Tyler McCandless: Focus On The Journey, Not The Destination To Succeed - R4R 184
Mindfulness. Meditation. Being present. Enjoying the journey. These are the trending approaches to everyday life, and for good reason. We don’t live on the podium; we live on the street, the trails, the concrete, the pavement. If life is to be enjoyed, shouldn’t we try to enjoy as much of it as possible?
I’ll Be Happy When...
Have you noticed that life can often be a string of when’s and what if’s? For example, “I’ll be happy when I get my driver’s license,” turns into “I’ll be happy when I graduate.” From there it’s, “I’ll be happy when I graduate,” or get married, or have kids, or when my kids leave the house.
Most likely, we don’t notice all these thoughts, and so we live from podium to podium and miss out on so many joyous moments. Not to mention, what if the podium moments don’t come? Living from disappoint to disappoint is that much worse. But if we learn to enjoy the journey, the end results have less weight, and the we can soak up the process.
This doesn’t mean we ought to do away with goals. In fact, it’s the working toward each goal that can bring so much joy. The direction we head is still important, even if the destination itself is trivial. The daily effort to get there probably brings you more joy than you realize, so let’s tune into it.
This week’s podcast guest is a fabulous example of setting big goals and enjoying the journey. Tyler McCandless has had his fair share of podium moments—finishing second in the 2017 USA Marathon Championships and winning several national marathons. He is also a Meteorology PhD Scientist, a husband, and a father. However, the accolades don’t do it for Tyler, it’s the work in achieving the goal that brings him joy.
Sharing Your Goals
Tyler is an advocate of letting others know about your goals and dreams, even ones that seem impossible to achieve. Joy comes not only from working toward your goals, but sharing them with others.
Making your goals known is not a popular suggestion. In fact, you can find many opinions that tell you to keep your goals to yourself. There is some reasoning behind it such as avoiding negative comments you may hear if you share your goals. This negativity can definitely dissuade you from going after your dreams.
So why should you consider sharing your goals? And if you do, how should you go about it?
Think about the people you consider your friends and peers. If they told you about their goals, would you support them? If they struggled through them, would you give words of encouragement? I assume the answer is yes. On top of that, think about someone you consider an equal. If that person achieved something great, how much more would you believe in yourself, knowing that you could do great things as well?
That’s one of the biggest advantages of sharing. You can inspire the people around you. “You can set internal goals and never share them, but I personally believe that’s a little bit cowardly,” says Tyler, “You want to share to inspire people [and] to have people hold you accountable.”
It’s important to understand that the people you inspire will be different from the people your parent inspires, or a professional athlete inspires, or your child inspires. We all have people we look up to, and we all have people that are watching us. Simply sharing, whatever your level of influence or achievement you believe you have, will inspire others and keep you accountable to your goals.
When You Fail
If you are working your hardest, it’s not a matter of if you fail, it’s a matter of when. You don’t find your potential until you go over the edge, and failing teaches you much more than winning. Tyler learned this from his coach shortly after setting a PR. “I think you are missing the boat,” his coach said at their first meeting after his PR. At that time, everything Tyler was doing, he was succeeding at, including every single training. His coach wanted to see him push himself to the limit.
Embrace failure, share your goals, and enjoy the journey. Each one of these will pull you to new levels, inspire others, and put a smile on your face.
Tyler’s Favorite Altra Shoes:
Thank you to my wonderful sponsors Altra, Generation UCAN, and Tracksmith for sponsoring this episode of the Running for Real Podcast.
I am thrilled to announce my exciting partnership with Altra, as an athlete and a sponsorship, I have loved their shoes as well as what this company stands for. So as a special treat to Running4Real listeners they are going to give away a pair of shoes every month this year!
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Generation UCAN has been with me through a lot of my races and in my every day life. This product has been my go to nutritional product for marathon training and racing when I was getting all of my best times. It gives you a steady energy without the sugar, so there are no sugar high or crashes!
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Tracksmith is a Boston based running clothing company that truly cares about the quality and care of their running clothes. Running can be a demanding lifestyle for our clothes, they definitely go through the wear and tear to where we may be purchasing new clothes constantly. Tracksmith designers truly work with the finest materials and think of you as a runner in mind with spots for your keys, phone, and fuel.
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Thank you to Tyler, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the show.