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The Lifelong Learning Marathon: Embracing the Journey of Personal Growth

Just like a marathon, lifelong learning is a continuous journey filled with ups and downs, requiring persistence, commitment, and a growth-oriented mindset. In today’s fast-paced world, embracing lifelong learning is not only beneficial, but necessary to thrive and adapt to new challenges.


The Lifelong Learning Marathon


A marathon is a test of endurance, discipline, and mental strength, spanning 26.2 miles that push runners to their limits. Similarly, lifelong learning is the commitment to acquiring new skills and knowledge throughout our lives, constantly pushing our boundaries to grow. In the marathon of life, we’re all runners charting our unique paths, setting our pace, and overcoming obstacles along the way.


The Science Behind Lifelong Learning


Research has consistently shown the benefits of lifelong learning. A study by the World Economic Forum found that individuals who embrace lifelong learning are 44% more likely to maintain a sense of purpose and adapt to new challenges. Learning keeps our minds sharp, fosters creativity, and enhances our adaptability in a rapidly changing world.


Embracing the Marathon Mindset


To excel in the lifelong learning marathon, consider adopting these strategies:

  1. Set realistic goals: Break down your learning journey into smaller, achievable milestones. Just as a marathon runner sets checkpoints throughout the race, establish short-term objectives that will eventually lead to your long-term goals.
  2. Stay curious: Maintain a curious mindset and embrace new experiences. This openness to exploration will help you discover fresh perspectives and new areas of interest.
  3. Build a supportive network: Connect with like-minded individuals who share your passion for learning. They can provide encouragement, inspiration, and a sense of camaraderie as you navigate the marathon together.
  4. Stay persistent: In a marathon, runners may face exhaustion, pain, or even moments of doubt. Similarly, lifelong learners must persist through challenges and setbacks. Embrace failures as opportunities to learn and grow stronger.


Crossing the Finish Line


As you embark on the lifelong learning marathon, remember that the journey is just as important as the destination. Celebrate your progress and take pride in the wisdom you’ve gained along the way. By adopting a marathon mindset, you’ll build resilience, foster adaptability, and ultimately defeat the average.


Stay curious, keep learning, and embrace the marathon of personal growth as you continue the path to self-improvement and success.


Defeating Average.



Resilience: Bouncing Back Stronger Than Before

Resilience is the art of turning life’s challenges into stepping stones for growth. A study by the American Psychological Association found that 85% of people who display resilience maintain a strong sense of purpose and positive outlook on life. 


Imagine resilience as a rubber band – the more it stretches, the stronger it becomes. By embracing a growth mindset, building a supportive network, and developing effective coping strategies, you can stretch and strengthen your resilience. 


As you face adversity, view setbacks as opportunities rather than roadblocks. In doing so, you’ll bounce back stronger and better equipped to conquer the challenges that lie ahead. Embrace resilience and transform obstacles into catalysts for personal growth and self-improvement.


Defeating Average.



Habits Sustain Your Goals

Creating habits can be incredibly powerful, as they allow us to automate actions and progress towards our goals without having to constantly exert willpower. According to a study by the University College London, it takes an average of 66 days for a new behavior to become automatic. Once a behavior becomes a habit, it requires less mental effort to maintain, leaving more energy for other tasks.


Another study by Duke University found that habits account for about 40% of our daily behaviors. This means that a significant portion of our lives is on autopilot, and the habits we form can have a huge impact on our overall well-being and success. Habits can also be used to create a positive feedback loop, where small successes lead to more success and motivation to continue the habit.


It’s important to have a clear reason or motivation for why you want to form the habit in the first place.


Creating habits can be incredibly powerful when they support a big vision and are supported by your values.


Here are four things to try:


  1. Create a habit that takes you less than 10 minutes to complete per day
  2. Tell a friend to hold you accountable to the habit
  3. Write it down in a task list you review every morning along with your why. Check it off the next morning.
  4. Create a small reward at the end of the week for getting it done.


Defeating Average.



Are you losing your mind?

Are you losing your mind? 


In this great episode Dr. Michael Gervais interviews Nelson Dellis, a Grand Master of memory.


If you are finding it difficult to keep things straight in your mind these days, this episode is for you.


Since covid, and working a ton on zoom meetings (maybe from getting a little bit older), I find the memory recall is not as good as it used to be!


How to Master Memory


Nelson is a 5X USA memory champion. He’s an athlete of the mind! He has remembered up to 907 digits and 9 decks of cards!


A very unique dialogue and I think you will enjoy it.

Defeating Average.


You win the day by winning the night before

“You win the day by winning the night before.”

