Phil Kassel


Phil Kassel for TEDxOkoboji's 1st Annual Conference

November 18th, 2019 | Meet the Speakers

Phil Kassel

"Building GRIT Fosters Meaning In Life"

1st Annual TEDxOkoboji Conference // 22 November 2019

The journey to the Red Circle is now less than a week away. The once dream now close to reality. As an executive leader, a coach, husband, and father of four little children, the journey up to this point has required so much grit. 

Whether it be the immense responsibilities I have in each category of my life to a few very challenging coaching calls that had to be wrestled through while crafting our talk, there have been moments over the past couple months where I have been faced with the temptations to choose the easier wrongs and feel as if we may not be ready for the stage. 

I have had to take those negative thoughts captive and redirect them. I have been personally tested to see if my burning passion of living and choosing grit is worth its salt. Many times, I have had to reflect on my purpose, reset and refocus my paradigms, so that I can reengage with greater determination. 

Each of us are faced with moments like this, sometimes seemingly insignificant, every single day. It is how we face those moments that will ultimately define us. Past choices and experiences provide fuel for future growth. So, I choose grit. To grind thru resistance to an irresistible target. I choose to face resistance with greater resistance as it shapes my daily experience. 

This burning passion remains the irresistible target. We have put in the time, the effort, and have ran through each obstacle we have faced. We have a talk we are proud of and believe will be an encouragement to many. Encouragement is oxygen to the soul. We are ready to leave it all on the field of play, the stage. 

I am amazed by how one choice a few years ago has not only birthed an internal passion but has led to so many blessed connections and opportunities along the way. The TEDxOkoboji community has enriched this experience. 

Living grit has truly provided a way of experiencing authentic meaning, purpose, and fulfillment. I meet this opportunity to stand on the Red Circle and share with our community and abroad with immense gratitude and humility. And I look with anticipation for the continued rippled effects the future holds by continuing to choose grit. 

Phil Kassel for TEDxOkoboji's 1st Annual Conference

September 4th, 2019 | Meet the Speakers

Phil Kassel

"Building GRIT Fosters Meaning In Life"

1st Annual TEDxOkoboji Conference // 22 November 2019

The Red Circle. Once a dream, is now becoming closer to a reality. I have always wanted to give a TEDx talk. It is like a pinnacle moment for a speaker. An achievement that is both intrinsically fulfilling and extrinsically rewarding.

While that has always been a dream, the question had always been, “What would I share?” “What would be an idea worth sharing?” But as I have grown older, now a Sherpa in the journey of life, I have the experience and exhilaration of great victories, but also coupled with the scars and pains of defeat. These have ranged in all facets of life, personally and professionally.

These life experiences have cultivated a more purposeful approach in all I do. I have developed a deep appreciation for life and an authentic passion for people. I strive to live intentionally in all my contributions as a husband, father, leader, coach, friend, and even to myself.

Watching people give up, not fulfill their potential, or stay defeated against the internal and external resistance they face breaks my heart. My burden to share is for others and not myself.

Part of living intentionally has required me to look at the circle of people I surround myself with.

It has been so important to have a circle of like-minded individuals to encourage and to hold accountable, to be around gritty people who live purposefully.

A couple years ago, I was blessed to cross paths with Rena Kirkland while working together on a project. It was clear to me that she embodied the same values and traits that I hold dear and strive for myself. As our friendship developed, it was also evident that we share much of the same passions and that our irresistible target was aligned.

So when the incredible opportunity came to fulfill a once dream of being able to stand in the red circle and spread an idea worth sharing, it was without hesitation that I knew who I was immediately going to reach out to. Partnering with someone like Rena who I admire so much, joining a TEDxOkoboji community where relationships will go much further than this event, and having the opportunity to encourage countless others in their journey of life is humbling. I type this full of gratitude.

This burning passion has become our irresistible target. It has been an idea that has incubated in my heart and mind for a long time. To me and to Rena, it is more than an idea worth sharing.

It is more than a movement. It is truly a way of authentic meaning, purpose, and fulfillment. It is a way of life. We are so humbled, grateful, and excited to have the opportunity to stand in the red circle and share.

1st Annual TEDxOkoboji Conference // Friday November 22, 2019