Ep 90: How do you want to finish?

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What’s the prize for all that you do? It feels anymore like our days are consumed by the race to achieve and just keep afloat for another day. It’s easy to lose sight of the finish line you envisioned when you started this whole thing.

Here are a couple of ways to get the finish line back in your sights.

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Full transcript 👇


Ep 90: How do you want to finish?

Hi. I’m Lori Miller and this is your Mental Health Moment.

Some days feel like a qualifying lap at the Daytona Speedway don’t they?

You know there’s a finish here somewhere but you also know you have to make a certain time before you can think about how you finish.

What are you racing towards exactly?

I read an article in The Atlantic this morning that set my mind asking this question. The article is called “How Life Became an Endless, Terrible Competition.” I’ll include a link to it on the web version of this episode at LoriMiller.me if you want to read it.

The author focuses on how work and life have turned into kind of a glorification of achievement and competition. For many, it’s become a frenetic race of nonstop milestones and desperate grabs for status.

And the prize for those who “win” this race is more responsibility, longer hours, and a constantly shifting sense of the wrong priorities.

So the end of the race is not a place to arrive, to kick back and enjoy the spoils. It’s like more of the same…but a lot more.

That doesn’t sound like winning.

The author covers a lot of different territory in the article that’s way outside my expertise, like the fight for economic equality. But his point here got my mind working.

For all of our daily efforts and the stress that we take on to meet our goals, sometimes we have to keep asking ourselves, now WHAT’S the prize exactly?

  • Of course you want to advance and do well and make your mark in your career.
  • You want to know that you’re leaving a powerful legacy at home for those who are coming behind you.

You’re not afraid to dig in and do the things that will make that happen.

But you also want to find some meaning and purpose in each day apart from the constant focus on the next lap coming up.

Why are we okay staying so busy running a race we barely understand and that doesn’t seem to really be getting us to a finish line?

I guess we magically think things will somehow fall into place while we’re busy taking care of stuff. I know I have to challenge myself with that one all the time.

You can find destination and purpose and run your race well. But you may have to make a few intentional tweaks.

The first thing to do is to let go of what’s not working for you.

I say this a lot because it’s true. 😂 It’s the first place to look.

What are you currently doing that is not working for you and not taking you where you want to go? Ask yourself what you are getting from that activity or that relationship.

I think this comes back to your values.

Where do you really want to go?

Values are lifelong pursuits. There’s no finish line with values because they’re ongoing as long as you’re breathing. So it’s really easy for your values to get overwhelmed by your more finite responsibilities.

If every day feels like you’re running up on the down escalator, look at your life and assess exactly where your values are being crowded out.

Make time for reflection and experience.

On those days when you go from thing, to thing, to thing, it’s hard to find time to stop and look back over your day.

  • Where were your wins?
  • What did you miss?
  • What can you give yourself credit for?

This is like watching films after a football game. Successful teams always go back and watch their performance. They look for improvement opportunities they couldn’t see while they were in the middle of it all on the field.

That’s their time to make changes that will help them improve their performance in the next game.

Find even just a few minutes every day to schedule this film time for yourself.

  • What should you be doing more of?
  • What should you reassess?
  • What should you just cut entirely?

Find that small nugget of time to put yourself through these paces. It may change your pace in the race.

Above all, stay in your lane.

A visiting pastor to our church spoke about this just a few weeks ago. If you run a race with your head turned sideways, always looking around to see what others are up to, you’ll lose.

And you might run into something you don’t expect. Your race is ahead of you and it’s your race. You can go as fast or as slow as you want.

It’s tempting to see where others are, but you don’t know what challenges they may be dealing with in their lane. Their position on the track has nothing to do with you.

Because you know your values, you know where you want your race to end up. How someone else runs their race won’t get you where you want to go.

Life doesn’t have to be an endless, terrible competition with no clear destination. You can run your race with vision, purpose and clarity.

You can realize your goals and dreams and live your values right to the finish line.

You can catch episodes of Mental Health Moment by visiting mymentalhealthmoment.com. Don’t forget to subscribe to Mental Health Moment on Amazon Alexa, Apple podcast, Google podcast and Spotify. Just search for “Mental Health Moment with Lori Miller.”

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If you’re STILL wanting for more, you can find articles and videos about stress and mental health, by visiting my website at LoriMiller.me.

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