, 75.1% of the population doesn’t volunteer even one hour of their time to any organization.
His social movement has helped people overcome drug addiction. His message has inspired people to volunteer for organizations and donate blood. His heartfelt connection with people has helped to bring those struggling with depression and potential suicide to seek the help they need.
Alex Sheen has a special way of connecting with people. He wants to encourage people to maximize their time on this planet. He has a subtle way of moving mountains.
After Alex concluded his message, staff from the banks that sponsored this event handed out 10 “because I said I would” cards to every attendee.
These 10 promise cards are to be shared with others to continue to encourage people to make promises and keep them. It’s about making commitments. Personal goals. And, then making them happen.
I strongly recommend anyone seeking inspiration to visit Alex Sheen’s website and learn more about his social movement. There are TED Talks you can watch. And, if you ever get the chance to see Alex speak, don’t miss out. becauseisaidiwould.org/alexsheen/
This is one person who can change the world by encouraging others to be the change.