Have you Done the Work? The Trial of Miles; Miles of Trials
Running Thoughts #93
Hi, I'm Scott, and this is my often weekly newsletter about life, learning, and whatever else runs through my head.
If you are new here or missed last week's edition, you can catch up here. If you landed here by accident, sign up below to keep coming back:
Question of the Week:
To get the opportunity, have you done the work?
I'm only slightly ashamed to admit, I'm really enjoying diving into Twitter and finding inspiration during my attempt to publish 30 essays in 30 days. If you curate your feed right, you come across tweets like this:
Being a runner, I'm keenly aware that every race represents all the miles that came before.
Time + Consistency = Success
For the first time, I feel like I'm consistently putting in the work to improve my writing and audience. I'll finish with this quote from Once a Runner, the best running book ever written:
“You don't become a runner by winning a morning workout. The only true way is to marshal the ferocity of your ambition over the course of many day, weeks, months, and years. The Trial of Miles; Miles of Trials.”
These are the Miles of Trials I put in this week on Twitter (also available via my LinkedIn):
4 Filters to Improve the Quality and Reach of Your Online Writing
The Training That Came Too Late; How We're Failing Our Leaders and 5 Ways to Fix Our Leadership Pipelines - This one surprised me and "blew up" on LinkedIn
Remembering to Hike My Own Hike Instead of Comparing Myself to the Other 1% - Shared Below
Essay of the Week
"Hike your own hike, kid."
It was a running joke between Catfood and me. In August of 2017, we hiked nearly 300 miles of the Appalachian Trail together, each attempting our own thru-hikes.
Initially, we directed that comment at the slowest hiker in a group that we passed, but it became our mantra and a life lesson.
A lesson that I keep having to relearn, over and over.
The most dangerous thing we can do is compare ourselves to others.
On the trail, it's easy to compare yourself to others. Everyone you pass, you categorize into a weekender, section hiker, or thru-hiker. The weekenders are cool because they always bring too much food and are only too willing to share.
They have big packs, no trail legs, and make you feel like a total badass.
The problem is the other thru-hikers.
While I moved quickly on the trail, there was always someone faster. The fastest known time for traveling the Appalachian Trail was shattered during my hike. Had injury, probably due to my aggressive efforts, not taken me off the trail I still would've been at least three months slower than the record.
Yet, only 3,000 people even attempt the trail each year and 25% actually finish.
Why am I comparing myself to the <1%?
Unfortunately, this is not exclusive to hiking. I interact with aspiring writers only to compare myself against them or the fewer still who achieve outsized success. They are the worst possible group for self-comparison and there is zero correlation to our mutual success or failure.
As I tell my wife when she demeans her fitness path: she's still doing laps around the people on the couch.
At the end of the day, we need to hike our own hikes.
We each bring our own unique perspectives and experiences. There is abundance enough in the world for mutual success, especially when we look at the tiny size of our peer groups. Their path is their own as mine is mine.
All that matters is to keep hiking forward.
From The Water Cooler:
Be Someone People Can Root For - Paul Millerd is quickly becoming one of my favorite thought leaders and, being party to the conversation he wrote about in his newsletter, I'm trying to allow myself to be someone others can root for.
The end of the high school essay | Seth's Blog - Seth Godin's perspective on anything is worthwhile reading or listening to. Instead of seeing AI as the enemy, we should see it as an opportunity.
Photo of the Week:
If you enjoyed this letter, would you please let me know by tapping on the heart below or sharing it with a friend?
And, if you made it this far and are not subscribed, join me again next week: