Dancing with DNF


You are so going to thank me for this one. You’ll feel better about all those DNF projects, all those DNF relationships all those DNF diets.

What is DNF?

Did Not Finish.

It’s my “time” for the Chicago Marathon. In 2011, I trained for months running along the Chicago lakefront. Then I injured my knee. I was blessed with one of the best physical therapists in the city and learned so much about taking care of myself. I asked him, “Can I just go to the race and run for 10 minutes?”

I had my heart set on at least starting the marathon.

He answered, “Sure, you can run for as long as you feel good.”

I ran for 14 miles. So I did the Chicago half marathon. I only had a babysitter for three hours and I needed six hours to complete the marathon. (Yes, I chose to start in the last corral.) Just as I neared my neighborhood, I turned off of the course and ran home. The photo below was shot on my balcony, sweaty and full of joy for trying.

Have you finished every project that you’ve ever started? How about high school or college? How about marriage? Children? A business venture? Did you have plans that ended in DNF?

DNF is way better than DNS –- Did Not Start.

Recently, on a sad morning, I was speaking to Amheric, a member of my personal board of directors and an accomplished marathoner. Towards the end of the conversation, when I was feeling better, I mentioned that I had been contemplating the benefits of DNF. I’m paraphrasing his response below:

So much of life is just an illusion made up of our thoughts. As far as I’m concerned, you’re only DNF when you’re dead.”

Whoa. That’s some good stuff!

So my friends, I’m going to give you some gifts that will get you to your good place. They will help you to start what’s most important to you. I have personally tested past versions of each one of these FREE resources.

1. Start a “stop doing” list to help you focus on what’s important. Here’s a helpful guide in a vintage blog post from Danielle LaPorte (check out her hyperlinks throughout as there’s an excellent article by Jim Collins, author of Good to Great.) Her book, The Fire Starter Sessions is now out in paperback ($15 or less) and can be a very helpful traveling partner if you are figuring out what to start and stop in your personal and professional life—it’s great for entrepreneurs. There are also lots of free resources online related to the book. Here’s a PDF of a workbook to accompany The Fire Starter Sessions as well as short “Circle of Fire” videos to guide you along the way. Try the free stuff to see if it resonates with you.

2. Attend the Right-Brainers in Business Video Summit. Mark your calendar, April 7-18, for one of my favorite virtual events of the year! Wait! You’ve never attended a video summit? It’s a wonderful event because you can do it on your own time. Here’s the deal: Jennifer Lee, author of the brand new book Building Your Business the Right-Brain Way is a brilliant creative who generously shares interviews with successful entrepreneurs. You can watch them live or in their recorded version during the week of the summit. I won a scholarship last year to join her post-summit Premium Group and it changed my life. I gained authentic connections to people who inspire me to pursue my dreams and take real action steps to fulfill them. Sign up for the free summit here. Even if you can’t view every speaker, give yourself this gift or at least share it with someone you love. You do not need to consider yourself creative in order to enjoy this. There are lots of “left-brained” folks who participate.

3. Sign up for the free 21-Day Mediation on tapping into flow in your life with Deepak Chopra and Oprah starting on April 14th. I have participated in two of these free meditations and they have served as anchors and personal training sessions for my busy, busy mind. Tapping into your flow gets you to a point where things work and when they don’t, you surrender and stay calm. It’s like when you hit a green light intersection after intersection. Or when you have to wait in line and learn to just chill. That’s tapping into your flow. It’s not complicated. Once you sign up, you’ll be sent an email every day with a guided meditation. I generally meditate in the morning. It takes about 15 minutes. And don’t stress if you read this late or you can’t do all of the mediations. It works if you are slightly undisciplined as well as if you participate rigorously. You can’t beat that kind of flexibility! Sign up here.

Raise a glass to all the times you DNF’d. It means you tried.

Sending you love, courage and a calendar. Pick some dates to take action on something important to you today!