This week, my daughter joined a cross country running club at her school. They are training for their first competition in three weeks’ time.
She came home after the first session and excitedly told us that she had been allocated the role of ‘pace setter’. Her coach recognised her stamina and endurance and decided to use this to ‘set the pace’ for the training. This meant the group did the first three laps at her pace, no faster and then they could run the final lap as fast as they wanted.
In talking this through with my daughter, we ended up talking about the story of the tortoise and the hare. The moral of that story being ‘slow and steady wins the race.’
It got me thinking.
How often do we try and complete something as fast as possible and end up running out of steam before we reach the finish line?
How often do we focus on building our stamina and endurance so that we can go for the long game?
It seems to me that, whenever we set ourselves a new goal, there is often a temptation to want to ‘get’ it as quickly as possible. We want it now!
In a society where it feels like everything is instantly obtainable (you can even get same day Amazon deliveries now!), this fuels that instant gratification need even further.
The thing is, and I know you won’t thank me for saying this, anything worth having is worth working for.
Success, health, financial independence, you name it, you have to work for it. And if you try and ‘get’ it as quickly as possible, it is highly likely you are going to come unstuck. Either from burnout, injury, missed corners. Plus, whatever you do achieve may be short lived and unsustainable.
What if we decided to take our time and actually enjoy the journey of getting to our desired destination?
What if we decided to do a little bit every day and trusted that we would get to where we wanted to be, when we were meant to?
A great example of this is self-care. Often, we have a health blip (physical or mental) which nudges us to start taking better care of ourselves. So, we sign up for a gym membership, start dieting, take up meditation and journaling, and commit to a walk in nature every lunch time – all at once!
After a week of doing all that (!!!) we wonder why we don’t feel 100% better yet?!
Self-care is a daily practise, not a daily chore. If you want to thrive in your career and your life, I invite you to adopt the mantra of ‘slow and steady wins the race’. Take small, smart steps each and every day, gradually build on them over time and you will see, after a period of a few weeks, small, positive changes beginning to happen.
Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Enjoy the journey, each and every step of it. Rushing around never helped anyone, just ask the hare!
Have a wonderful weekend and remember – it is time to burn bright, not out!