I heard Lou Holtz (former Notre Dame football coach) speak a bunch of years ago and he said:
“Everything in life is either progressing or regressing. The worst thing you can ever do is to try to ‘maintain’ something.”
I’m not sure why, but that line has always stuck with me.
In fact, if I look at my life and think about the times that I’ve been unmotivated (yes, it DOES happen to me too!) and have just felt kind of…BLAH…it has almost always perfectly coincided with a time where I wasn’t challenging myself to grow.
When I say this, you probably think I’m talking about running 100 miles or blasting back and forth through the Grand Canyon.
Yes, the challenge for growth can be physical.
But it can also be mental. Or emotional.
For example, last week I spoke for a fantastic group of project managers in Bloomington, IL. When I looked at the travel logistics of parking at MSP airport, flying to Chicago, renting a car and then driving to Bloomington, it would have only saved me about an hour from just driving my own vehicle.
So, I drove…about 6.5 hours each way.
I’ve never had a problem with long road trips because any time that I’m going to do it, I use it as a learning opportunity. I decide what I’m going to learn beforehand and then pick out my podcasts (or, sometimes, audiobooks) that I’ll listen to.
In this case, I spent the time learning about creating better keynote speeches, marketing to the “smallest viable audience,” essential sales skills in the modern economy and cutting edge strategies for biohacking your health.
I’m well aware that these things may be as exciting to you as watching paint dry. That’s not the point. Whether it’s gardening or goal setting, it has never been easier to access information wherever you want it, whenever you want it.
Even more astounding, I learned speaking from a former Toastmasters world champion, marketing from a person who has one of the top blogs on the internet, sales from a best selling author and global consultant in B2B and retail, and biohacking from a crazy self-experimenter.
Want to know what all this cost me?
You could say that it cost me my time, but that was going to go by either way. Why not maximize it?
This is truly a slight edge principle and is LESS about only learning during long road trips…
…and MORE about the little, tiny, seemingly insignificant decisions we make every day that stack up enormously over time.
Think about the time you spend commuting, working out, cleaning your house, or walking your dog (as examples). That time IS going to go by either way, and if you choose to utilize only a fraction of it, the results will still be extraordinary…and probably life changing.
Read to lead. Learn to earn. Know to grow.