The zenith of my running days were in high school when I ran cross country in the fall and track in the spring. I tried hard, but never was the fastest. More often, I finished toward the back of the pack.
Still, I prided myself on always finishing every race.
When I think back on my high school running days, the thought that most often comes into my mind is—
I did it!
Winning a race was a goal of mine.
A goal that I never achieved.
Would it have been nice to win? You bet! Was winning a race necessary to move my life forward? No.
I learned and became much stronger by finishing.
As I think back on goals I’ve set in the past, I’m a bit embarrassed to realize how often I opted to quit them when I started to perceive that I wasn’t achieving them.
With this in mind I’m going to make an effort to switch my focus, I want to run the the whole race and finish well, even if I don’t accomplish the goal attached to it.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that I will stop setting goals or plotting a plan to achieve them.
BUT if I don’t “win”, if I don’t achieve them in the manner in which my mind has constructed for me, my intention is to keep running the race, instead of becoming frustrated and taking a seat on the sidelines counting all the reasons why I think I failed.
A runner who keeps on running can run thousands of miles in a year whether he or she wins or not. But the runner who stops after losing the first race, will have only run a few miles.
When I was a kid, I saw a poster that said, “The race is not always to the swift, but to those who keep running”.
May we all keep running!
JASON FREEMAN is a Professional Speaker and the proud owner of a Speech Impediment. He is also the author of “Awkwardly Awesome: Embracing My Imperfect Best” and a Perseverance Coach.
He excites and encourages his audience to break through the barriers of their own limitations using a method he created, called “doing your Imperfect Best ™”.
His Imperfect TEDx Talk can be viewed here.