I grew up in a house where peace meant saying and doing what you thought your parents wanted to hear and see from you. I have experienced many managers throughout my working career who believed peace came from expecting you to speak and act like you thought they wanted to hear. What this produces is people who are constantly trying to figure out how to please the person in charge so they can live in peace. What that produces is people who are constantly embroiled in never really knowing what is the right thing to say or do. I remember when I was training for my first marathon – The Marine Corps Marathon – and a young Marine and I decided to train together. I really took it seriously and was laser like focused on sticking to the daily training plan. He liked beer and checking out girls. So we tried to get together at least twice a week to run and when we did he was always lagging a bit behind and would blame it on his shoes, a pulled muscle or whatever he thought I wanted to hear. All I really wanted was that he get serious about training and put his best efforts forward but he was much like me in that he was trying so hard to please everybody around him that he couldn’t really look into the real him and just be himself with no thought of who he thought I wanted him to be.
This is something that plagues us all because we are part of a system that rewards good behavior that is determined by being who the person handing out the rewards wants you to be. Jeremiah 1:5 says “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart;” If you’re still looking for a reason to stop trying to please others and get off this insane treadmill of trying to be what some “other” person wants you to be step back and realize one thing. You were uniquely formed and set apart long before your mom and dad even started dating. That means that the Creator of the universe was thinking about your unique qualities, characteristics and behavior long before you even started running around this incredible world. So why are you wasting so much time trying to fit into what some “other” person wants to form you to be so you can be rewarded with a pay raise, a better grade in a classroom or simply peace at home? Why not begin to act on that unique person you are and be wildly successful at being you?
Living an ultra life means you do not have to please anybody to run your own race, it means discovering the real you and then being that person.