I’ve never really thought of it this way, but I suppose there really are three speeds of life – Idle, Cruising Speed, and Full Throttle! As you might expect of a Type A entrepreneur who has been honored as one of the “Top 40 Under 40”executives of the year for the past 2 years, I tend to run at Full Throttle much of the time. This serves me – and our firm – quite well at times. At other times though, not so much…
The upside of running at Full Throttle is that I get a lot done! I pour tremendous amounts of energy into serving my clients and running – and growing – my business. That last part is key because even when things are going well, I still drive that extra mile to develop new marketing campaigns or position the firm to take on more work. When I’m not doing all of that, I pour tremendous amounts of energy into being the greatest dad in the world. I don’t always fulfill my intentions in either arena. That rarely has me slow down to a more comfortable Cruising Speed though. If anything, it has me rev my engine even harder to achieve my personal objectives.
For better or worse, Full Throttle isn’t sustainable – or even practical – all of the time. It just isn’t! Eventually, all cars run out of gas. Before that, they might even run out of road. So why is it that it always seems to take my physical health and medical practitioners to remind me of this?
Yes, for those of you who work closely with me or are my friends on Facebook, you know that I’m finally coming off a three-week bout with bronchitis, a sinus infection, and since that apparently wasn’t enough a bacterial infection from all the antibiotics I took to cure the first two. When I drive too hard and too fast for too long, my body simply shuts down. I guess it’s not too different than blowing the engine and needing a tow back to the garage. It’s probably just as costly too!
This clearly isn’t the healthiest way to live, so it’s time I start paying more attention to my body and the road signs that keep telling me to slow down. I don’t race in the Indy 500, so I clearly don’t have to run at Full Throttle all the time. And even if I were a Nascar driver, I would only be driving Full Throttle for short sprints during the race, not every mile of road I drive.
Picking a steady Cruising Speed is much healthier and safer, and in the long run far more productive and sustainable, than driving fast all the time. I just lost close to three weeks of productivity at work and close to three weeks of “fun” with my kids at home thanks to my efforts to run at Full Throttle for too long. As the fall weather turns to winter and the common cold and flu bugs cycle around, I’m committed to making sure that doesn’t happen again. Life is too short. Success isn’t defined just by winning one race. Besides, I have too much I want to accomplish at the end of the season. What about you?