Most of us start out strong, but many of us don’t keep going for very long . And like it or not, this life-race is a life-long proposition… and it takes more than a wish to make it well until the end. You’re going to need determination, and lots of it, to keep moving forward in spite of the obstacles that will surely be in your way. Tired leg. Moody day. Thirsty day. Not enough sleep. No motivation. You name it…
Albert Ernest Clifford Young died in 2003 at the age of 81. When 61, this Australian potato farmer lined up at the start of the Melbourne Ultra Marathon in gumboots and soiled overalls. 544 miles later, he came in first, beating lots of elite athletes from all over the world.
While the others runners began executing their racing strategies, Cliff shuffled along at a slow, awkward pace. He quickly fell to the back of the pack of runners where he remained for some time. And then Cliff just kept running. While the other runners stopped to sleep, Cliff shuffled along. Five days, fifteen hours, and four minutes later, he crossed the finish line. He had broken the record by almost two full days.
His key to making it? He just kept going. Not very deep or complicated. But very efficient!
Here are 5 thoughts to keep you going on your life-race:
- Stop thinking like it’s a sprint. Prepare for the long haul. – Stay in shape mentally, physically, and financially. Invest in your dream by thinking about the long effects of your activities. If it won’t stand the test of time, don’t do it.
- You can recover from a few falls along the way. Don’t get discouraged by failure. — You have to put in the effort to get back up from a few tumbles. You will get banged up. That’s what happens. But you have to decide that the more you fall, the faster you get back up. No matter the damage, you will survive. Even from the bad stuff.
- The finish line is hidden until you almost pass it. Keep pushing forward without a guarantee about when you can stop. — Stop planning on getting a break any time soon. It’s not worth what you’ll give up when you do actually get to the finish line. Maybe you do get back in the race. Maybe you only give up temporarily. But maybe you don’t. Maybe you become like everybody else around you who asks themselves, “What if?”… The key to being determined is not expecting to ever “catch a break”.
- Which next step isn’t as important as you taking one. A long race is just a series of smaller steps. — Just do something. You can’t avoid getting it wrong sometimes. You’re human. You let emotion, passion, and will sway your ability to think like a computer. That’s a good thing. Your illogic allows you to keep going long after it makes sense.
- Everyone who’s in the race with you is just as tired as you are. The difference is your ability to fight through the pain long after it stops being “fun”. — If you’re still in the race right now, take a look around. Those people around you are just as tired as you are. The pain you are feeling is the same pain that they have. It’s no easier for any one else. It’s not harder for you. It’s all about knowing you’re hurting and deciding that you want success more than you want to avoid the pain.
It’s one foot in front of the other.
You run as long as you can.
Then you walk until you can no longer walk.
And then you crawl if you need to.
But you don’t stop moving.
You stay in the race and on your feet.