Econet Vic Falls Marathon: Key Lessons

Econet Vic Falls Marathon: Key Lessons

By Benjamin Juru

Yesterday I participated in the Econet Victoria Falls Marathon and depressingly I did not manage to finish the race. Sad isn't it? personally I was embarrassed by my actions and as I sat down I couldn't help but start reflecting on this unfortunate incident and as a peak performer with outrageous expectations on myself I felt compelled to share a few insights I gleaned yesterday. I will make an analogy with the events that transpired yesterday and hopefully draw a few life lessons which we can all learn, apply and consequently propel ourselves towards greatness.

1. You do not wake up and become a success
2. Success and Greatness is about the will and courage to begin
3. We are all running different races
4. Success is about crossing the finished line

1. You do not wake up and become a success
Yesterday I attempted to run a long distance marathon and was expecting myself to become an instant overnight success but alas! what became of me was taking the embarrassing long walk of shame back to the starting point. As I reflected, what became crystal clear to me was that I had not planned and neither had I prepared to run this marathon and inevitably I failed dismally. This is true for most of us, we do not set goals, we do not plan and prepare for success but we foolishly expect to succeed, there are overnight success stories, we have to plan and prepare for success. Abraham Lincoln said that "If I'm given 7 days to cut down a tree I will spent the first 6 days sharpening the saw” what this teaches us is that preparation is key, it is everything. When preparation meets opportunity a miracle takes place! Folks if we want to be great then we need to carefully plan and meticulously prepare in every respect.

Had I planned and prepared before flying to Vic Falls maybe I could have stood a chance? Just maybe I could have finished the race? In your life what is it that you’re targeting? A new job, a raise, a promotion, a wife, whatever it is have you planned? Have you adequately prepared? I decided to run a marathon when the last time I ran was before Mark Zuckerberg had conceived the idea of Facebook and the result was very predictable. Brian Tracy noted that “success is as predictable as the sun rising from the east to the west” we can accurately predict our success through careful planning and adequate preparation.

2. Success is about the will and courage to begin
One good thing I did yesterday was to try and run the race and despite not finishing the race at least I tried and demonstrated two key ingredients to success; the will to win and the courage to begin. Success is about the will and courage to begin, whatever you dream of doing in your wildest of dreams, take the first step towards it and you will be amazed at what you can do. Someone once said the best way to begin a thing is to start, be it writing a first draft of your book, making the first call or visit or taking the first lesson, the most important thing is that you have started, you would have set the success wheels in motion. Many of us are paralyzed by fear, hesitancy and a fear of the unknown; what if I fail? What if I don’t get the job? What if I get embarrassed? These are all negative mindsets that plague us continuously each time we want to do something but I dare you today “Just Do It”.

Don’t be afraid of greatness, if your dream appears too big take the first step. The best way to dismantle a mountain is to disassemble the small rocks that make up the mountain; a sustained effort will see the mountain being ripped to shreds. This is particularly true for most of us, we need sustained effort and as someone noted that nothing can withstand the assault of sustained thinking we cannot be denied if we are determined. Have the indomitable will and dauntless courage to pursue your dreams and fulfil your purpose and the most of important of all is the courage to begin. If Nigel Chanakira had not summoned the courage to register Kingdom Bank we would be no Kingdom Bank. How many things have you held up for fear of starting? What is it that freaks you out the most? Confront it and begin a journey towards greatness.

3. We are all running different races
Yesterday we had different categories of races, some ran the 21km half and others the 42km full marathon with the special 5km fun run reserved for non-professional athletes. All these races were spaced 30 minutes apart with the full marathon contestants being the first to leave followed by the half marathon ones. What struck me was that we had over 500 athletes running on the same track, same route but in different competitions and essentially that meant that even if a guy in the half marathon had seemingly overtaken someone in the full marathon it was of no consequence because they are all running different races thus nullifying the need to outcompete each other. Bringing it closer home, we are all running different races in life, some are in the half and others in the full marathon and thus we do not need to compare ourselves with each other, we do not need to gauge our level of personal success by looking at our colleagues.

When God created us He fashioned us differently, we all have different needs, abilities and interests and a specific purpose and destiny. Do not compare yourself with other people, its folly to do that because we are all running different races. Focus on you because you are unique, what’s important is that you feel you have done your best and not necessarily better than others. I personally believe even in a work situation do not try to be better than others but yourself, always challenge yourself to do more and inevitably you will become better than you.

4. Success is all about crossing the finishing line
Yesterday we had athletes finishing the race in record time and others 3 hours later. Success is about have you crossed the finishing line or not? It does not matter whether you ran for 8 hours or 2 hours what is important is have you finished, have you accomplished, what are your results! The world needs results and if you’re to be considered a success then you need to achieve, you need to complete what you have started. It’s good that you started and have the will to win but it’s not enough, you need to finish the race and cross the line. What is it that you want in your life? What project are you doing? Complete it and don’t nature the unholy habit of leaving things half done. If it’s a report just do it, complete it, if it’s starting a business register it and begin operations. This world has become very cruel to underachievers, people who give halfhearted efforts? There’s no place for such in this age.

Cross the finishing line, have the power to finish. Imagine a soccer player dribbling and going pat everyone and only to miss the target? It doesn’t matter what you have done but did you meet the stated targets. Focus on productivity and not activity and as someone noted “activity does not necessarily entail productivity i.e. activity does not directly guarantee accomplishment” we need to focus on what brings us results and not vain efforts. In the marathon it’s only those who crossed the line who got medals and certificates even if someone ran for 40km and failed to finish the remaining 2km there was no medal for them and that’s the harsh reality we are faced with today.

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