Elevate Eachother

To sabotage or not to sabotage- that was the question the campers had to answer this morning before the start of their final fire competition.
Each team was ranked going into the competition based on their preparation the day before- if they had taken the time to chop the wood, make kindling and stack the different sizes in organized piles.
Each team met with me away from the others and were given the option to accept the opportunity to sabotage another team or decline it.
Before they spoke, I asked each team the following question:
“How do you want to win?”
The excitement of sabotage faded in the faces of most when they heard that question.
“Well when you put it that way, it changes things”- was the response I got from a few.
One teammate didn’t want to but allowed their desire to not disappoint the other members keep them from speaking up.
Another team was split 50/50, and the member who didn’t want to sabotage won the argument.
The team in the lead immediately declined- “let’s win this because we did our best, not because of sabotage.”
Others didn’t hesitate at the opportunity to sabotage another team.
After all teams had decided, I informed the group of who chose sabotage and who didn’t.
They then got a mini talk on leadership, courage and confidence and champion mindset.
A reminder that you never want to get to the top by stepping on the backs of others, but instead by reaching out a hand to the person below you, and elevating each other.
Those who chose to sabotage learned that true success doesn’t come by taking that path. And we end up hurting ourselves most of all.
The sabotage they chose for others, now was levied on them.
And those who didn’t choose sabotage had the choice to save them and remove all sabotage from the competition.
They chose kindness.
The team who immediately chose not to sabotage struggled the most to make a fire.
The final pic is of one of the members, his tired hands covered in soot, sitting
in silence after congratulating another team on their fire.
He took a deep breath, and with a smile kept at it.
That is a champion.

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About Becky

Becky Schmooke (pronounced “Smoke”) is a Mindful Leadership Consultant and Speaker, focused on providing action based mindfulness and leadership training to organizations and businesses who are ready to do things differently.

Becky’s Mindful Kitchen, is located outside of Iowa City, and provides truly unique team building and leadership retreats,  strategic planning workshops, private parties and classes and weekly summer camps for kids. The commercial teaching kitchen, treehouse, archery range, bush craft skills, first aid training, wood fired pizza oven, chickens, baby goats and timber adventure playground provides endless opportunities for hands on activities.


As a mom to three girls, 60 chickens, 4 goats, 2 dogs and a fire fighter’s wife- life is never boring and provides Becky with endless stories which she uses to illustrate her approach to mindfulness in daily posts on social media.  

In all that she does, Becky has one goal, to build confidence in others to take action to live their best life, not just pass time.  

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