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Extraordinary Joes Session 6: What I Learned - Esther Marques, World Race Participant

Session 6 of Extraordinary Joes featured Esther Marques, a college student at Kennesaw State University and a future participate in The World Race ( Esther was a manager for me when I was coaching 8th grade girls basketball, and from the first moment I interacted with her, I could tell that she had a maturity beyond her years. I very much enjoyed catching up with her and learning about her journey. What I learned from Session 6:

Don't Act Your Age, Act As If

I've written about this before: The Free A. The concept is, that we should live into the person, or thing, or dream, or goal that we want, and act "as if" we were that person, had that thing, could achieve that dream. There's more to it. You should read the article.

What I've learned from Esther, is that this is a real thing, that isn't just some encouragement from a hack blogger with a limited following. Esther acted like the manager of a basketball program, not like an 8th grade girl, while she was managing the basketball program. I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing that she acted like an 8th grade girl when it was time for her to do so. But during that role, she acted as if she knew what she was doing, and that what she was doing was important. And it's not just age. You could say, "Don't act your position..." or "Don't act your current role..." or "Don't act your current circumstances...". All of those hold true. Act as if...

Don't Let Anyone Look Down on You Because...

Esther reference a verse from the Bible during our conversation from 1 Timothy 4:12, "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity."

Esther is in a place where she is making big decisions in her life, and because of her stage in life, may face others who question her decisions or wisdom because of her (relatively) young age. Because of this, she uses this verse to remind herself that her faith, her conduct and her love should help her set an example and make decisions, rather than being held back by her age or the perceptions of others.

It reminded me that we all have things that are holding us back. Sure, some of them may be labels that others have placed on us, and we may have to battle their perceptions. But there are also a lot of things that we put on ourselves. Our own limiting beliefs and labels get in the way more often than others.

What are those things that others might label you as, or more importantly (because it's in our control) the things that you might think they are labeling you as, that may be holding you back?

You are a beginner. You are a male. You are a female. You are old. You are young. You are an extrovert. You are an introvert. You are...

Whatever the thing is that others label you, or that you have allowed limiting beliefs to label yourself, pay attention to them, and don't let them hold you back.

At Least Every Now and Then, Go Big

I'm pulling for Esther, and I hope everything works out for her with The World Race. But I don't know that it will. I don't know if she'll raise enough money. I don't know if it's safe for her to travel the world. I don't know if she'll encounter problems along the way. I don't know if she'll even be able to go, now that Covid-19 is impacting the entire world (this wasn't even a blip on the radar when she started or when we recorded).

And, as faithful as Esther is, I would guess that she doesn't know, not for certain, about these things either.

But I'm proud of her for going for it. This is a big deal, just the step to try. When you make a declaration like this, "Hey World, I'm doing this thing!" it can be scary. You could "fail", your declarations might not come true, the things you say out loud may fall flat in front of people who may have questioned you along the way. Just the act of saying it out loud and trying is big.

Maybe she makes it, maybe she doesn't. But she's in the arena, and she'll learn and grow and be better off no matter what happens.

As we get older, responsibility increases, and we may not be able to go big as often as we once did. My encouragement, however, is to find something to go big on every now and then. Doing so helps us feel alive, it forces us to strive, reach, learn, and grow in ways that we can't always get when we are mindlessly living the daily routine. It gives us something to work toward, and it puts some additional heat on the proverbial stove. And going big doesn't have to mean going for broke. For most of us, it probably shouldn't. It could mean saving for that big trip. It could mean taking on a woodworking project. It could mean writing a book. It could mean learning the guitar. You probably don't have to think of what your "thing" is. You already know it. You just might be afraid to say it out loud. Come on!

Tell somebody. Post it on social media. Text your circle of friends. Let them know what you are committing to and get out there.

I'm pulling for you,



Thanks for listening to Extraordinary Joes! Check out the episode here:

If you have any Extraordinary Joes you think would be great for the show, feel free to email me at

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