Racing YOUR Race, a Story about Phillip
“Don’t wreck your life trying to get in somebody else’s lane.” — Robert Madu
“If you’re constantly enamored by someone else’s story, guess what? You’re going to forget to write your own.” — Tim Grover
“Each of us is inevitable; each of us limitless — each of us with his or her right upon the earth; each of us allowed the eternal purports of the earth; each of us here as divinely as any is here.” — Walt Whitman
“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success” — Albert Schweitzer
“Sow a thought reap an action, sow an action reap a habit, sow a habit reap a character, sow a character reap a destiny.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
A story about Phillip
At 35, Phillip was disappointed.
He wasn’t married and hadn’t even had more than a few dates with anyone in over 5 years.
Once a rising star in the medicinal research field, he’s now been stagnant and works for a large corporation that he thinks is boring and stifling opportunity as well as growth.
His friends have told him that he might be depressed, he’s been so down lately they say, he should just be happy with where he’s at they say.
Stephanie’s voice rings in his head, “Come on Phillip! Smile! You make more money than me.”
But that never makes Phillip any happier, he feels as though he isn’t living up to his potential and he surely is not happy with himself, he’s always been his own biggest critic.
One day his car doesn’t start. He really needs to get to work though so he calls a ride, today it’s Lyft, maybe tomorrow he’ll use Uber.
He slumps down in the seat when he gets in and his driver, Fredrick, asks him, “Wow. Why the long face bud? I’m sure you’re not an 80-year-old Lyft driver like me, you should be grateful!”
Wow… Phillip thought to himself, don’t you just love it when people tell you what you should be doing? But, to entertain the old gentleman, whom Phillip believed to have achieved less of his potential of himself, he began to answer, “It’s just that my friends keep telling me to be satisfied where I am.”
“And that’s a bad thing?” the driver asks while peering in the rearview mirror to see his passenger’s reaction.
Phillip thinks to himself for a moment before speaking. He goes, “Well, yes, I think so, I know I have a greater potential, do you know what I mean?”
Fredrick chuckles, “Look bud. I’m 80, you’re what, under 40 years old? Come on now. I know exactly what you mean, it’s the reason I got new friends 5 years ago; I finally realized my issue.”
“Wait, new friends? Why would you do that?” as he tries to find a reason he would replace his friends like Stephanie, Roger, Carlos, and Paula.
“Yes, but of course my friend, I want to be surrounded by people who lifted me up. By the time I was 75, all my friends were talking about was dying, that’s not what I want to be around. It’s just the law of attraction. I can’t expect to live until past 90 with friends who are preaching death.”
Phillip hesitates, “So you’re thinking that my friends are doing that to me?”
Frederick laughs again, “Well, bud, we have about 10 minutes left before I’m at your destination, why don’t you think about it for a few minutes and let me know what you think.”
And they ride along in silence.
As they ride, Phillip thinks about each of his 4 closest friends. Well, what kind of energy are they giving me, he ponders…
After he thinks for a few minutes, the driver interrupts his train of thought, “Alright bud, we’re about to pull up to your spot, what have you thought about?”
Phillip replies, “A few things actually, I’ll share what stood out about each of them and I’d appreciate your perspective in response.”
“Perfect, let’s do it,” Frederick replies.
“Stephanie, first, she is always comical, she laughs a lot. Really, she’s always laughing, but it’s usually about someone else. Wow, maybe she’s not confident in herself so she feels a need to bring others down to uplift herself. I actually can’t remember the last time she complimented me, not even after I got a raise 9 months ago.
“Wow, she’s always laughing and joking but never compliments you? Sorry to hear that, thanks for sharing with me, who’s next?” Frederick questions gently.
“Next is Roger. Now, I love Roger, he’s like a brother to me but, maybe not the right kind. We always do things that he wants to do and really… his goals seem to be quite different from mine. He’s already at his ideal life, he works 40 hours a week and makes decent money, he watches sports and drinks beer on the weekend. I like those things but I desire more, like a family for one,” Phillip reflects.
Frederick laughs again, “You? A family? Are you married son?”
He answers, “Why no, I’m not, and actually I haven’t had a date in a while. So that makes me think of Carlos, he’s always dating new women, I don’t want that to be me. He’s all about ‘enjoying life’ or whatever that is supposed to mean, I just want to help people. Wow… maybe Carlos is not as great of a friend as I thought he was.”
“Perhaps you’re right there. Anyone else that you’d consider one of your best friends?” the driver asks with a smile.
Quickly Phillip says with an eye roll, “Paula. She’s great and all, but she’s always talking about her kids and there is always something going on with her that she’s complaining about.”
Frederick answers, “So what do you want me to say to you bud? It sounds like these four people really aren’t pushing you towards your goals or giving you the energy you desire. I know you care about them, but maybe you can limit the time you spend with them and increase the positive energy that you get from other people. I know that has increased my happiness, and you seem like a bright gentleman. What does your wife think?”
After chuckling, Phillip answers, “You see, that’s the thing. I don’t have one yet.”
“And you continue to go out with Carlos? I don’t believe that you’ll quite find a woman you desire when you spend time going out with him no will you?” Frederick asks him.
Phillip pauses, “You’re right. I need better energy in my life. I know that’s what I need to accomplish my goals. I believe so much in myself and I need people who are going to believe in me too. I know that my time is coming.”
Frederick closes their conversation by sharing Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. That’s Philippians 1:6, remember, God isn’t finished with you yet, be patient, and stay blessed.”
“You are never more successful than when you make your plans, advance your cause, and overcome your obstacles on your knees in prayer. The leader who advances on his knees need never retreat.” — Charles Swindoll