Olympic runner Alexi Pappas says that when trying to do something hard, you should expect “crappy” days.

“My Olympic coach told me after a particularly challenging workout… ‘that’s okay, it’s the rule of thirds,’” Pappas recalled.

When she asked her coach to explain what he meant, he said, “When you’re chasing a dream or doing anything hard, you’re meant to feel good a third of the time, okay a third of the time, and crappy a third of the time. If the ratio is roughly in that range, then you’re doing fine.”

Pappas says to pay attention to the balance. “If you feel too good all the time… then you gotta look at if you’re not trying hard enough or pushing yourself.”

She says you still show up on the crappy days. You don’t shut down. The crappy days are part of the process. You encounter a challenge. You miss the marks. Your aim is off. That’s when learning sets in. It’s when your attention gets focused.

In this world, we will have troubles. Don’t dodge them. Face them. Learn from them.

Look forward to tomorrow when things will improve.

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PalletOne CEO Howe Wallace
PalletOne Inc.
Company President, Howe Q. Wallace

Since 2005, he has been sharing his thoughts on the organization, leadership, and communication in an online daily note to teammates called Daily with HQ.


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