There’s a more holistic approach to doing all of this.
Where it’s not about setting a record, but you get more records than if it was.
Where you feel good after you leave a workout, even if you weren’t the fittest in the room, because you’re still the fittest you that you’ve ever been.
Where you have a growth mindset and people around you do too. You can approach any new skill with confidence to learn it instead of seeing yourself as a failure or a master every day, because my god, that would be exhausting.
It’s a simple approach. We just need to flip what we chase on its head.
We chase good things in the short term right now, switching back and forth between the latest things hoping to be transformed from it, but the future version of us is the only one who can pull it off.
So, stop doing that.
You chase showing up instead. You chase “future you,” who’s appealing to chase and become. You chase the version of yourself that does what you right now won’t do…and good things happen.
We decide to never meet our heroes. Instead, we become one.
We stop reading comic book stories (for now) and write our own.
I don’t haphazardly write this for you. Looking back, I did something similar…ish.
I took a break from writing about interesting people and ideas because I was tired of it. Instead, I decided I would live a life worth writing about.
- I became totally sober for two years (except for coffee)
- I freed myself from all debt (a lot of it)
- I froze myself in ice water first thing every morning for a week to see what it was like. (It’s awesome, and some friends joined me)
- I became an ordained minister and married my friends
- I went from almost no speaking experience to delivering a TEDx talk
- I went to my own hell and back (twice) and decided heaven was something I could make here and now
- I hired coaches like Chris Ransom and Linda Morganthaler and reversed a debilitating neck injury none of you know about
- I got out of depression (really bad, dangerous depression)
- I stopped searching for friends and let the flock I belonged to remind me that I already belong (quack)
- I joined a climbing gym and go regularly (because I fell from a cliff when I was 17, and I’m deathly afraid of heights)
- I became learned to be disagreeable and set a boundary against my boundary problems
These things are nothing next to Mother Theresa or Gandhi. Which is good, because who on earth is comparing? I’m no true sage. I’m simple. And over those two years, I even found a way to be cool with that.
So yes, you can catch who you chase. But it’s hard if you’re focused on short-term validity. (I wanted to type “validititty” so bad right there) I’m 32 and just PR’d my clean. I leave workouts that I scaled down, feeling like a winner.
I feel better now than when I was 26 and chasing every shiny object that came my way. I’m sure my 40+ and 50+ year-old friends will nod their heads up and down as they read this at sunrise while breathing the steam from their cup of hot water.
You’re worth it.
Future you is worth chasing down and saying “Hey! you forgot this.” and then switching places with them.