I’ve heard it said that there are 3 essential elements to change.
The first is honesty. Honesty means seeing things as they really are – not better and not worse.
The second element to is being open-minded. If life feels like you are stuck, then continuing to do the same things over and over is not going to get you unstuck. You need to be prepared to try something new.
The final element is willingness. It is not enough to learn new ideas, you must be willing to put them into action… and also to persevere.
The first time I run an ultra marathon, do you know what my best friend became?
It was my baseball cap, because it kept the sun off my face. Then it kept the rain off my face. Then I could pull it down enough that I couldn’t see the horizon, that seemed to go on forever.
There were points in that journey when I didn’t want to see how far away things were because all I could see was the distance. I couldn’t see what I was heading for because it just felt too far away.
But what did I do? I took a step.
Then what did I do? I took another step.
I took another step, and I took another step.
The more steps you take, the more the thing that was too far away starts to feel closer.
When you run long distances (my first ultra-marathon was over 100 miles), there are aid stations fairly frequently like every five miles or so. All you got to do is get to that next check point, get to that next aid station.
Now here’s what’s interesting… when you get to that aid station, certainly at least every other aid station, there’s a medic that checks you over to make sure you’re still in good health and you can continue the journey.
What’s that medic doing? The medic is about honesty.
They help you to understand if you are in a position to continue the journey
Are there occasions in an ultra-marathon where you need to be open-minded? Absolutely because there are points where, for example, you get to a hill, and you think I can’t run up this thing, but if I can walk to the top, I can run again when I get to the top.
Or there are aid stations that when you get there, you go, do you know what? I need to sit down for 10 minutes, and I need to get some more food inside me. So, it’s about being open-minded, taking things onboard and being willing to play your part, that’s it.
Distance running is one of the best metaphors I know for life…
It is NOT about a quick sprint or the short term, it is about going the distance and persevering regardless of what life throws at you.
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