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Our fast-paced lives often require us to make decisions on the fly with little consideration of why we are doing what we do and even less consideration of the long-term impact of those decisions. Clarity acts as a steady light beam that guides us to the right decision -- in our business or personal lives. It helps us identify our goals and precisely when we want to achieve them.
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As a scared child, I ran away from the abuse around me, and as an adult, I used drugs and alcohol to run away from the trauma inside me. But here's the interesting part -- shortly after I got clean and sober, I actually took up the sport of running. This fall, I will be running the Toronto Waterfront Marathon three times in the same day (126.6 km), not as a fundraiser, but simply to show others how resilient we are, even after the trauma of sexual violence. But most importantly, I hope that my campaign will build upon the momentum we are starting to see in the media about the prevalence of sexual violence and the need to address the countless lives that lay in its wake.
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As we get busier and take on more tasks and challenges just to get by, we are increasingly finding comfort in many icons of our time who tell us that failing is ultimately the best way to learn and move forward. They say that we must celebrate our strengths and weaknesses and not worry about how others judge us.
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It scares the crap out of me -- writing about, talking about and teaching about "failure." Then again, I think about courageous, bold and inspiring women such as Brene Brown, Cheryl Strayed, Elizabeth Gilbert and so many others who have had the balls to write about and very publicly share their own personal dances with "failure" to the benefit of so many of us.
Let's give thanks to ourselves for all our hard work and tired bones; let's take a deep breath, relax our shoulders from up beside our ears; sign up to have someone take care of us for a change, and book ourselves a vacation. Exhale. Feels good doesn't it?
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I am not saying that we should not strive to be the very best people and professionals we can be. This is not a call to "lean out." By all means, let's strive to be amazing, but let's also aspire to be more gentle with ourselves and with others.
The average Canadian spends a whopping four hours and 20 minutes a day watching TV (5 hours in the U.S. for comparison), and that doesn't include social media time. That's 30 hours a week or 1560 hours a year in which the average Canadian sits on a couch. So here's my challenge to you: Give up one sitcom, one iffy reality show to free up an hour of your time each week.
So what do one thousand opt-outers do for a weekend together? At the second annual World Domination Summit, the brainchild of author Chris Guillebeau, he opted out of keeping a large donation made to his foundation. Instead, he gave us each a $100 bill with very simple instructions: To go out and do something, start something that would make a difference. What would you do?