Have A Beginner’s Mind

As a distance runner, I have never competed against anything but myself and the clock.  My first real event was the 2011 Surf City Half Marathon in Huntington Beach California.  My goal was simply FINISH, FINISH, FINISH.  The idea of a respectable finish of two hours was not in my plans.  I did, however finish with a two hour and 31 second time without really trying.  That is not where the story ends, though.  After several events over the past few years, I have never been able to duplicate those results.  Whether I blame it on injury (not really, but a great excuse nonetheless), or lack of training (no way!), the fact remains that I ran that February morning in 2011 with a  beginners mind.

Kids marathon (17)

Kids marathon (17) (Photo credit: carlaarena)

 Author Dan Miller, in his 48 Days to the Work You Love, tells us “in the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind there are few”. In life we run into beginners who bring energy and possibilities everyday.  They are in the Spring Training mode of life.  The possibilities are great, but they aren’t yet playing for keeps.  We also meet the “experts” who bring a lot of experience, and with that, some measured success. For many experts, their success traps them in a “yesterday” mode, unable to change with the environment.  They “know what they know” and it’s got them this far.
For those of us seeking our own personal “awesomeness”, success comes from being extraordinary.
We all have met the know-it-all guy.  He is easy to spot.  Most likely, he’s still at the base of the mountain of success.  You and I are already ahead of him.  We are already halfway up the mountain struggling to see the peak through the fog. This isn’t about him.  This is about you and I.  A beginner looks at every possibility without making assumptions.  The “expert” assumes he’s exhausted his opportunities and moves on. Be intentional to avoid these limiting assumptions.  They are closed doors to possibilities. you are intentional depends on you.  Journaling, logging opportunities for future review, or conversations about decisions with partners, help challenge your assumptions.   Leverage your experience to approach difficult situations.  Most likely you have faced many similar challenges with success.  Work backward and reconstruct those success.  Read my article on being intentional . Be intentional and make this happen.  Don’t forget that there is always possibility.

What one assumption are you going to challenge today?

Rocco De Leo

Why I’m Proud to be a Runner

Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In light of the tragic attacks on the Boston Marathon, I would be remise if I didn’t share my thoughts about running and the fraternity that is “runners”.  The runner spirit transcends the sport of running, and makes us “growth oriented” human beings.  The best part of our fraternity is that its open to anyone who wants to join.


1. It’s hard and nothing worth having is easy.  Anyone running has faced challenges both physical and mental and have over come them.  Waking up early, staying up late, and running through crazy weather toughens the spirit a drives the person toward a once untenable goal.


2.  An extended hand.  Look around at about 15 miles into a marathon.  People are hurting, tired and wanting to give up.  But something remarkable happens.  They don’t.  Stronger runners reach out their helping hands to encourage thier  fellow runners.  No one complains about slow runners.  A runner is a runner, regardless of speed.


3.  Runners are giving.  From “Race for the Cure“, “Run for her” or “10K for (insert cause)”, running has long been a way to raise money for special causes.  It gives every day people an opportunity to experience sacrificial giving.  This builds great character and helps people who need it.  It was reported that runners ran from the bombing straight to a local hospital to donate blood.


4. Everyone wants to be a runner.  Everyone wants to and can be a runner.  It gives runners a chance to help people get what they want.  Most runners are regular people who are not elite athletes training full time.  Runners are cops, teachers, bankers, construction workers, and many other professions.  Being a runner means that we do what we do and people see us accomplishing something they too can accomplish.


Share with me why you run or want to run.