Life is a marathon.
That statement’s been running through my mind (no pun intended) this season as I plan for the future.
They say those with present-day success stories were not necessarily the fastest to reach milestones. In fact, those who attained quick success usually crashed and burned eventually. The real victors stayed in the race the longest, having the highest levels of mental strength and endurance. That and the grace of God undeniably.
Below are a few lessons for us dream-chasers in the pursuit of our individual purposes. They’ve been great mental notes for me and I’m hoping they’ll be the same for you too.
See you at the finish line!
You can’t honestly expect to go far without some form of preparation. It’s like building a house without a foundation, or running a race without a warm-up. Mr. Lightning bolt himself, Usain Bolt, actually trains six days a week several months before an actual race.
Learn from the best. Do the necessary training or prep work required to get results.
Start with the finish line in mind:
“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there” – Lewis Caroll
It’s vision that keeps you going when you have several hurdles to jump over.
It’s vision that determines which routes to take and which are a complete waste of time.
It’s vision that determines your life’s goals and objectives.
Vision preserves, vision directs and vision protects. So get a vision and stick with it to the very end.
Run in your lane:
Be Yourself. They told us this time and time again as kids. They being the big, all-knowing adults in society we looked up to. And yet, the second a person decides to resist conformity, to swim against the tide and play life by his rules, there’s immediate outrage from these same people.
“That’s not how things are done!” Or in other words, “why can’t you do things like everyone else?”
But the honest truth is we aren’t like everyone else. Our thought patterns aren’t the same. The ways we see the world totally differ, and it’s such a shame that a good portion of us have succeeded in trying to be like everyone else to the point that our unique takes on things are officially non-existent
We are all unique people who’ve been given our unique lanes to run in, with our unique pairs of running shoes. If we try to run with other’s shoes, we will fall (fail), or at least hobble our way through in discomfort. And if we run in other’s lanes, we’re bound to get in each other’s way, resulting in chaos.
It’s your race to run, not theirs. Be your own person, and do things your way.
Have a coach and a team:
“If you want to run fast, run alone, but if you want to run far, run with people.” – Rev. George Adegboye
Think of the boxer at the corner of the ring with people wiping him cool and cheering him on. That’s his team – ever ready to get him back in shape. His coach (mentor) is probably the experienced veteran standing behind him, whispering winning moves in his ears along with ways to avoid previous mistakes.
Yes, feeding off of people’s encouragement is a no-no. But nevertheless, we should all have a friend or two to count on for support, especially during challenging times.
“There’s a luggage limit to every passenger on a flight. The same rules apply to your life. You must eliminate some baggage before you can fly.” – Rosalind Johnson
There’s a reason why the best runners are usually lean, wear light shoes and don’t run around the track with suitcases on their heads – they wouldn’t go very far if otherwise. It will be very exhausting to drag along things from the past, or “loving advice” from the negative people on your journey.
Easier said than done, but be determined to travel as lightly as you can with as little emotional baggage as possible.
Ify Halim is an inspirational writer and freelance editor with a passion for God and beautiful things in between. She’s proudly Nigerian (most of the time anyways), an avid reader and a big, unapologetic sweet tooth. She’s the founder and head moderator of a platform for young creatives like herself called ourstoriesinc.com and is using her difference to make a difference by inspiring others to be the best version of themselves and being purpose-driven. All this with the help of her trusty sidekick, her laptop.
Connect with her on Twitter @MissHalim