Discover more from True Wealth
Embracing A Risk Of Failure
Coming Full Circle
My family does “better” than me in most dimensions of performance. This would have been difficult for my younger self to understand. As a young man I often found myself competing with everyone, all the time.
With the benefit of time, I’ve come to see the role of leadership as embodying values, rather than leading performance.
This is for the best.
The younger members of the team have a whole lot more energy than me.
Internal vs External Success
In my financial and athletic careers, I became better than I ever imagined possible.
I left both careers on my own terms but, with sport, I failed to achieve my ultimate goal. My sporting “failure” was a result of defining my goals relative to others.
Continuous self-improvement => internal goal
Beat all comers => external goal
Looking back, this is interesting to me.
Conventional success didn’t trap me. Despite living in a money-focused culture (Hong Kong) I was able to free myself from the lure of more.
Competitive sport, however, placed me on a treadmill of ever-increasing goals. I became greedy for athletic success.
One of the lessons I teach my kids is to watch out for the trap of letting something external direct our lives.
Our biggest successes are invisible, sometimes even to ourselves. They are internal. Being able to see, then act on, my “athletic greed” was transformative.
When Outcome Is Uncertain
I’m writing this in my hotel room in Stockholm. It’s my first “race week” in over a decade. Soon I will be swimming & running down the Swedish Archipelago. When this piece publishes, the event will be over.
One year ago, competing in the event would have been impossible. I lacked the physical capacities required to swim & run the distance (70 km).
Two years ago, I lacked the mental capabilities. I was scared to change my life.
When was the last time you did something where outcome was uncertain?
It was a lot longer than 10 years for me.
Over the last 12 months, I’ve been working on this question without realizing it.
But where to focus? The original theme of this series.
What one thing, if it happened, would change everything?
In my case, with stable marriage and family, the one change was getting back in shape. Then using that fitness to take a risk with uncertain outcome.
The change, getting in shape, isn’t the whole story. If we look deeper then we might find something else.
…and we are starting to come full circle.
Over the last 7 weeks, we’ve been exploring lessons about getting our lives, relationships and families in order. It’s a long, challenging process. To stay the course, we need energy and purpose.
In 2023, I found a lot of energy, and a renewed purpose with my return to racing. That’s the story I’m writing. What’s your story going to be?
About this journey:
Don’t Play It Safe - a risk of failure is engaging.
Gamble Time - not money, not an enviable family life, not a marriage. You’ve worked hard to create your life. Protect it.
True Wealth is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.