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Do What Works to Get Results

Posted May 14, 2012 by Marcy Twete in On the Ladder

Just over two years ago, I began my journey as a runner. In Spring of 2010, I ran my first 5K, a feat I never believed I could accomplish, but did. I trained for that run in my trusty Nike Free shoes, not made for running, but had been my workout shoes for a year or two and never had a problem. But between running that 5K and running the Twin Cities 10 Mile in the fall, multiple pieces of running advice led me to seek out different – supposedly better – running shoes. And while I successfully trained for and ran that 10 mile, my journey as a runner has been difficult ever since.

As I’m now training for a half marathon (the third I’ve registered for, but the first I’ll actually run), I realized my shoes – these amazing shoes so many people told me I had to have – weren’t working for me. I realized Nike Free had come out with a specifically designed running shoe – Nike Free Run, and I thought, “Well, let’s give it a shot.” So here they are, my brand new Nike Free Runs.

The day I bought these, I immediately trekked down to the treadmill in my apartment building and ran the fastest mile I’ve run in years. I finally felt like I had my feet back under me. And my only regret was the time I spent suffering through shoes that felt clunky and uncomfortable for me just because someone said they were the perfect shoes for me.

Why, you might ask, am I telling you about my running shoes in a post about goal setting? Here’s why:

Every newspaper in the world has an advice column, every blog in the world gives out advice like candy, and that combined with our parents, our bosses, and our friends mean advice is all around us and everyone has an opinion about how each of us should be living our lives and what paths we should take for success – in our lives and in our careers. And while we spend our lives wanting to take the advice of others and often wanting to please others, what you’ll learn in every situation personal and professional is that you have to do what works for you, not for anyone else.

Take the advice of others, listen carefully, but at the end of the day, if it works for you, it works for you. Whether it’s the shoes on my feet, the job I choose to accept or deny, where I choose to live, or any other host of important or unimportant decisions in life, you are the greatest expert on Earth about you. And what you know works for you is the most important thing you can do.

Tell me about a time you’ve listened to yourself or your body successfully when all others were giving you contradictory advice?

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."