Unleash Your Thrill: Conquer the Roads with Supreme Traction and Leave the Happy Spinning Behind!


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Throughout the intricate dance of life and career, one discernible pattern emerges — the unyielding correlation between “spinning your wheels” or feeling stagnant and its adverse impact on personal relationships and mental well-being. Reflecting upon the instances where I’ve found myself “spinning my wheels” paints a picture of effort, sometimes extreme, with no reward, often leading to a chasm of frustration, exasperation and depression.

On the other hand, when I’ve been in the driving seat, experiencing what I term as “traction,” there’s an unmistakable lift in spirits, a clearing of the dark clouds of depression and hope that may not “spring eternal” but at least lasts as long as I have traction. The challenge is not to neglect personal ties amidst the euphoria of this traction and its more exhilarating sibling, momentum. And, trust me, momentum is addictive and personal relations can suffer.

3 Ds of Visionary Traction

To navigate the labyrinth of creating impactful traction, I often draw parallels with visionaries like Steve Jobs and Elon Musk. Their journeys offer valuable insights, which I’ve distilled into the “3 Ds of Visionary Traction”:

1. Define reality. Jobs envisioned a future where computers were easily accessible, aided by a GUI and mouse, eventually culminating in the iPhone — a unified device for music, communication, and browsing. Musk’s reality centered on mainstream electric cars and pioneering privatized space exploration. The essence is to paint a future so fascinating and compelling that the world, although initially oblivious, eventually becomes its most fanatical fan.

2. Declare intention. Both Jobs and Musk exhibited unflinching commitment to their visions. The underlying objective wasn’t solely financial gain but also encompassed a broader goal — to define and then sculpt the future. Like Michelangelo, each saw the impossible possibility in the future and “carved until they set it free.” Their undying spirit inspired scores of individuals to be a part of their vision, even at sometimes deep personal costs to their personal lives. But they put those personal needs aside when they got to be on a rocket ship (both figuratively and literally) to the future.

3. Decide strategy. Once the path is carved out, the onus shifts to how to make it happen. This juncture is pivotal and may explain the reason neither Jobs nor Musk (or other visionary leaders) were hailed as exceptional managers. Their strengths lay in vision, strategy and unwavering determination.

Personal Experience

On a more personal tangent, my journey hasn’t been devoid of periods of long periods of spinning my wheels or even worse, stagnation, which often ushered in bouts of depression. But, drawing inspiration from the “3 Ds,” I recently experienced unparalleled traction:

1. Define reality. My current reality, fraught with the specter of a terminal illness, has surprisingly been a beacon of tranquility that I have never experienced in life. The looming mortality has, paradoxically, instilled an unprecedented calm and contentment. And this uncanny juxtaposition has not only created traction, but also piqued global interest, so much so that the Harvard Business Review, traditionally elusive, was so intrigued they had me on their Ideacast podcast. Apparent in calm and peace and wisdom in the face of death is a unicorn in the turbulent sea of the fear of it.

2. Declare intention. With the clarity of what constitutes “a good death,” my focus has been to inch closer to it, methodically sidelining what is not important (and there is so much of that). The world’s attention is welcome, but not actively sought. However, given an opportunity based upon its increasing interest, I willingly share my newfound wisdom as long as my health holds on.

3. Decide strategy. To manifest my envisioned reality, I’ve rallied an exceptional team comprising doctors, loved ones, and professional advisors and consultants. The sheer number of individuals rallying behind me apparently because they care about me (something I have trouble accepting but am learning to live and die with), even those ensnared in the throes of their busy lives, is astonishing. What’s crazy is the number of people whose time and attention was and is overscheduled that it was difficult to grab any of it have said to me after I share my present circumstances, “24/7,” meaning I could call them anytime, anywhere. Go figure.

In conclusion, whether you’re a visionary sculpting the future or an individual charting your unique course, the “3 Ds” can serve as a guiding light. Embrace them, and you might just stop spinning your wheels and start gaining traction that might set you free.

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Micheal Kurt

I earned a bachelor's degree in exercise and sport science from Oregon State University. He is an avid sports lover who enjoys tennis, football, and a variety of other activities. He is from Tucson, Arizona, and is a huge Cardinals supporter.

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