The Race Is Always Longer Than You Think

Long Race

Recently, I was running a race and thought it was over.

The finish line was within sight, so I started my final sprint.

As I cornered the last bend in the road, the finish line was not where I believed it to be.

In fact, it was still a good half mile down the road.

Since I had misjudged the end of the race, I had expended all of my energy and could only coast the remaining distance to the finish line.

This analogy holds truth for many things in life.

Don’t misjudge the finish line in your race.

The Race Is Longer Than You Think

Success takes perseverance.

And there are no shortcuts to hard work, dedication, and honing of your skills.

“The race is always longer than you think.”

There is no such thing as overnight success.

Yes, there are flashes in the pan, but they are gone as quickly as they sparkle.

Make sure that you are ready to run the long race to completion.

Here are 5 Ways to Ensure You Are Prepared to Go the Distance:

  1. Plan for the Long Race – Plan for a long race. Winning is not done in short sprints, but rather long endurance challenges.
  2. Know the Finish Line – If the race you are running doesn’t have a finish line you will not know when you are done. Ensure that your goals have deadlines, and thus finish lines (or at least checkpoints along the way.)
  3. Always Have a Reserve – One of my early mentors said, “a true leader always has a reserve.” When everyone else is exhausted and spent, it is the leader who still has some left in their tank to persevere.
  4. Train for the Distance – Make sure you have trained for the distance you are running. Don’t go out to run a half marathon, if you have never completed more than a short jog. By train, I mean practice, learn, and prepare for the project you are undertaking.
  5. Never Go Empty – I am always amazed by those that run “to empty” and are then stuck on the side of road. Running to empty doens’t accomplish anything other than setting you back in the big picture.

Be Ready to Go the Distance

The race is never short.

Those who think that life is a sprint are incorrect.

Yes, there are periods of fast change and rapid movement. However, life is a long distance run with many hills, turns, and obstacles.

So, don’t misjudge where your finish line is.

And always be ready to go the distance.

Questions: Are you ready to go the distance? When have you misjudged a finish line?

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  • http://twitter.com/25HourHuman The 25 Hour Human

    I can’t agree more about “training for the distance.” As a runner and former bicycle racer, I know all too well what it feels like to have a bad day, and to crap out before the finish line. All we can do is train our hardest, so it never happens again!

    There is nothing more powerful than knowing that the obstacle in front of you is one that you’ve conquered a hundred times over in training, be it a literal obstacle on the trail or a roadblock in your professional or personal life.