Thursday, May 12, 2016

Thoughts for the day - Running Your Race to Win


"Running Your Race to Win"

Do you ever get stuck in a rut or feel as you've lost your way?  Do you desire the opportunity to get a do-over?  Thankfully life is about running a race, and sometimes we lose momentum on our way.  When this happens how can we get back on course to ensure we successfully finish the race?  
Here are some thoughts from author Christopher McDougall from his book about running:

 “You don't have to be fast. But you'd better be fearless.”
Christopher McDougall

“If you don't think you were born to run you're not only denying history. 
You're denying who you are.”
Christopher McDougall 

 “Perhaps all our troubles - all the violence, obesity, illness, depression, and greed we can't overcome - began when we stopped living as Running People. Deny your nature, and it will erupt in some other, uglier way.”
Christopher McDougall

“Running is the heart of what it means to be human.”
Christopher McDougall 

 “Everyone is built for running.”
Christopher McDougall

So why is running such an important metaphor for they way we travel through our lives?  Below are four essential ingredients I believe all people need to be good racers in life. 

The 4 P's needed to successfully complete the race of life:

  • Purpose - What is the reason your running your race?  Without setting your eyes on what you value as the prize, you'll easily get off course while struggling to finish the race.  Therefore, take the time necessary each day to remind yourself of your purpose.  People that are champions in life and sport focus on their purpose, and understand without a cause they won't stand on the podium at the end of the race.  To put yourself in the position to be a winner not only requires the desire, but also the understanding that action regularly used creates the opportunity to win the race.
  • Practice - Therefore, each of us has to utilize the unique talents and gifts we possess to support winning our race in life.  Putting those gifts into action requires practice to understand when an opportunity may exist that is not clearly evident.  The practice may occur either through your professional role or through another capacity, but without being proactive by flexing those talent muscles you won't have the understanding to create a strategy of how you'll run your race.
  • Plan It's often evident that passion without direction doesn't amount to much.  Devising a plan or strategy on how to run the best race is crucial to potentially being a winner.  Racers need to start by knowing the course, and understanding when they need expend energy during the race.  In life's race this can be accomplished by creating goals that direct efforts and maintain focus.  One of the best ways to stay on course in the race of your life is to write down the goals you want to attain, and how and when you plan to achieve these hopes.  A method that proves to be easy and successful in formulating goals is to use the SMART method.  SMART stands for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time bound/specific.  With a plan you'll ensure that you're running in the right direction, but being the winner still requires the energy to complete the race.
  • Perseverance - When it comes to running, perseverance is that gut check needed to kick the last part of a short race or continue moving up the hill in life's marathon.  Each of us has storms to weather, and choosing to continue moving forward (racing) when you're tired and struggling is what is required for success.  If you put aside the distractions and the detractors in your life, then you can keep your eyes on the prize with purpose, remain a contender by being confident you've practiced enough to be a winner, and devised a strategy that will support you through the tough portions of the course.  Then you'll cross the finish line as a winner in life's race. 
 Have fun racing today, and claiming your place as a winner in life.  Take care.