While you’re running a marathon you’ll see hundreds of people holding up signs of encouragement, from signs with a Ryan Gosling ‘Hey Girl’ meme to sorioty girls saying they’re waiting for you at the finish line. One of the funniest signs said, “Give up! The Kenyans already won and are drinking all your Iron City.” First thing I thought was that I was glad I didn’t want to drink an Iron City beer after this race. I’m an IPA fan, and I usually have a special post race beer waiting for me at home, like Green Flash West Coast IPA. That was my choice after my first marathon but my beer preferences can be the topic of their own posts.
The second thing I thought was this sign misses the point of running a race like a marathon. I know it was probably just meant to be funny, and it was one of the most memorable signs on the course. The point of running a marathon is not to win, or beat the Kenyans. It’s to simple finish. It’s about all the months of training that got you to the point where you could wake up one day and run over 26 miles.
Recently, I read an article on, The Muse, about the habits happy people quite along time ago. This week, I’ll be writing about some of these habits. One of the tips was how happy people don’t compare themselves to other people. You should only compare yourself to the person you were yesterday and to the person you hope someday to become.
That’s what you should do when you decide to run a marathon. As a 32 year old man who didn’t grow up training for marathons, I realize I’m not going to beat the Kenyans. It doesn’t matter how much I train. It’s not going to happen. I might run a fast time compared to the average person. One day, I might qualify for the Boston Marathon, but that’s about my ceiling. If I went into the marathon with the goal of winning the whole thing then I would have been severely disappointed.
Don’t compare yourself to others because it’s easy to turn that comparison into an excuse to do nothing. For example:
- I’ll never beat the Kenyans so why should I even try running a marathon.
- My company will never be as big as Google or Apple so why should I even start one.
- I’ll never have as much money as Warren Buffet so why should I start investing.
- I didn’t go to same level of business school so I probably won’t get that job.
- I’m not friends with Oprah, like Tony Robbins, so I’ll never be as successful as him.
- My blog won’t ever have the same amount of views as Seth Godin’s so what’s the point.
- I’ll never look like her/him so why lose this weight.
- I can’t out hustle Gary Vaynerchuk so I won’t bother making this YouTube video.
Ask your self why this goal is important to you. Focus on the things you can control. Complete the steps that need to be taken. Review your process. Think about how you could improve. Repeat again and again.
Be the best YOU.