Today is June 19 and the Navigate the Chaos question to consider is “how often do you trust your way of doing?” Today’s reflection post is a difficulty one since almost everyone you come across while traveling your path will tell you what they think, whether you ask their opinion or not. People are happy to tell you how you should navigate the chaos. They, after all, have the answers.
When someone tells you, they have the secret to success, that their way is the right way, rest assured that is the exact time you should trust your gut and your way of doing.
While most people have good intentions, some want to see you fail for they never figured out how to navigate the chaos so why should you? Cliff Young trusted his way of doing and went on to complete one of the most physically demanding competitions.
At 61 years of age, Cliff Young, an Australian potato farmer with a desire to run a long-distance race, decided to enter the Sydney to Melbourne Ultra Marathon, an 875 kilometre (544 mile) race in 1983. The race organizers, worried about his health, asked if he'd ever run a long-distance race before. He said no. They asked him what made him think he could run this race and he said, "I'm a farmer. Once I spent three days running non-stop with no sleep, rounding up my sheep before a major storm came in, so I think I can do this."
The race organizers still thought he should stay out of the competition. With some more coaxing they finally acquiesced, and when everyone took running fast, Cliff ran slowly. Young didn't know he was supposed to run for 16 hours and sleep for 8, and repeat that process to the end, so when everyone went to sleep he was so far behind no one was awake to tell him to go to bed, and they were up and gone before he got there.
This went on for two days, but on the third day, while everyone was sleeping, Cliff ran by them again, with no one telling him to sleep. He claimed afterwards that during the race, he imagined he was running after sheep and trying to outrun a storm.
The Westfield run took him five days, 15 hours, and four minutes, almost two days faster than the previous record for any run between Sydney and Melbourne. Just as Young ran the ultra-marathon the way that was right for him, Fred Rogers created television programming for children in his own unique way.
From 1968 to 2001, Fred Rogers, the host of PBS's Mister Rogers' Neighborhood treated children like intelligent adults, forging millions of meaningful relationships through his gentle demeanor and compassionate approach to education.
Rogers's career and legacy is the subject of the 2018 documentary Won't You Be My Neighbor. Directed by Morgan Neville, the Oscar-winning director of 2013's 20 Feet From Stardom, the film delves into Rogers's pioneering educational TV work and his focus on understanding others' emotions.
In his trademark cardigan sweater and sneakers, Rogers established himself as a unique voice, friendly authority, and kind heart on the link between emotion and learning. Although Rogers died in 2003, his lessons about communication and personal growth continue to inspire educators around the world.
One of the many songs Rogers wrote for his show included the lyrics, "I like you as you are, exactly and precisely, I think you turned out nicely, and I like you as you are." For Rogers, spreading a message of acceptance and inclusivity was key to personal development. "I don't think anyone can grow unless he really is accepted as he is," Rogers says in the film.
How often do you remind yourself that your way of doing something is right for you?
If people fail to accept you and your way of doing something, how do you respond?
How do you respond to others when they offer a way of doing something different than your way?