Dean Karnazes – Do what you love!

A short time ago, I enjoyed a run with Dean Karnazes and Greg Hardesty. Greg, an Orange County Register reporter and fellow ultrarunner, was doing an interview with Dean and set it up as an interview on the run. It was a beautiful day for a beachside run and we had a great time cruising together talking about running, life, and Dean’s book about lessons learned from running 50 marathons in 50 days in 50 states.

I love Dean’s story because he made a dramatic shift in his life. For a long time he climbed the corporate ladder. However, dissatisfied with his life, he began to pursue his love of running. One thing has led to another and now he is able to use his passion to positively impact others. Dean’s goal is to get the message out of wellness and touts the philosophy of, “Do what you love, and you’ll be fulfilled and happy.”

Although running may not be your passion, the real question is what is it? And, more importantly are you pursuing it? Your passions often lead to your purpose.

Too often, unfortunately, people won’t pursue their passions because they think they are too busy, they are concerned about what other people will think, they don’t believe enough in themselves, or simply they fear something (most often it’s the fear of failure). I submit to you that these concerns, although relevant to you right now, will not mean much when you get to the end of your life. At that point, all you will care about is what did you do with your life. Live a life that you can reflect back and smile knowing that you went for it!

There’s a saying, “Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming, ‘Wow, what a ride!!!’”

Perhaps, my ultrarunning friends and I take this quote a bit literally but the point is to go for it! Don’t worry about what other people think. Value your own opinion. What do you think? Is it God’s will? Your passion may be a bit nutty, but that’s okay. Even Dean said to my wife Wendy, as he remembered her crewing for me during the 2007 US 24hr Ultrarunning Nationals, “You’re welcome to call my wife anytime for counseling.”

Live a life that is exciting to you. And, most importantly, search for how you can use your passions to serve others.


Dean Karnazes’ endorsement of Chuck Goetschel’s book, Simon Says: “Chuck Goetschel has captivated and energized thousands of folks to get after life. His message is one of encouragement and inspiration, helping others to make dreams come true. Chuck provides a platform for lifelong learning and development, which is essential for true change to happen.”