Turtle and Rabbit

Focusing on Your Personal Race

Recently I was reminded of the many ways the American culture serves to illustrate how each citizen plays an equally critical role in making the country as strong and productive as it is. From the corporate CEO that leads the development of products that improve our lives to the custodian that sweeps the floors at night so the workers have a safe and sanitary work environment, neither calling is more important than the other. The company, and America, would cease to operate effectively without either position, or the various jobs between them, for that matter. Whether we are currently in our zone (the “oh, that’s why I’m here” place) or are still traveling towards it, every occupation (paid or not) can provide a platform to bless others. 

Case in point – Some years ago I took a road trip across America. My first evening found me driving a dirt road on the outskirts of Death Valley, California. At one point I felt led to stop and simply get out of my car. After a few minutes of listening to crickets and miscellaneous night crawlers, I got back into the car and proceeded down a road that no two-wheel drive passenger vehicle should attempt to drive. The words of a junior high teacher went through my mind: “You can drive through anything if you go slow enough.” I realized this was similar to, “You can get though any storm if you hang on to God and just breathe.” As the night continued, I observed numerous field mice race across the road in front of the car’s headlights. I also saw a few jackrabbits. Needless to say, the rabbits outran the mice. Life is often like that. There are those that seem to arrive at life’s destinations far quicker than others. But the interesting observation was that both the rabbits and mice got where they were headed by simply being the creatures they were uniquely created to be. Perhaps we human “racers” can learn a few things from rabbits and mice. Perhaps we are called to focus on “who and what” we are meant to be rather than attempting to be something or someone else.

Each of us has a unique role to play in life, a special gift, talent, or ability that only we can offer the world. The aim is to identify and surrender to it and to apply it to the fullest. There are times when we may veer off track due to fear or uncertainty as we incorrectly allow our attention to be focused on someone else's gifts and abilities or simply fail to acknowledge those God has already placed in us. When we act in this manner, we miss the opportunity to bless others by simply being who God has designed us to be. It is at times such as these that we must summon-up the courage and self-discipline to remain focused on discovering and utilizing the gifts meant exclusively for us. When we use the abilities and talents God has given us, we find we are truly operating in our “God given gifts” zone.

The bottom line is that - within God’s economy - the excellence achieved by the CEO is no greater than that achieved by the custodian when each is operating within their calling. No matter where you may fall on the corporate or household organizational structure chart, please don’t allow doubt, fear, or others to keep you from being the very best you today. After all, this is your personal race and yes, you’ve got the inside track; you’ve got this one! Today, please choose to use your personal power, love, and sound mind to simply do YOU…after all, that’s how excellence happens.


Excellence At Work with Dr. Marilyn combines faith and tenacity to help individuals achieve excellence through keynote speaking engagements, individual and corporate coaching, training, meeting facilitation, and retreats. Whether working with an individual client or a team, the focus is on the achievement of personal and professional goals that facilitate individuals’ abilities to create positive outcomes within their households, organizations, places of worship, and/or communities.  Through motivational speaking, life coaching, and corporate interventions, Dr. Marilyn has developed a “just do it” style that motivates and encourages clients to achieve higher levels of personal and professional effectiveness. She is the author of Running Away for Three Weeks, an inspirational autobiography designed to prepare readers for maximum effectiveness in the workplace; creator of Discovering Your Workplace Gifts, an assessment to help individuals identify the gifts they were motivated to discover in Running; and author of Six Steps to Excellence for Leaders, a roadmap to personal and professional excellence for all leaders.