My younger brother Clay was born in the same hospital as me three years to the day later. Sharing December 20th as a birthday, we got used to combined parties and Christmas gifts, and oh yeah, cake. This tradition continued through the decades but one thing did change, my metabolism. This year, pretending I still had the DNA of a 20 year old, I enjoyed cake and pie for both my birthday and Christmas with a smile on my face as the songs we all love played around me. Thankfully, I stopped asking for size medium clothes last year and made more realistic requests a notch beyond large. While the extra room gave me the warm fuzzies a bit, something in me sparked a question, might I be able to stave off this growth and return to my once streamlined profile? Less than super, I decided to impersonate the dad from The Incredibles and go into a training mode that anyone watching me like The Truman Show would shake their heads at – a 30 mile walk…with no phone.
So let’s analyze my “brilliance.” First of all, 30 miles? Let me explain that the nearest town, Del Mar, was 12 miles away, so I reasoned if I could make the round trip, I would have trekked about a marathon. Surely that would burn up the Julian apple pie. To tack onto the distance, I took the long route through Bird Rock and up Mount Soledad which added another 5 miles. Tack on a few side streets and according to Google Maps, we have just about a quarter n’ nickel journey as the plan. Second of all, no phone. Truth be told, I’ve made this journey before. Several times before. I’ve demonstrated to be a bit of a binge walker – going weeks or months of no exercise, then committing to make up for it in a week. However, each time I’ve gotten to the halfway point, or sooner, I conveniently find a Bird scooter or check in on my wife to see how she’s doing…and if she can come pick me up, you know, because I’m in agony!
Therefore, with no phone, I had no option but to succeed. And in my own mind, I took this into account, and scoffed at the thought of quitting…ha ha ha (again, that 20 year old cranking his neck). The first 10 miles of the journey were surprisingly calm. I’m walking, at my own pace, with no concerns. The second 10 miles were, let’s just say, uncomfortable. I felt pops and stings I never had before. The final 10 miles became as a man crossing the Sahara desert and every Bird scooter was an oasis of relief. I counted no less than 20 times that I had to stop, stretch, and realize that I had to quit, but had no option to do so. Had my phone been with me, I would have certainly justified my zippy smooth ride home. But it wasn’t, so I didn’t. When I finally boarded the elevator to my building and rang my doorbell at 8:45 pm (seriously, I had no keys on me, think about the weight!), my wife greeted me with dinner and a hug and I promptly crashed on my couch sounding like the old man I knew I would one day become, but most likely much older and creakier now than I should be.
So after reading this story which confirms for you that what I have to say is likely unhealthy for you and indicates you should definitely close this article and move on to legitimate content, here are the 3 points I would like to attempt to make, if I could:
1: Failure is inevitable unless it is not an option.
As stated, I tried to make this journey several times before in the last 3 years, never successful. I always had an option to call for help. Imagine what feats you could achieve if you had no plan b. What would you push through? What pain would you endure if you had no choice but to endure it? I made a conscious decision to leave my phone at home. Not just because I wanted to be forced to complete this journey, but because I needed to complete it without assistance. I knew myself well enough to know that I would somehow justify with my own inner talk that I had done enough and that what I felt was, in fact, a sign to quit. But the fact that I had no phone meant that every pop and every sting was something I just had to push through.
2: If you have a retreat plan, you will use it.
Had I considered this walk and said to myself, I know exactly what I am going to do if I cannot succeed, then I would have taken that plan. I am not advising against contingency plans. What I am saying is that I attempted multiple times to do this and failed every time. I personally knew that I would never succeed if I had the ability to retreat.
3: A life that isn’t lived with “all in” commitment is a life of unfulfilled potential.
We live in La Jolla, California, a super beautiful part of the nation. As I was walking, I said to myself, “I have no idea how much longer I will have the opportunity to take this journey. My life right now affords me to take this walk and to see if I can complete it. I’ve been close several times before, and I just can’t go back home knowing I failed again. I can’t stand losing the chance to make this walk and realize I never did it.” Tonight as I write this, with back, knees, ankles, neck, and quads barking like the Hounds of Hell, I am so satisfied knowing I “walked a marathon”. I did something mentally, physically, and emotionally that for some crazy reason I needed to do. Maybe it was just so I could write about it to you.
What It Takes To Go “All In” In Your Business
Owning a business can be lonely and you may fall into some of the common ways mentioned of not reaching your potential. Maybe you’ve used some excuses, procrastinated, or busied yourself with other seemingly important diversions. If you want to stay in your zone and get your business to grow, you don’t have to go it alone. Especially when there is a gap in expertise, you need to manage the gap with the right solutions.