Your Five Minute Mile: Running The Race You Were Born to Run

I have a deck of Danielle LaPorte Truthbomb cards that I flip thru pretty much every day.

These cards give me great comfort, inspiration, and hope that I am on the right path. As per usual, today’s truthbomb card did not disappoint:

You could be taking your genius for granted.
— Danielle LaPorte

Genius. Defined as exceptional intellectual or creative power or other natural ability.

I refer to genius as a five minute mile. I believe that each of us has the ability to run a five minute mile in some area of our lives. Whether it’s engaging people, a skill for strategy, loving our families, or entertaining millions, we all this five minute mile deep inside of us. The kicker is that in order for it to truly be our five minute mile, we have to absolutely love it. I believe that God has gifted us with something that we are brilliant at and that we love.

Take for instance, my friend, Nael. Nael was one of the members of my MBA core team at Rice University. A former engineer, Nael came to the program on a mission to conquer the world of Finance. He took to it like a fish in water. I’m serious. When we had any type of assignment, Nael would go above and beyond with the calculations, including metrics and figures that weren’t even asked for. Even now, I joke with him about CAGR -- he loved calculating CAGR and wanted us to include it in every one of our Accounting assignments. It was amazing to see his transformation. Now, Nael is making deals in the world of Investment Banking. He’s brilliant at it. Nael has found his five minute mile and he runs it with no sweat. The most important part is that he loves what he’s doing.

In comparison, I run a nine minute mile when it comes to Finance. When you take into consideration that when I started learning about Finance, I was running a 15 minute mile, you’ll go, “Oh, wow, LaTisha, that is awesome.” It is. I put in the work and I learned a lot about it.

However, it’s NOT my five minute mile. I’m good at it, but I’m not great at it. Then there’s the fact that I don’t particularly love it and I wasn’t born to do it.

Oh, but get me to coaching and teaching and I’m lit up. I looooooove to give presentations and workshops. I love encouraging people, teaching them how to access the greatness within themselves. I love watching my students and my clients have their a-ha moments. It makes me so very happy when I see them bravely going after what it is that they truly want in their lives. That’s my five minute mile. That’s what makes me want to get up in the morning and go.

You may be saying, “That’s great, LaTisha. You and Nael have it all figured out. Meanwhile, I have no clue what I was born to do and the rent is due every month on the first.”

Baby, I get it.

Believe me when I say I remember those days of figuring out how I was gonna pay all my bills, put gas in the car, have food to eat, and live my life. There used to be a BP that had a little cafe in it on NW 199th Street in Miami, which was down the street from my apartment. I had a BP card. I’d get my gas there and on most days I’d have to use that card for both gas and breakfast because I was in between pay days.

At the time, it really sucked.

Now I realize that everything in my past was working together to bring me to this moment, right here. All of the mistakes, obstacles, meltdowns, transitions, industries, job functions, etc. have all played a part in making me who I am, so that I can share with you what I’ve learned about life.

Here are three things to keep in mind when it comes to your five minute mile:

1. Your five minute mile needs to be explored and that takes time.

My college experience was not the norm. I went in knowing that I wanted to be a Economics/Business and Spanish double major at Agnes Scott College. I knew that after I graduated I wanted to work in the music business. That was my plan and I never deviated from it or changed my mind until I was in my late 20s.

My friends, on the other hand, had no clue what they wanted to be when they grew up (which is perfectly okay. There’s so much pressure on college students to have everything figured out between the ages of 18-22, when the reality is you don’t know shit about life at that age. If I’m honest, as you grow up, you realize more and more that getting older doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve got it more figured out than you did when you were a kid).

The jobs that they ended up taking after school didn’t really have anything to do with their majors. They didn’t stay at that one job forever, either. They pivoted industries, job functions, etc. They explored the world of work and their personal lives to figure out what felt true to them. Some of them got their MBAs and Masters in Public Policy, etc.

Now they’re rocking. I am so proud of my Scottie girls.

My friend, Jenny, has her own company, Workroom Social. My friend, Bevin, is taking the world of craft beer by storm. My friend, Shanea, is the greatest Googler I’ve ever known and she’s dipping her toe in the world of yoga teaching. My friend, Amy, is a Chief at the USDA. My friend, Becky, is an HR guru. My friend, Lauren, runs the world of politics and dance.

We are all on our way. Still running our five minute miles, evaluating if that’s still what we want, and pivoting when it feels right.

I share this because if you don’t know what your five minute mile is, that is perfectly fine. Give yourself time, space, and permission to explore, evaluate and evolve. Perhaps the purpose of life is to give life purpose, no?

2. Your five minute mile has the ability to evolve and/or completely change over time.

From the moment we step into high school, there’s a lot of pressure on us to have it all figured out. Then when we finally do figure out what our five minute mile is, we set it in stone. We say, “This is who I am and what I do and that’s what it is.”

