I used the athlete mind-set a lot these last few years. “Embrace the Suck” is a phrase that got me through Ironman and bad work situations. I read this article today and it hit home. Endurance sports training, Ironman and ultra running, taught me to deal with monotony, time management and failure in the workplace. I like how MB writes about “perceived” failure, and that sometimes these failures are out of your control; I always forget that. Every single time I failed in a race or a job I learned something about myself and I did everything to get better.
And it’s true, every failure is a learning opportunity. I try to never make the same mistake twice. I’m always working to the next goal and past failures fade over time.
How can an athlete’s mind-set be useful in the office?
MB: Training teaches you lots of things, including time and stress management. It’s always hard in the moment to get past something you perceive as a failure, so I think it’s important to frame the conversation that way: failure versus “perceived” failure. Most of the time, there is some reason that things didn’t go well, and sometimes that thing was out of your control. It takes time and perspective to realize that each disappointment is a learning moment, and something that will make you stronger in the future. Viewing it as lesson instead of a failure will help keep you positive, motivated, and working hard to the next goal.
Today while hiking in Winant Park in Concord I stumbled upon a big, black bear and her cub. Actually, I just saw a big, black furry blob and a small, cute cub – stopped, called Winnie and started running back to the car.
I know you’re not suppose to run but I did. I’ve never – in all my years of hiking – seen a bear on the trail; much less a mama and her cub.
Winnie was so great – she came to me and we ran back to the car. So scary.
This was us just the day before on a more calm, no-wildlife hike:
A day when I wake up and have time to think and dream and write.
Today I ask: What am I doing with my life? What do I want to be?
These questions I’ve asked myself for most 30 plus years.
I think that right now is good. I think that what I’m doing is what I am suppose to be doing, for the most part.
Is my life what I envisioned for myself? No. But I don’t think many people in their fourth decade are living the life they imagined. If you are, email me. I’d love to talk to you.
As I look back on my goals and the list of things-I-want-to-do list I created in 1992, I see that I’ve reached almost all the goals I created for myself. There are a few things I haven’t done so today I created a new list of “things I want to do before I die”.
Here is my updated list, not in order of importance, with some left over from the original 1992 list and some new ones:
This morning I went on a hike with Winnie and wanted to take a picture to capture the day. In the past I would have posted on Facebook. But now, I just want to remember this morning, for me, so I will post the photo and write my thoughts here.
The snow is starting to melt and parts of the trail are finally peeking through. The temps are still in the 30s in the morning and I didn’t see a single person on the trail. Winnie loves running free and smelling all the earthy smells that have been hidden all winter.
If anyone cares to read about my morning adventure they will have to do a little more work than view their Facebook Feed. I’m guessing no one really cares about my hike but me.
Before I deleted all my social media accounts I saved a few photos to my phone. Here are a few I like to remember:
After being off social media for a few days now, I understand how easy it was to know what was going on in the world, and in my friends’ lives. It was easy to know what events were happening nearby because businesses created their events on Facebook.
Now I have to figure out a way to stay in touch with my friends. I decided that I will write letters, print photos and call my friends. I will subscribe to blogs and sign up for newsletters – that’s how I’ll get my news.
It’s old-school, baby. Just like my friend Mark who still uses an alarm clock to wake up in the morning.
I think there is some value to changing the way you do things instead of doing what everyone else is doing. I know that I’m going to miss out on some things but I think I’ll have much more free time to read and think and do.