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Learnings From Racing in the Rain

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Learnings From Racing in the Rain

The other day in a conversation with a colleague, one of my favorite books – The Art of Racing in the Rain – a 2008 novel by Garth Stein came up in our discussion. The novel became a New York Times best seller, remaining on the list for more than 156 weeks. What makes it different is that it is told from a dog’s (named Enzo) point of view.

I read the book about four or so years ago, having selected it from the shelves at Barnes & Noble strictly by its cover. It had a face of a golden retriever on it, so it immediately caught my attention. What I didn’t know, at that time, was that after I read it I would’ve learned several important success and life’s lessons.

Through Denny (the dog’s owner who is also a race car driver seeking success on the track and in life), Enzo gains tremendous insight into the human condition. He sees that life, like racing, isn’t simply about going fast.

Related: How to Stop Being Distracted

Here are the main takeaways for me from the book:

  • Just don’t confront your fears, embrace them. Use them to motivate you through barriers and obstacles to success.
  • Your car (your life or business) goes where your eyes go (vision) – hence to be successful in both you need clarity as to where you are today where you want to get to in the future.
  • The test of a champion is not whether he can triumph, but whether he can overcome obstacles and achieve a specific outcome.
  • Racing and life or business is about discipline, not about who is fastest. The one who drives smart will always win in the end; nothing more to add to this.
  • The race is long; to finish first, you must first plan to finish. Each of us on a daily basis needs to nurture our will to do our best, and if we get lucky we will when. But through preparation and practice, you can create your own luck.
  • Racing in the rain (your fears and/or obstacles) is about balance, anticipation and patience. It’s about confidence and self-awareness.
     

The book offers some great almost-end-of-summer reading and is well worth the investment of both time and money. What I won’t tell you about, however, is the surprise ending which ties it all together.

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