However, you don’t live your life set in stone. You are constantly evolving and maybe one day you’ll wake up and decide that being an investment banker is no longer your five minute mile.

Guess what, boo? That is a-okay.

10 years ago, I wanted to be the female Clive Davis or Ahmet Ertegun. If you would’ve asked me then, I would’ve told you that I would be working in the music business until the day I died. I absolutely loved it. There is nothing more magical than being present when a song is born (or so I thought until my daughter was born).

Music was my five minute mile.

Fast forward to today, I can tell you that I will always love music AND it’s no longer my five minute mile. Today coaching lights me up. Writing lights me up. Helping people lights me up. My five minute mile is helping people take center stage in their lives. I still work with stars (because, after all, we are all made of star stuff), just not in the form I thought when I was in my 20s.

Honestly, I don’t know what’s in store for the future. Music? Coaching? Something else?

My life is my masterpiece and I reserve the right to make changes as I see fit.

I’m not the same person I was when I was 5, 15, or 25. Who’s to say that I may have more a-ha moments when I’m 45, 55, 65 that send me in a completely different direction? If so, I will gladly follow because I know that, no matter happens, God is already there in my future, making a way and showing me where to go.

I love the following quote:

Those who are certain of the outcome can afford to wait and wait without anxiety.
— A Course in Miracles

If I know that God is in the outcome and that there never is a moment where I am forgotten by God, I don’t need to worry, stress myself, or put pressure myself to have everything figured out. What if part of our evolution is learning to trust that it’s all working out in our favor?

After all, you don’t ever see a flower stressing out or putting pressure on itself to bloom faster, do you?

Nah, boo.

Always remember this:

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.
— Lao Tzu

3. Your five minute mile is no less important than anyone else’s.

I want you to know that no five minute mile is more important or less important than your own.

This goes for everyone.

You may be trying to discredit or devalue your five minute mile because you think it’s not as important as so and so’s.

Beyoncé is a force to be reckoned with. Malala Yousafzai is the world’s greatest advocate for women and girls. Warren Buffett is the king of investing. LaTisha, I’m just a housewife with three kids. I love what I do, but it’s not important.

Girl, bye.

Before you were born, God looked around the world and said, “Hmm. Something is missing. I need a Honey Bunny born here at this exact date and time.”

And so it was. And here you are.

When I worked in music, I started out at the very bottom. I was the, “What do you want for lunch?” girl. I booked flights. I booked sessions. I picked up artists at hotels and dropped them off. I was the first person in the office and the last to leave.

One day I felt kinda down like, “Man, when am I gonna make it? I’m doing the grunt work while others are doing Clive Davis stuff. I want to do Clive Davis stuff.”

Then I had an epiphany and from that point on, I never discounted my work again.

I realized that I was the big toe of the operation. We always put our focus on someone’s beautiful eyes or their rock hard abs. We ooh and ahh over their hair. No one ever stops and says, “Hey, that’s one helluva big toe you got there. I wish I had a big toe just like it.”

Nope. Not at all.

Yet without your big toe, you probably aren’t walking anywhere, boo. According to this Wonderopolis article, your big toes “play a critical role in maintaining your balance. They also bear the most weight when standing. Your big toes can bear almost twice as much weight as the other toes combined.”

I realized I played a key role in moving the operation along and I was just as important and needed as anyone else.

That being said, no matter how big or small your role is at work or in your personal life, you are just as important and needed as anyone else. The world as we know it would NOT be the same if you were not here. You may doubt this, but it doesn’t make it any less true.

I also want you to consider that we live in a world where anything is possible and people are making bank doing stuff that maybe was once considered unimportant. The rise of social media has given people a platform to share their five minute mile. The rise of e-courses have given people a platform to teach their five minute mile. When I was creating my first e-course, Yes, I Am: Affirming Your Way Into the Life You Want, I did a whole bunch of research on e-courses.

Did you know there are e-courses on water color lettering, cake decorating and card magic?

Oh, yeah, boo. It's the truth.

People are running their five minute mile (that the world may deem random, unimportant, and silly) and getting paid to do it.

I’m gon let you let that soak in for a minute.

The next time you want to discount your five minute mile, I want you to remember that there are people making bank teaching others the foundation of card magic. That is ah-mazing.

Honey Bunny, life happens and it happens quickly. One day you’re 18 years old and then you blink and you’re 35, wondering where the time went and what the hell you’re doing. I want you to know that deep inside of you there is a five minute mile that has your name on it. It’s time to explore and get really clear on what that means for you. If you’re uncertain how to begin, I highly encourage you to work with a life coach who can help you on your journey.

As Marie Forleo always says, “The world needs that special gift that only you have.”

Now it’s your turn. Comment below and let me know what your five minute mile is or how you’re going to explore your five minute mile.

I’m cheering for you. Like you’re Wilma Rudolph.

From the Front Row,