Scott Burrows

A Chance Encounter with John Waggoner: Embodying Vision, Mindset, and Grit

In the chaos of the Hotel Airport in Orlando, I found myself seated next to a man whose story would leave a mark on me. Little did I know that this chance encounter with John Waggoner would ignite a conversation that would inspire me to reflect on the principles of Vision, Mindset, and Grit.

As we exchanged pleasantries over dinner, our conversation took an unexpected turn when I shared that I was the keynote speaker for the Transportation Expressway Members of Florida (TEAM) Leadership & Safety 1st Meeting. John, ever the amiable conversationalist, shared with me his recent purchase – a beautifully refurbished truck that spoke volumes about his passion for automobiles.

Intrigued by his story, we dove deeper into John’s journey, discovering that he hailed from Tennessee and was a collector of cars and trucks. His latest acquisition had prompted the need for a larger garage, as his current one could only accommodate 25 parking spaces – a testament to his lifelong love affair with automobiles.

But it was when John shared his story, “A Boy, A Boat, A Dream,” that I truly began to grasp the depth of his resilience and determination. His tale of overcoming adversity and pursuing his dreams resonated deeply with me, echoing the very essence of Vision, Mindset, and Grit.

John’s journey, from humble beginnings to building and eventually selling his own company, exemplifies the power of Vision – the ability to see beyond the horizon and pursue one’s dreams with unwavering determination. His story serves as a reminder that greatness is not reserved for the privileged few but is attainable by anyone with the courage to dream big and the perseverance to see it through.

But it was John’s Mindset that truly set him apart – his willingness to embrace challenges as opportunities for growth and to adapt and innovate in the face of adversity. His story is a testament to the transformative power of Mindset, proving that with the right attitude, any obstacle can be overcome.

And finally, John’s unwavering Grit, his refusal to give up in the face of setbacks and obstacles, is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. His determination to keep pushing forward, even when the odds seemed insurmountable, serves as a beacon of hope for anyone facing their own challenges.
As I bid farewell to John Waggoner that evening and made my way to catch my flight, I couldn’t help but feel a renewed sense of purpose and determination. His story had reminded me that no dream is too big, no challenge too daunting, as long as we hold fast to our Vision, cultivate the right Mindset, and never lose sight of the Grit that lies within us all.

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