Life is Like a Marathon!

June 4, 2008

I was thinking about this concept one day and it made sense to me – life is like a marathon. I take this perspective because of the many experiences in my life, some good and some bad. But all of my experiences have created my life, and I cherish those experiences because it is my life and I am where I am for a reason.

A marathon is very simple in its concept. You have an easy outcome, you know how far you need to go, and all you need to do is run in the right direction long enough and eventually you end up at the end – victorious! It’s really not all that easy to accomplish for the average person though.

Let’s think about it. Driving 26 miles in a car is a good effort, but it is not that far. In fact, you can drive 26 miles in a car on the highway in less than half an hour. 26 miles on a bike is a good effort, but you can easily accomplish it in less than a couple of hours at a nice easy pace. Running a marathon, that is quite different, and it takes a different perspective.

My belief is that everyone can finish a marathon. It may take you more time and different strategies to accomplish depending on your abilities. Ultimately, it is possible to go that distance. Simply know, that you too can accomplish 26 miles if you did it right and gave yourself enough time.

Truthfully, the distance is long, no matter who you are. The average person, assuming 12 – 15 minute miles would finish in 5 to 6 hours. This does not include the blisters from your shoes, the ache in your back, the sore knees from the jarring on the road, the chemical and nutrient imbalance in your body, amongst other challenges.

The challenges is in interesting point. Let’s face it, challenges do arise, just like my knee situation when I trained for the Chicago Marathon in 2006. What I learned like in many situations in my life is that when you are not able to get the result one way, you need to change your approach. Success and completing a marathon is a science – they take effort and time – as you know, life does take effort and a certain amount of time to see that outcomes as well.

When you have a goal or, hopefully more meaningful, an outcome, your efforts will not always produce the results that you want right away. You may be the best at what you do, however challenges in life arise that cause you to adjust to the circumstances. Thankfully, we as human beings are capable of adapting to situations in order to achieve our desired result. You are truly blessed with incredible capabilities; many times it is the psychology and the strategies that you use to adapt to and overcome the obstacles.

To focus on you, on your journey, you may need to reconsider some factors. Perhaps you need to get a part-time job? Maybe you need to sell something that you don’t want to? Maybe you need to do something that you don’t want to do? Or perhaps you need to stop doing something instead? Maybe you need to work harder or continue on the same path for a longer period of time? Perhaps you need to change your perspective? Perhaps you have miscalculated and set yourself up for failure by having an unrealistic outcome for the period that you have allocated? Could you be better trained? Do you need to attend a seminar, read a book, or take a class? Sometimes you need to end a relationship or start a new one. Maybe you feel that you need to start your own business, which will bring you to the glorious heights that you desire. What in your life is a “leap of faith” that you either need to consider or actually take? What might you need to do in order to change your current approach to eventually produce the results that you want?

Remember, you are the one in control of your life and you determine your outcome. Do you step up to the “race of your life?” Do you even get in the “race” in the first place? Maybe even just starting the “race,” no matter what the outcome, is a win for you? Are you alright with not winning, but rather finishing? You need to determine some things for yourself and take charge in your life.

As you have most certainly heard the expression from a speaker or from a presentation in your life – a person tends to overestimate what they can do in a year and they underestimate what they can do in three years. In fact, most never even give themselves a year and they quit after two months because they didn’t get the results. The reason that you didn’t give the results is that you didn’t do what it takes in order to get the results, and many times that means that you need to work long enough until you get the outcome!

Did you know that there are tribes who still believe in rain dances? And I believe that rain dances work too. You might think that is foolish, and that is illogical. The truth is, rain dances really work! There is a secret though… and here it is… the tribe dances UNTIL it rains! The continue to make the effort out of faith UNTIL they achieve their outcome!

What if you continued to “dance” with the circumstances of your life UNTIL you get the result? Where would your life be then?

Here are some things to consider. If you need to, get a coach. Model someone who has been successful at what you are attempting to accomplish. Continuously work in the direction of the achievement of that aim, just like a marathon runner works towards the finish line; a little bit at a time. And then, one day, after all of that effort, after all that hard work, you too will cross the finish line; the finish line in your life – tired, but VICTORIOUS!

Remember, life is a marathon, not a sprint!


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