The cascade effect…

“I’ve made my share of mistakes along the way, but if I have changed even one life for the better, I haven’t lived in vain.”

Muhammad Ali 

Have you ever made a list of all of those who have impacted you in a positive way throughout your life? We become the people we are through the sharing of experiences and and because of the influence that others have on our journey. Who are those people that have changed your life? Are they even aware of the impact they have had on you?

As I mentally run through the list of all the people that have had some type of positive directional influence in my life I am struck by how significant and powerful some of these individuals have been. The really interesting thing is that the people and events that come immediately to mind aren’t examples where someone was TRYING to change my life, or the lives of others, they were simply being themselves, and living outwardly in a manner that positively impacted and influenced the person I was to become.

I found it interesting to run through the list of people by season or stage of life. What is very intriguing is that there is a consistent theme of behaviors and attributes that stand out. Those that has the most significant impact all had similar traits and and practices that then served to help me form my own beliefs and practices.

The lesson in all this for me today is that we have a powerful opportunity to add value to others simply by showing up as our authentic and real selves. It is isn’t about TRYING to add value, it is about living life in a manner that is serving others. If you do this, and live this way consistently, you WILL change the lives of others. You might not ever know how, and the person who’s life you impact might not even realize it till years later, but the cascade effect of living your values and beliefs outwardly will change lives, starting with your own…

The sand in our shoes…

“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out, it’s the pebble in your shoe.”

Muhammad Ali

When I was younger I went hiking and had a pebble/sand in my boot but since I was in a hurry to get to the top of the mountain I didn’t want to take the time to stop and clean out my boots. I paid dearly for that decision as I naturally developed a huge blister and the entire hike down the mountain was painful.

A similar thing happened to me when I was racing Ironman Florida. I was on the run portion of the race and my shoes/socks were bothering me but I didn’t want to slow down and take the time to readjust and figure out how to get more comfortable. In that moment of the race it felt like those couple of minutes would be a real loss of momentum. Of course, as time went on the problem compounded and the last 5-6 miles of the race were really really painful.

How often does this apply in life? We are on a mission, headed towards our objective and there is “sand in our shoes?” We don’t want to slow down or take the time to take care of ourselves when that is exactly what we should do to ensure that we can achieve our longer term goals. It’s not the objective itself, it is the little things that add up that make achieving that objective possible.

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