Jimmy Johnson was once the coach of the Dallas Cowboys. Reporters asked him why he always drafted the fastest runners available. His reply, “You can’t coach speed.”

So what if you’re set on a dream, but your obstacle is that there are many who are better than you in your particular endeavor? Do you give up the game?

Edward de Bono, the originator of Lateral Thinking, wrote a terrific book that you should read called Sur-Petition. Essentially, the word competition is a derivative of two Latin words, cum – “to be together” and petītiō – “to seek”.  When you are in competition with anyone, you are basically saying, “Let me compete under the same rules and I’ll beat my adversaries.” Sur-Petition means to elevate above being together, or re-writing the rules and creating a new game.  Game changers have always ruled the world. Armies have raced to improve their technological advantage since tribes were slinging stones. Calculators replaced the abacus. Music and video devices have morphed from analog to digital, until Apple transformed things again by creating a lifestyle-delivery system. You as an individual should be unique in who you are, and by definition, this means doing things a different way. It also doesn’t mean that you have to compete like corporations do.  Still, your fingerprint on life should be unique.

You don’t have to be the fastest to win the race–just look at the tortoise and the hare. But you should still reinvent yourself from time to time and focus on an area where you can make a difference.  This could mean dominance in a particular geographic region; it could mean excelling by helping others in some way; or it could mean being a stealth entrepreneur using niche or guerilla marketing rather than go head-to-head with a bigger organization. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it. After all, David did beat Goliath. But with individuals, your story isn’t necessarily about winning a race, but about being on a journey and doing what you do uniquely well. Perhaps the best stories ever told are well-kept secrets because they were never published. But they’re out there—I guarantee it. Any story about living life in crescendo is worth hearing. What’s yours?

Take the TEST–Are you Living your Life in Crescendo?

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