What We Don’t See

Running provides, and requires, intense focus. Being able to single-mindedly commit to a goal or outcome is going to greatly increase our chances to achieve those goals. At the same time, for everything we choose to focus on, we automatically lose focus on other things that might also be important.

Shannon was a professional body builder. He was at the top of his game in college. When I asked him about what got him started in running, this was part of his reply,

I will never forget I was under 3% body fat getting ready for a show and I went up a flight of stairs.  Once I was at the top I was out of breath…and we are talking 1 damn floor.”

In his dedicated commitment to one goal, he gave up something else. Maybe it was not important at the time, not part of the focus. But when he climbed those stairs, what was not on his radar before seems to have moved it’s way up the priority ladder in short time.

Ian was dealing with another challenge. In his busy professional and running life he was suddenly forced to slow down, a lot. Two fractured vertebrae will do that to a person. In his interview he had a relatively simple piece of advice.

“Don’t diagnose yourself when you have a problem – you’ll only make it worse by fobbing yourself off and carrying on.”

And just like it is difficult to see what you don’t see when training for one goal, it is equally as difficult to set aside another goal when health, or bigger priorities suddenly need our attention.

Each week, in business, we are confronted with a great number of demands, pressures, and goals. The ever increasing number of directions and pressure to achieve can make stepping back to see what is really important quite difficult.

Perhaps, like Shannon, you are killing it at work but your physical health is lacking. Do you wait until it sends you to the doctor, or you just can’t breathe on “one damn flight?”

Maybe, like Ian, there are things that are simply out of your control and, as much as you want to push through, taking stock of what you have and seeing the benefits in the current process is really the best bet. It might not be fun, but could there be something equally or even more beneficial for you through taking some else’s advice?

Ian and Shannon helped me look at things from a little different perspective this week. You can find their un-edited answers in the full blog post at http://brianfretwell.com They both remind us to step back, look around, and ask for help because there may be more important things we are not noticing. Even, and especially, in the midst of success.

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