I don’t run much anymore. This isn’t by choice.

I’d still be out there pounding wicked long miles in scorching humidity if it weren’t for a knee injury I sustained while doing, of all things, karaoke. But I shrug it off.

Because even if I had a chance to redo my off-key performance, I’d still go through with it. I’d say yes to the DJ as he hands me the mic. I just probably wouldn’t choose Smells Like Teen Spirit again.

Maybe choose something by Neil Young or James Taylor. You know, something the crowd can sing along to. Sway back and forth with their arms around each others’ waists. Something to bring everyone together between sappy country western songs.

On second thought, screw that. I’d pick Nirvana again. Just refrain from the stage dive that did me in.


[1-5-23 NOTE: Some of the views expressed in this section, specifically the positive comments about Elon Musk, no longer reflect my views and opinions. People change. Perspectives change. And though I cringe at how gushingly I wrote about him back in 2017, I am also pleased with my personal evolution. Thanks again for reading!]

Yesterday I watched a TED conversation between Chris Anderson and Elon Musk. Besides being well-spoken and wildly handsome, Elon’s intellect makes his words mesmerizing.

My brother shared the link on his Facebook page. I came across it while taking an internet break. Before I knew it, 40 minutes had come and gone and I had to leave—I wanted to hit a happy hour where the $3 pints make me feel like I’m making money.

But I hadn’t finished my work, which bummed me out a bit.

I got hooked early in the interview when Elon said, “There have to be reasons every day that make you want to live.”

I’m a sucker for things that benefit my work and my soul.

I drove to the bar asking myself, What did I do today that makes me want to live? You know what I came up with? Discovery.

A few weeks back I had the flu. Like always, it started with a low-grade fever and a sore throat. Then, depending on how well I take care of myself, it either disappears or knocks me on my butt.

I joke that’s it psychosomatic. Most of my ailments are.

For example, way back when, during a particularly trying time in my life, I was sick as ever. Like, in bed for more than a month. When time came for me to take a long-planned backpacking trip to Baja, the flu subsided. Upon my return home, I got sick again. For more than another month.

But this time around I nipped it. As soon as the symptoms arose, I took an herbal elixir from the co-op, ate an apple, and went to bed early. Seemed to work. But within a couple days it was back and I had to cancel appointments.

For a week I sat on the couch and watched documentaries. One about Vikings was particularly intriguing. I hydrated, fed my fever, and popped cough drops like candy.

I grew nostalgic for the past. For a long ago trip to Ireland. For my penchant for archaeology. I was in full-blown appreciation mode. For discovery.

And a week or so ago, when I finally got better, my motivation seemed revamped.

Last week I wrote a blog post about doing what you love. Trust me, I was projecting.

I believe the things we do need to be valuable. Not in the dollars sense, but in the soul satisfaction sense. Because life’s too short to mess around with anything else.

So yeah, these days my knee’s messed up. But before it sidelined me it helped me do what I adored—run. I earned fancy belt buckles that give heft to a transformative experience. The buckles are like a book in that sense.

My jacked up knee is a sign of good use. Something to honor.

On Tuesday I dusted off my road bike and rode it for the first time since knee surgery. I’ve come a long way since the days when I’d make fun of spandex-clad cyclists sipping cappuccinos at a rest stop. It’s ironic that I have become one of them.

I can’t lie though…I love this bike.

But make no mistake, I ride for the workout. And a workout I get.

As I zipped through a flat stretch of my 20-mile route, I passed a group of men clearing debris from the roadside. They wore straw hats and matching shirts. The back of their shirts said, “I’m proud of the work I do.” We waved like friends.

I thought, Maybe they’re proud, maybe they’re not.

But that glance got me thinking about what I do, and I pedaled faster than ever. Wind in my face, pollen on my tongue, large bugs zinging off my chest.

During this final sprint, I realized my knee hadn’t felt so good in forever. Since that night when…oh well, whatever, never mind.

Tom Griffen is a highly sought after presenter and educator whose message and impactuntitled-596 transcends industries. He’ll help you (and your team) alter your personal and business narrative in a way that adds joy, satisfaction, and overall success to your life. Contact him to make the change you’re ready to make.

Coming soonNo Plan B, Tom’s book on altering the customer service story you’ve been telling your customers for years.

Also…More to come on Tom’s 2018 storytelling walk across the USA!

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