Photo credit: William Stitt,

The Real Secret to Doing It All

I signed up to be part of a 12-person team to run the Ragnar road relay this August. I’ve been an inconsistent runner over the years. However, something changed as soon as I committed to the race. I started running a lot more. More on this in a sec.

Inspired by my relay, I’m re-reading one of my favorite books called, Born to Run. It’s a fantastic book that (convincingly) suggests that the distinct evolutionary advantage for humans is our ability to run – specifically, run for steady and long periods of time.

So why is it that so many of us loathe running?

The book explores many reasons for this tumultuous relationship, but I’m going to focus on one. You see, our bodies are, literally, built to run. We have the hardware that all running mammals have such as achilles tendons, glutes, and a nuchal ligament. Yet our minds are masters of efficiency. The mind will work to compartmentalize, minimize energy expenditure, and for sure, rest! For the majority of human existence, we spent our days with physical work–walking, building, and running. So when an opportunity came to rest, the mind would say, “Sweet! Let’s be efficient–-conserve your energy and take a break”.

And so we would. So what’s the point?

The mind drives us to spend as little energy as needed to accomplish the body‘s tasks.

Back to my story. Now that I signed up to race and 11 other people are counting on me to run, my body and my mind are aligned on a distinct assignment. I have accountability built into my goal. So now, when it’s time to go for a practice run, it just happens. It’s no different than when a tribe would set out on a run to go hunting. Members of the tribe committed to eating and to contributing to their society, and so they ran. No muss. No fuss.

So think about the goals you want to accomplish:

  • Which ones haven’t been getting that much attention?
  • Which ones don’t have accountability or dependencies built in?
  • Which ones are a lot easier for your mind to win the efficiency game and say, “This will take too much energy. You should do something simpler, or nothing at all!”

The mind/body connection manages those goals perfectly. That’s why it’s perfectly normal for those goals to be in a state of limbo–-the case for value, importance, and accountability hasn’t been made–yet.

So, if you feel like you have more to offer, more to give, more to do but you can’t seem to move forward, make a commitment. One that has others dependent on you, one that brings value to yourself and your “tribe”, one that has accountability built in. When you do, you’ll find that your body and mind will line up and give you all the energy and all the action you need to get things done!*

*Remember that same “efficiency voice” of the MIND also brings restful balance into your life. So if you’re overextending yourself by constantly DOING and you feel depleted, then it really IS time to rest. The key takeaway is that you can utilize your mind/body connection to the highest benefit of yourself and others. 

How will you listen to your mind/body connection? Comment below!

Tommy Acierno (ACC, CPC, ELI-MP) has over 15 years of experience in software industry with companies like Google and Trimble as an individual contributor, manager, mentor, and coach. He creates powerful partnerships with professionals who want to perform their best in a way that is authentic and effortless. Visit to learn more!

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