“If you wish to be out front, act as if…”

“If you wish to be out front, act as if you were behind.”

—Lao Tzu, ancient Chinese poet and philosopher

How competitive are you in your personal or professional life? What factors motivate you to do your very best and achieve remarkable results? Some people are motivated to avoid pain or punishment. Others are goal or future oriented, setting their sights on pursuing and achieving a worthy objective ahead of them.

La Tzu’s coaching is to set our sights on just such an external person or objective, to create a “come from behind” victory, and be out front.


Where are you currently behind in the race to achieve some worthy goal or objective? How can you use this position to motivate you to pursue and surpass your highest expectations?

Remember: when you are are out in front, find something else to pursue, or others will quickly be on your heels.

If a man does his best, what else is there

“If a man does his best, what else is there?”

—George S. Patton, U.S. General in World War II

Image of a track starting line

Image from Unsplash by Kolleen Gladden

We live in a highly competitive society in which winning seems to be all that matters, in so many areas of our lives. Just look at sports, business, and even politics. However, if we examine how often any one individual or organization wins, we are often surprised at the modest or even low percentages.

This pursuit of winning and the pursuit of the perfect outcome leaves far too many of us falling short, often with negative views of ourselves and others.


Be your best self today and all this week, and use that as the only standard you measure yourself against.

Don’t be surprised by how great you feel, and by the considerable results you produce.