Just A Little Further

“Another 20 minutes,” I’m fond of saying.

Most folks who have climbed or hiked with me have heard these words come out of my mouth at one time or another: when energy flags, morale drops, the terrain gets steep, the weather sours.

“Let’s just go on another 20 minutes,” I say.

Which, as those who know me well, is “code” for “keep going, stay the course, don’t give up, don’t quit now.”

(Also translated, inaccurately, by some as “stop the whining,” or “perhaps you should have given some thought to training for this.”)

And 20 minutes often means an hour more, or two or three; or another 3 miles; or perhaps another 1000 feet.

But staying the course, just a little longer, is often the difference between success and failure.

I’ve climbed above the clouds, stood on the most magnificent summits, crossed finish lines I only dimly imagined, and finished projects that seemed inconceivable at the start by just staying the course; by just keeping on keeping on.

Those of you have heard me speak know how much I enjoy the metaphor that Darren Hardy uses of the old campground hand pump: pump the handle and nothing comes out; keep pumping and still nothing comes out; pump longer and perhaps there’s a small trickle. But if you stay at it, if you keep pumping – and don’t give up – a huge torrent of water flows.

I love the little book 212º – The Extra Degree by Sam Parker. At 211º, water is just water. At 212º it becomes steam with the power to drive a locomotive. The one extra degree of effort, in business and life, separates the good from the truly great.

Gold medals and world-class competitions are won by just fractions of a second of additional speed.

And here’s an interesting truth: the farther you go, the higher your climb, the fewer the folks, the less the competition.

If you want to be different, Jeff Haden of Inc. Magazine says: “Be early. Stay late. Make the extra call. Send the extra email. Do the extra research. Help a customer unload or unpack a shipment. Don’t wait to be asked; offer. Don’t just tell employees what to do – show them what to do and work beside them. Every time you do something, think of one extra thing you can do.

And do it.

Staying at it means finishing the race, completing the project, launching the product, making the sale, rising to the top; it means serving others at the very highest level; it means teaching excellence by the examples of our lives; it means living and learning deeply what you are truly capable of doing beyond the limits of your mind.

So run another mile, write another chapter, make another call.

Whether in business, fitness, creative endeavors, adventure or in life, go a bit further, stay the course.

Hang in there just another 20 minutes.

It’ll make all the difference.







Win A Kindle™ Fire! | Journeys on the Edge

Journeys On Fire!

Journeys on the Edge: Living a Life That Matters is taking off! Around the country and across the globe.

Recently, I received an email from a soldier in Afghanistan telling me that Journeys had given him a vision of what his future might be when he returns home from combat. And last week, I received a note from a woman in her eighties telling me that she had stumbled on Journeys in her library and how much it had meant to her: “Older folks have dreams too,” she said.  Hearing words like these keeps me moving forward, sharing the Journeys message, even when I feel tired and discouraged.

Yesterday, though, was a time to celebrate. In collaboration with my wonderful team at Aloha Publishing, Journeys made it into the top 10 on Amazon Kindle. And I am so grateful for all of the support and encouragement of my readers.

This weekend, we are going to drive forward with the print version of Journeys.

Order one (or more) copies of Journeys from Amazon today, June 22, tomorrow, June 23, or Sunday, June 24; forward, email or fax your purchase confirmation to me; and you will be entered to win a Kindle™ Fire!

Yeah, baby.

Click HERE to order!








Bad Weather and Dead Racoons

I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.
Mark Twain

Some folks seem to be blessedly care-free. They never seem to worry. Many, though, find themselves anxious and unsettled on a regular basis.

There is certainly plenty to worry about in the world: Afghanistan, unemployment, a nuclear Iran, the price of gas, death, disease and hurricanes to name just a few popular topics.

A coaching client of mine recently shared with me her worry. Her young daughter had a run-in with Leukemia. Now in complete remission, the daughter radiates health and happiness. The likelihood that she’ll live to a ripe old age is extremely high. Yet, my client says,  “I can’t stop worrying that it (the disease) will come back. I want to enjoy every moment of the day. But I don’t know how.”

She worries too about animals getting hit by cars. (Hey, who am I to judge. I have my own fairly random list.)

Of course, as a coach, and as a Professional (Certifiable) Worrier, I had some pithy thoughts to share with her on the topic of worry. Here’s what I said:

1. You were raised in a household of worriers.  How has that worked out for them?  What catastrophes has worry prevented?

2. Worry is a habit; like biting your nails. With just a bit of mindfulness and effort, a habit can be broken and re-programed. Break the habit.

3. Worry is a waste; there is absolutely no return on investment for the time; it yields no outcome; so you literally piss away the time. Do you like to piss away time?

4. The chances of something extraordinarily good happening in any moment are just as high (or low) as the chances of something extraordinarily bad. You can focus on either. Why not choose to focus on the good?

5. You usurp the province of the Divine when you believe that your worry somehow controls the outcome in the Universe. Do you really want that job too?

6. The shit that actually befalls you (or someone you love) is almost never the shit you worry about. Maybe you should worry about that as well?

7. Worry is a choice. You can choose to worry. Or not. Not is better.

Here’s the truth: You’re gonna die; your parents are gonna die; your kids are gonna die; there will be wars and famine; there will be dead racoons in the road; there will be ups and down in the economy; and really unpleasant weather.

Life is way short. Choose well. Focus on the good.

Live, laugh, love, celebrate.

Don’t waste a minute of it.

This Time It Should Be Different

Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step. 

— Martin Luther King, Jr.

It’s not fair.

It should be different. It should be easier.

This time, it shouldn’t seem so overwhelming.

But it does.

We’ve started our ultra-training for the season. Ann will run the Vermont 50 in September. I’ll run the Green Lakes 100K.

And even though we’ve run big distances before, even though we’re not starting from ground zero, it all seems so daunting, so unimaginably unpleasant.

Of course it’s easy to talk the game. When I speak to groups about success and goal achievement, I raise the question as to how one might go about eating an elephant.

One bite at a time, most folks will agree.

And so it is with distance races, high mountain peaks, writing books, and building businesses. One step. And then another.

Small consistent steps over time; magnificent results.

Easy to say.

Harder to do.

Especially that first step part.

It is the getting going, the starting out  that is the problem, isn’t it?  You’d think that if you’d started out before, if you’d run the race, climbed the hill, written the book, had the banner year; if you’d gone to the gym, eaten right, watched your weight; if you’d landed the client, closed the deal, impressed the board; why should you have to do it all again?

Shouldn’t you get some bonus points, a head start, credit for time served?

Unfortunately not.

No one gets a pass.

Inertia is a universal (and unfortunate) law. An object at rest remains at rest and all that. However many times you’ve started out before, you’ve got to start again.

No matter who you are, no matter what your experience, no matter what the project, no matter who you’re comparing yourself to, know this: We all start out in the very same place. At the beginning.

So just do it; just take the first step.

There is magic in that.