This includes:

  • Putting clothes out for work and workouts the night before
  • Packing your lunch and your kids lunch (if you have them)
  • Planning and preparing for obstacles
  • Thinking about what meetings you can change if a big priority comes up


A smart leader I know recently said, “the higher you rise in an organization, the more you need to be prepared for unexpected change to come at you during a week.”

Winning the day the night before, insulates you against unforeseen obstacles in the morning.

Defeating Average.



Opportunities are multiplied when seized 

You often hear “crisis creates opportunity” or don’t waste a good crisis.

Like an iceberg, what you see above the water line is the initial opportunity, and as the first one to put up your hand, as you invest in solving the problem, the chunk under the ice reveals itself as the long term opportunity.

Being the first one on the ship to survey the ice, gives you the opportunity to multiply the size of the impact and reward.

Defeating Average.


Re Showing Up in Person

We need to relearn how to present ourselves.


I was part of a company program recently where our sales people had to stand and deliver a pitch. I’ve been at Salesforce 17 years and we used to do this all the time. I saw so many people using crutch notes on computers, iphones, etc, who did not trust their skills to present without notes.


We hired many people during the pandemic, young in tenure who have not had to do it. I am rusty, others are rusty and need to relearn. 


I’ve got used to preparing for meetings with notes and having them available on my computer as a crutch. Even the difference between driving a meeting on zoom or in the office hybrid with a couple people live is a challenge to prepare for. I am rusty, others are rusty.


I have heard many people say, we are going back to 2019 both in how the world works and how work is most effective. It’s a reset. 


Think about the skills that were critical in showing up in 2019:

  • Good eye contact
  • Good posture
  • Projecting your voice
  • Good tone modulation 
  • Pause to make impact 


It’s time to dust off these skills and reset.


Defeating Average.


I will only be writing Monday this week. Have a great US Thanksgiving for those celebrating.



Open Hands 

I was sitting on a park bench doing an exercise from a health practitioner.

One hand, palm up on each leg.

Breathing in and out and feeling where stress was resonating which for me was in my chest.

In each hand I would imagine an intention that would serve to reduce the stress. Looking at it like a dial I could turn up or turn down.

In the left hand was acceptance.

In the right hand was presence.

Turning up acceptance and proactively visualizing my way over and through the obstacles.

Turning down multi tasking and dialing up prioritization and presence.

Focus on the triangle of energy between mind and body.

Defeating Average.


Have you recharged your batteries lately?

We got off the boat in the national park of Canada on Maligne Lake and stepped onto spirit island on the last full day of our vacation (picture above). It’s been a long time since I was back around Jasper, AB. The first for Blake and the first in the mountains for my daughter Tess.


One third of Americans have not taken a holiday in two years! We all have been locked in through Covid and many people have told me “they feel limited by where they can go with the amount of delays and cancellations (up to 20% of flights are delayed on average 48 minutes in 2022).


We’ve taken two driving holidays in the last two months, one in the north fork of NY (2.5 hours away) and the latter on the back end of a flight home to see Mom, and in the mountains (Banff and Jasper 4-5 hours drive).


I have also had a good stretch not taking a vacation. The thinking being, if you can’t go anywhere fun, it’s not worth taking. I am someone who likes to work, and likes to contribute, but I can tell you, turning all the tech off, and turning your out of office on is the only way to truly recharge.


Many of us think, the work or our team mates will miss us while we are gone, but most people love when the boss is away (especially if you are an idea fountain like me) and are happy to back up a colleague when they are away with their family.


As my old team would say, before you get “crispy”, the beginning of getting burnt out, take yourself off the chess board, and hit your happy place and fill the battery back up.


Tess kept dragging me out on the back of the cruise boat, as we went to spirit island and back. She likes to look at the water and feel the wind in her hair. She just may be a chip off the old Canadian Iceberg after all.


Defeating Average while not working.




Children are listening…are you?

I was listening to my meditation last weekend when my daughter asked, “can we listen to one of mine.”

We started six months ago listening to some children’’s meditations on the Calm app, including Poppy the Troll, Thomas the Train and others. They are four minutes long. The one she loves the most is “Gratitude Scrapbook.”

We listen for a couple minutes and then she will tell me to pause it so she can share what she is grateful for, and then I do the same.

Tess’s are simple:

I am grateful when Daddy plays with me
I am grateful for my friend William
I am grateful for mommy reading me books
I am grateful for ice-cream (aren’t we all)

It’s a reminder of what it’s all for.

Connection, friendship, love, learning and snacks.

Children have a lot to teach us, if we are listening.

Have a great weekend.