I had the pleasure of listening Tony Hawk when I was at a business conference in San Diego. I was inspired by him and hope I can share some of that inspiration with you. Tony Hawk is a skateboarding legend who has not only accomplished amazing feats on his board, but has also inspired countless people with his dedication and work ethic. Here are 3 things I learned from Tony Hawk that can be applied to any aspect of life:

1. Setting expectations for self

One of the turning points for Tony was when he was accepted into the Bones Brigade. At the time, he was still struggling for acceptance in the skating community and being part of the Bones Brigade made him raise his bar even higher. Tony said, “Suddenly, there was great expectation for me. At least I put on myself. You’re a Bones Brigade member, you better step it up and do something really special.” Tony Hawk always sets high expectations for himself and is constantly pushing his limits. He doesn't settle for mediocrity and always strives to be the best he can be. By setting high expectations for ourselves, we can push ourselves to achieve more and reach our full potential. For Tony, it went beyond being obsessive and determined. He embraced the failures because those are the learning process. Those are the lessons you need to learn in order to get to the next stage. Did you know that Tony failed at the 900 for nearly 10 years? Even though each stage of learning the trick was traumatic and discouraging, there was something to be learned. When he finally succeeded, there was an “Ah ha!” moment but he needed to go through every stage to learn the trick.

2. Commitment

Tony Hawk is known for his commitment to skateboarding. He has dedicated his life to the sport and has put in countless hours of practice to perfect his craft. By committing to something and putting in the necessary work, we can achieve great things. Tony Hawk has spoken about how he visualizes himself performing tricks before he attempts them. By visualizing success, we can build our confidence and increase our chances of success. This applies not just to sports, but also to other areas of life such as business or personal goals. I remember Tony saying, “As soon as you doubt it, it doesn’t happen.” When doing tricks, especially big ones like the 900, Tony focused solely on the succession. When he first did the trick in the 90’s at the X-Games, he knew that either he was going to make the landing, or get taken away in an ambulance. His advice for anyone getting into skating: Set small goals and go early when no one is around.

3. Surrounding yourself with people you trust

Tony Hawk has a close-knit group of friends and family who have supported him throughout his career. By surrounding ourselves with people we trust, we can receive encouragement and motivation to pursue our goals. Having a support system can also help us navigate obstacles and challenges along the way. Tony had no shortage of bullies and critics throughout his live. Having his crew and tribe at the skate park was what helped him through. Today, he has an awesome team behind him to filter things before they get to him.

In conclusion, Tony Hawk's dedication and work ethic are truly inspiring. He has shown us that by setting high expectations for ourselves, committing to our goals, and surrounding ourselves with a supportive network, we can achieve great things. Tony's journey to mastering the 900 trick, which took almost a decade of failures and learning, is a testament to the importance of perseverance and not giving up on our dreams. By applying these principles to our own lives, we can work towards achieving our own success, whatever that may be. Let's strive to be like Tony, and never stop pushing our limits!