Intrinsic Drive™

Season Two Reflections

January 26, 2022 Phil Wharton - Wharton Health Season 2 Episode 10
Intrinsic Drive™
Season Two Reflections
Show Notes Transcript

The challenges continue, they keep coming, sometimes seemingly without end.  Conversations with the remarkable guests from Season Two elevated my spirit and provided me with tangible insights. I hope you glean inspiration from them as I did; the goal in life should be to lift each other up.  Here are my reflections and takeaways from our guests on Season Two:

Marten Bostrom rebuilt his body, focusing on the technical aspects of his sport,  enabling him to win the World Orienteering Championship. Clarion Johnson shares a family legacy of courage, providing the fortitude to embrace medicines' most difficult specialties, and becoming global medical director of Exxon Mobil.  2004 Olympian Carrie Tollefson reminds us to ease back on the throttle, believing in ourselves and the process.

Chuck Garcia, master storyteller and Columbia University leadership communications professor, teaches us the power of momentum and positive action. Chuck beautifully illustrates these strategies in, A Climb to the Top,  his book and podcast. The Ripleys show us the benefits of falling short of initial goals, rallying our resolve, and strengthening our faith. Terri Trespicio calls us to action. Terri gives us permission to unsubscribe from untruths in her new book, Unfollow Your Passion, where she guides us to sharpen our skills, unlock our creative genius, calling us to show up and trust.

Life transitions can be difficult. World-class marathoner Brett Gotcher encourages us to leverage the power of perspective, focusing on positive memories instead of negative departures.  Loretta Claiborne, the most decorated Special Olympian of all time, calls us - regardless of our circumstances -  to give from the heart to those in need. Conservation giant and CEO of Trout Unlimited, Chris Wood emphasizes a willingness to learn and demonstrates that the humility to embrace the role of student translates to fulfilling one's purpose.

ParaTriathlon champion and former Marine Corps Sargent Zach Stinson moved beyond anger after a bomb resulted in the loss of both legs above the knee and numerous other injuries. After thirty-five surgeries and grueling rehabilitation, Zach transcended bitterness, opening providence and provisions for his family, and new possibilities for him to harness his athletic talents. 

Closing Thoughts...
I’m grateful to the guests who shared their stories with me. I’ve taken away tangible strategies, real-time approaches, and new ways of understanding—messages I’ll continue to employ when the road gets tougher.  Continued thanks to Andrew Hollingworth—master editor and sound engineer. Thanks to all those who have listened, cheered, and championed this project; we are grateful for your encouragement and support.

Which stories move you forward?  How have these stories impacted you? What would you like to hear next? Let us know. Until then I look forward to being with you on the next season of Intrinsic Drive™.

Intrinsic Drive™ is produced by Ellen Strickler and Phil Wharton.  For more information on this and other episodes visit us at

Phil Wharton:

A lifetime of training, practice, study, hard work, through discipline, some achieve excellence, mastery, fulfillment, self actualization, what can we learn from their beginning discoveries, motivations and falls? How do they dust themselves off and resume their journey? During these interviews, stories and conversations, we reveal their intrinsic drive. The challenges continue, they keep coming, sometimes without end. The goal in life should be to lift each other up. Here are my reflections and takeaways from our guests on season two. Conversations with these remarkable people elevated my spirit, providing tangible insight. I hope you glean inspiration from them.

Marten Bostrom:

At this point, it was really important that I had been in such low state in the end of 2012. So I could I could really feel advancing weeks after week I could I could feel I was getting quicker. And I was I was running smoother. And that really helped me and I, I was able to win the World Champs in in Finland in 2013. So that that's definitely a career highlight for my orienteering career.

Phil Wharton:

And that's such an amazing pivot, as we call it here on the show you, you were able to pivot because you're at that low point. And sometimes we don't appreciate the highs until we get down to those falls, you know, in dark times, and then all of a sudden, also you're able to regenerate because you had to take time off. So then all the systems come back. And then like you said, every week I'm feeling my fitness, elevate, and I'm putting extra time into the rehab into the corrective exercise. Because I know I have to, because it's coming back on home soil. And then you probably put more time into the orienteering, technical aspects that you never quite maybe had focused on while you were doing the flat racing.

Marten Bostrom:

Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Yeah. And that was, yeah, that was a big thing. And now it was only orienteering that mattered.

Phil Wharton:

Often, we don't do the things we need to do until we must do them. We don't know something seemingly bad is actually good. And we can't be expected to know that in the moment. What we can expect to do is give the best response, doing whatever is called for at the time.

Clarion Johnson:

I knew that I had experienced a sense of safety. When I was around certain people in my family, my father, my grandfather's and my uncles. And I tried to figure out what was it about them that made me feel safe. And I realized only a few years ago, it was their courage. All of them had done things in their lives, that just wreaked of courage. That he got word that the local clan was concerned that he had amassed more than they were comfortable with in his life. Right. They burnt down though he owned the liquor store, they burnt that down. And he ran his biggest I've got to say his biggest financial return was in a limousine service that he ran from New York to South Carolina, and to Connecticut, taking well to do blacks past the Jim Crow things, but it had gotten to the point where he couldn't keep his new cars, new vehicles in our town, he had to park them in another town. So the Klan sent word that they were going to say we're going to send a message to him so they marched past our house. On one evening or afternoon they marched past our house, just sort of staring at him. He sat there in his three piece suit, with his pistol laying next to him by himself and just watched.

Phil Wharton:

Courage provides the power to stand up for oneself to stand up for what is right. Fearlessness comes from a sense of clarity about holding ground against all odds and dark forces. Clarion's family radiates powerful images of courage. These images depict a legacy of fortitude. Clarion was the recipient of a gift of courage as a way of being. Courage transmits. We can look for this in people who cross our paths. These people are out there, it's our job to open our eyes.

