run your own race

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Relaxing Music for the month: Healing Hands: Liquid Mind (12:01) –

Today’s Philosophers Notes were from Todd Henry, who wrote:

Here’s my from the two books, which came from Louder Than Words:

“The lesson that I’ve embraced over the past decade of life and work is a simple one: because of unique passions, skills, experiences, and opportunities, each of us has a unique race to run. It’s ours alone and cannot be compared to the race being run by others. When we allow the stigma of judgment, comparison, or envy to tempt us off course, we violate the fullness of the contribution of which we are capable. We exhaust ourselves chasing ‘ghost runners’ and ‘phantom success.’ We lose sight of the end goal, and in turn we lose sight of ourselves.

Pursue uniqueness with your voice. Run your race. Execute your plan. Do your work, not someone else’s. Don’t allow envy, spite, ego, or greed to derail you or cause you to chase a phantom ideal that was never meant for you. You have a valuable contribution to make in the arena of influence you’ve been given, and a unique voice to offer the world, but if you are not diligent you may wind up gaining quick ground in the short term, only to watch the pack pass you a few miles down the road.”

AMEN!!! This has to be one of my TOP FIVE favorites passages from ALL of the Philosophers Notes, because it really sums up what Life Design Catalyst work is all about. Side Note: Shared this passage in two of my classes this morning; one student in each class asked if I would be available to meet because they want help “running their own race.” Yes, that’s why I do this work!

And then you have this from Die Empty:

“Your days are finite. One day, they will run out. As a friend of mine likes to say, ‘You know, the death rate is hovering right around one hundred percent.’ Many people I know spend their entire life trying to avoid this fact. They fill their lives with frantic activity, bouncing from task to task, and no matter how successful they perform in their work, as they close up shop for the day they are left with the question, ‘Did the work I did today really matter?’ Others I’ve met are incredibly successful at, vested in, and highly compensated for their work, but over time they’ve grown stagnant. They sense they have something more to give but they can’t quite put their finger on why they’re stuck in first gear. They have a nagging suspicion that they are capable of contributing more—maybe even being truly brilliant at something—but have no road map for unlocking what that contribution might be…

If there is one overriding goal of this book it is this: to bring newfound clarity and sense of urgency to how you approach your work on a daily basis, and over your lifetime. I hope to help you lock onto a focused understanding of what’s really important and help you make a commitment to chase after it with gusto rather than simply settling in for the ride.”

As you can see, I highlighted the question, “Did the work I did today really matter?” because I would argue that it’s one of the important questions we each need to ask ourselves and answer at the end of the day.

Did the work that YOU did today really matter? If so, great. If not, then do it tomorrow.

And if you want one last gem – and something to try – take on this activity:

“Imagine for a moment that you will have a guest accompanying you throughout your day tomorrow. This person’s task will be to follow you around from the moment you wake up until the moment you fall asleep. They will take copious notes about your schedule, how you interact with your family and friends, how you engage in your tasks and projects, and your mind-set through it all. Once the day is over, this person will spend the next few days processing their observations, draw conclusions about your motivations, and compile their notes into a book about you that will stand as the definitive record of your life and work.

How would you act differently tomorrow if you knew that your actions and attitude on that one day were going to be a permanent testament to your life? If you’re like many people to whom I’ve posted this question, you would probably get up a little earlier, pay extra attention to your family and the barista at Starbucks, be fully vested in every meeting, be meticulous in every task, call up an old friend for lunch, reconcile with an alienated colleague, and generally wrap up loose ends.

Next I ask, ‘How does your imagined behavior compare with how you are actually living your life today?’”

Like Brian, this one is a WOW! I’m actually using a version of this one in my Redesign a Life You’ll Love class. It will be interesting to see how students respond to such an activity.

There are a few of the wonder words of wisdom that Todd (and Brian) has shared with us. Please check out the Philosophers Notes for more gems!


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