5 Lessons We’ve Learned Watching The Amazing Race

By Kailash Maharaj and Shivana Maharaj
September 22, 2015


the amazing race cbs

Cast of the Amazing Race season 26. Courtesy CBS.

We’ve watched The Amazing Race since its inception. It has inspired trips, entertained us and been all too familiar (in other words, travelling regularly will make much of what happens look strangely coincidental). There have been many contestants over the years who, although they did not win, have inspired us by being spirited, adventurous and laughing while playing the game. The Amazing Race has not taught us the formula for winning one million dollars (if it had we might be sitting on a beach right now) but it has taught us about how you can approach life and look good doing it.

1 Don’t Worry About the Competition
Repeatedly, the teams are at a Roadblock and one person (who had arrived ahead of the others) cannot stop fuming about the arrival of other teams.  They begin focusing their time and energy on others and not on the task at hand. Inevitably it leads to a cycle of more frustration, anxiety and stress.  The takeaway? Run your own race.

2 Never ever ever give up
Ok, so Winston Churchill said this first, but it’s true.  How many times have teams come in last place only to learn it’s a non-elimination round or they arrived before another team stuck in traffic.

3 You Can Be Worldly Without Ever Having Travelled
Remember the husband and wife team from Kentucky? Although they had never left the United States prior to the show they were kind to everyone they met. Being respectful and treating others the way you would like to be treated is not cultivated exclusively through extensive travel – it begins at home.

4 Stop Complaining
Life is hard and we won’t be here forever (this shouldn’t be news). One way to make life (and the race) even worse is by complaining.  We never saw the Soul Surfers complain– ever.

5 Go To Your Defeat Singing
We all like a good cry – especially when we’re tired and stressed.  But when bowing out of the game the best exit is singing (yes, we’re thinking of the a cappella group in season 17)


Competition Impedes Creativity
The only competition is with yourself. When you engage in a competitive mindset focusing only on others, you block creativity. To come up with solutions relax and think only about doing your best with what you have at hand.

Where There’s A Will There’s A Way
If at first you don’t succeed try, try again.  Drill that into your mind.  There is always a way to succeed at anything.  It may not be what you expected but it will be the best thing for you.

The Golden Rule
“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not,” wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson. Those are sound words. Cultivate respect and kindness at home and then when you go abroad those virtues will help forge friendships and open doors. Do not wait for travel to teach you.

Be Grateful
The opposite of this is complaining which creates stress, anger and unhappiness.  It prevents you from thinking clearly.  Instead, try to cultivate gratefulness.

Attitude Counts
If you sing your way through each day it makes a difference to you and everyone around you. Every day when you awake, “Write it on your heart that [today] is the best day in the year,” as Ralph Waldo Emerson advised.  Recite the words and believe them.

This article first appeared in the Fall 2015 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.