Carrie Tollefson:

I pushed too hard, you know, I didn't let myself grow back into being the athlete. I was before an injury or before illness and so I think I if I could give any athlete you know, some sort of advice that way is just kind of let it happen. That's right. You know, the body will come back if you let it happen the right way.

Phil Wharton:

We try too hard. To achieve, sometimes forcing or pushing too much for a goal. Carrie reminds us to soften our grip, believing in ourselves in the process. Damage can take place under the guise of work.

Chuck Garcia:

Importance of execution and striving for progress, not perfection. Yes, Mike taught me that Mike always said it. And that's how you run. That's how I climb it step at a time I learned it. But what I know is, the worst thing you can do is nothing. So the best plan is the right plan. The next best plan is the wrong plan. The worst plan is doing nothing. So so even if you make the bad step, and it's not fatal, you can always reverse track and change your mind and make the next step. So I think for me, really, it was about what I learned about how I did it so quickly, all my thoughts were in my head, all I have to do now is execute stop thinking, stop. In fact, in rather, instead of filling the mind, I now have to empty it.

Phil Wharton:

Paralyzed by analysis paralysis? I've experienced this very thing while working on this episode. Chuck reminds us to clear our mind, continuing our ascent up the mountain one step at a time.

Zach Ripley:

It has to feel like it aligns with your life purpose to some degree, or it just can't possibly be worth that much cost that much time, that much effort. And so for me, especially at that moment, the immediate connection to my faith in God at the time thinking that I really am running. Yeah, cuz I know there's there's something about what I am made to be that this is close to that maybe it's like more closely, just in general, the striving, just going out and just really driving toward and pushing toward a thing. And maybe that was it, too. I can't really define it. But I know that there was there and I felt it and as as a consequence, I was willing to endure a great deal of disappointment quite regularly and didn't really mind it.

Phil Wharton:

True rewards may be found inside the action of failing. Benefits will be experienced by getting up trying again. And again. Falling down, strengthens our resolve each time we rise. soaring into the unknown, strengthens our faith. Any effort in alignment with one's purpose is worthwhile, regardless of the outcome.

Terri Trespicio:

Would not have turned down some of the opportunities I got, which I got I turned down out of fear. You know, like, now I think I would done a little harder if I realized how little everyone else knew too. Okay, because I was assumed everyone knew more. And as I get older, I go no one knows anything. Right? Like they're just making their best guess.

Phil Wharton:

How many times have you blocked yourself from action. Perfectionism limits our lives in so many ways. Terry reminds us the fragility in all of us. She challenges us to move forward. While humility is good. Excess self doubt can come at a high cost and missed opportunities. Terry invites us to show up and trust.

Brett Gotcher:

I can look back on it now. There's enough separation that I can that's good. I can really appreciate everything that it gave me. Yeah, because it really is the best time of your life. I mean, you're traveling the world. Getting to see places from such a different perspective, running down the the middle of Times Square seeing yourself on the jumbo screen in the New York City half. You know, it's like, yeah, you got to soak those moments up. And now looking back, those are the things that I focus on versus kind of the negative departure from it.

Phil Wharton:

Healthy Transitions after one aspect of life ends can be difficult. Brett reminds us to hold on to the positive memories that stay with us. Time is the healer, providing a bird's eye view clearing the way for new paths to emerge. Life doesn't unfold on our terms, it's up to us to find meaning in the outcomes.

Loretta Claiborne:

You know, I had many low moments, many low moments and anybody tells you they don't have low moments during their life. I don't care if you don't do anything. There's a low moment that's going to come. That's right. And I had many low moments. I mean, I had low moments where I was in transition to what's going to happen to me. I make these and then the money I get from. now I just gave $300 to Special Olympics. My give back. I do Children's Aid. I buy hats and gloves for them. That's out in Somerset near Dr. Meyer. Okay. Yep. So I give hats and gloves to them. I do the Christmas Attics Rising Stars program I gave them $300. And my mentor gave me $300 Do I have any advice and it depends on what it is. And it's plain and simple. My if I have any advice is just be yourself, be your best.

Phil Wharton:

Loretta inspires us all to start where we are. She's not had an easy life. And yet she shows such grace in her desire to give to others. And that is inspirational.

Chris Wood:

These people who were willing to mentor me and to help teach me and and really all of the professional staff at those two agencies, they all knew that I was clueless, they could see that I was really passionate and energetic. But I was a big dummy. And, but I was smart enough to be a sponge. And so I just learned a ton from these folks.

Phil Wharton:

Chris reminds us of the willingness to learn and how the humility to be the student translates to fulfilling one's purpose.

Zach Stinson:

for that particular day, yeah, I was just having a bad day. And then to see somebody that's going through something a lot worse than me and they weren't complaining at that time. It's like, okay, well, you can't complain about it. I mean, you're on a whole different level comparatively, so it didn't make any sense.

Phil Wharton:

It's easy to be on a pity pot, especially when the world closes down. Feeling sorry for ourselves sabotages actualization. Zach had every reason to be angry, losing count of surgeries after 35 during grueling rehab. Zach received a great gift, waking him up to new possibilities, in thought and action. Thanks for being with us. We appreciate you opting in. Subscribing, and reviewing us. For thumbing us up and following us on socials. Liking us. We like you. Drop us a note. Tell us what stories move you. For books, videos, resources and more information, visit us at W- H- A-R-T-O-N Forward slash shop Wharton health. And be sure to join us for the next episode of intrinsic drive.