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I Never Stopped Racing

It feels like I have been racing since I was born. Anecdotally I've heard from my parents that I may have just skipped walking and went straight to running. There is something very interesting about this.

Even when I think back on my childhood I remember how I started building the habit of running to get anywhere in the house rather than walking to it. Come to think of it, the first time I walked to go grab something in the place I lived rather than running to it was when I moved into college.

However, when I would return home my same practice of running upstairs would come back. A few of my friends from college probably could tell you how they even have seen me jogging across the streets of northern Chicago to and from my apartment when I had errands to run.

My whole life I feel as if I'm not only "running" but I have been "racing". For those of you that don't know, I was a track and field/cross country runner for the majority of my life. I started at the age of 11 and only stopped at age 23 when I finished my MBA at Loyola University Chicago.

While the official timed racing has stopped, I don't feel as if I've stopped racing. A big reason for this is that my whole life I've wanted to make the most of each day. That life philosophy interestingly aligns with stoicism and a popular Latin phrase.

Memento mori (Remember You must Die)

Now I know what you think when you read that quote, jeez man. Why does something so morbid mean so much to you? Well, as Ryan Holiday eloquently puts it, "It's not about being morbid, it's about creating a sense of urgency, clarity, and priority."

Essentially every day I live with a sense of urgency. That's why when people ask me, "Why do you get up at 5 AM every day?" or "Why don't you just take a break?" I often feel very justified in saying "Because I want to" or "Because that's what I need to do".

Funny enough those two things mean something very similar to me at the moment. James Clear talks about it in his book Atomic Habits but essentially I have an identity of being that person who is constantly creating and trying to improve upon their craft.

I need to do it because, to be frank, businesses started from the ground up grow through constant work and innovation, however, I also want to do it. While some of these things may seem like "work" they are pretty enjoyable. If I had 40 hours a week to do all of this I tell you what, it would feel a lot less like a constant hustle.

But remembering memento mori helps me have a constant sense of urgency and leads me down the path that I'm currently on. For those of you looking to start making some serious changes in your life I recommend you take this piece of stoic wisdom and run with it. Both figuratively and literally.

Have an awesome week!

  • Demetri

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