Imagine you’re standing at the starting line of a race. The gun goes off, and you sprint as fast as you can. You’re in the lead, and the crowd is cheering.
But after a few minutes, you start to get tired. Your legs ache, and your breath is coming in ragged gasps. You can’t keep up the pace, and soon you’re falling behind.
This is what happens when we approach life like a sprint. We start strong, but we don’t have the endurance to last long. We get burned out, we give up, and we never reach our goals.
But life is not a sprint. It’s a marathon. It’s a long, challenging race that requires us to pace ourselves and conserve our energy. It’s a race that we can only win if we focus on the long run.
Winning means having peace of mind at the end and contentment that you have done your best.
I’ll not talk about monetary or any short-term goals here. Also, I’ll try to cover all the possible doubts in this article:
- Why is life a marathon, not a sprint?
- What if you don’t see immediate results and thus lose motivation?
- What if the world changes and my goal becomes irrelevant?
- What if someone copied your business idea while you went slow?
- What if I fail after trying it for so many years?
- What if I sacrifice too much in the present for a future that may never come?
Why is life a marathon, not a sprint?
There are a few reasons why life is more like a marathon than a sprint. First, life is long. If all goes well and we maintain good health we can live for 80 years or more, and that’s a lot of time to achieve our goals.
Second, life is full of challenges. We’ll face setbacks, disappointments, and failures along the way. Third, life is a journey of self-discovery. We need time to learn about ourselves and what we want out of life.
Here are a few tips for approaching life like a marathon:
- Set long-term goals: What do you want to achieve in your life? Once you know what your long-term goals are, you can start to develop a plan to achieve them.
- Break down your goals into smaller steps. Don’t try to achieve your long-term goals all at once. Break them down into smaller, more manageable steps.
- Be patient and persistent. Don’t expect to achieve your goals overnight. It takes time, effort, and perseverance to reach your full potential.
- Celebrate your successes. It’s important to celebrate your successes along the way. This will help you stay motivated and keep moving forward.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There will be times when you need help from others. Don’t be afraid to ask for it.
Here are some real-life examples that you can implement;
- If your long-term goal is to start your own business, you might start by taking some online courses or reading books about entrepreneurship. You could also network with other entrepreneurs and learn from their experiences.
- If your long-term goal is to lose weight and get in shape, you might start by making small changes to your diet and exercise routine. You could also set smaller goals, such as walking for 30 minutes every day or losing 5 pounds per month.
- If your long-term goal is to learn a new language, you might start by taking a language class or using a language learning app. You could also try watching movies and TV shows in the language you’re learning.
But I don’t see immediate results so I’ll lose motivation
It’s understandable to lose motivation when you don’t see immediate results. After all, we’re all programmed to want instant gratification. But it’s important to remember that achieving your goals takes time and effort.
Here are a few tips for staying motivated when you’re not seeing immediate results:
- Focus on the process, not the outcome. Instead of focusing on the end goal, focus on the process of getting there. This will help you stay motivated even when you’re not seeing the results you want.
- Set small, achievable goals. Don’t try to achieve your big goal all at once. Break it down into smaller, more manageable goals. This will help you feel like you’re making progress and stay motivated.
- Celebrate your successes. No matter how small your successes may seem, take the time to celebrate them. This will help you stay motivated and keep moving forward.
- Find a support system. Having a support system of friends, family, or other people who are working towards similar goals can help you stay motivated. They can offer encouragement, advice, and accountability.
- Don’t be afraid to fail. Everyone fails at some point in their lives. It’s important to learn from your failures and keep moving forward.
Here are some additional tips:
- Visualize your success. Take some time each day to visualize yourself achieving your goal. You can use any note-taking app for this. I’d recommend using mind maps. This will help you stay focused and motivated.
- Reward yourself. When you reach a goal, reward yourself with something you enjoy. This will help you stay motivated and keep moving forward.
What if the world changes and my goal becomes irrelevant?
It’s true that in today’s world of short attention spans, it’s easy to get outdated. New information and technologies are constantly emerging, and it can be difficult to keep up. But there are a few things you can do to avoid getting outdated:
- Be curious and always learn. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and explore new ideas. Read books and articles, watch documentaries, and attend conferences and workshops.
- Network with other people in your field. Networking is a great way to learn about new trends and developments. Attend industry events, connect with people on LinkedIn, and join online communities.
- Be open to change. The world is constantly changing, and so should you. Be willing to adapt to new technologies and ways of doing things.
- Focus on your strengths. What are you good at? What do you enjoy doing? Focus on developing your strengths and becoming a thought leader in your field.
Even if you don’t see immediate results, it’s important to keep learning and growing. The more you know, the more valuable you will be to others. And the more valuable you are, the less likely you are to get outdated.
Remember to set your aim for the future maybe 5–10 years down the line. You may need to do a lot of research initially but it will be worth it. This way the goal won’t be outdated and you must also incorporate changes from time to time but the final vision should remain affixed.
What if someone copied your business idea while you went slow?
Aiming for a longer run doesn’t mean going slow, you need to go steady to be in the market. Aim for the longer run means you should be sustainable even after years down. the line, it shouldn’t be affected by short trends or some market crisis.
In the case of business and current market trends, You can work around it by running multiple short sprints for a longer period.
This way you can move fast while still maintaining the long-term vision.
What if I fail after trying it for so many years?
The first thing you need to understand, there is no failure, you will only learn and that might get you a better opportunity in the future. It's not always important to succeed in your idea, what more important is to succeed in life.
What if your idea didn’t work, there could be many reasons for that, be it market conditions, customer demand, not enough market size, not enough funding, or let alone there could be another pandemic. These are some situations that you can’t control, what you can do is analyze and find solutions. You have already done your best and learned a lot in the process. Now use that learning to start some different. 😉
What if I sacrifice too much in the present for a future that may never come?
It is a valid concern that you might sacrifice too much in the present for a future that may never come. It is important to find a balance between pursuing your long-term goals and enjoying the present moment.
Here are some tips to help you avoid sacrificing too much in the present for a future that may never come:
- Set realistic goals. If you set unrealistic goals, you are more likely to sacrifice too much in the present to achieve them. Make sure your goals are achievable and aligned with your values.
- Create a plan. Once you have set your goals, create a plan to achieve them. This will help you stay on track and avoid making impulsive decisions.
- Take breaks. It is important to take breaks from working towards your goals to enjoy the present moment. This will help you avoid burnout and stay motivated in the long run.
- Spend time with loved ones. Make sure to spend time with your loved ones, even when you are busy working towards your goals. Relationships are important for your overall well-being.
- Do things you enjoy. Make sure to do things you enjoy, even if they don’t directly contribute to your long-term goals. This will help you maintain a healthy balance in your life.
It is also important to remember that life is unpredictable. Things don’t always go according to plan. There may be times when you need to adjust your goals or take a break from working towards them. That’s okay.
The most important thing is to enjoy the journey and live a life that is aligned with your values.
You won’t feel the sacrifice if you enjoy the process, so make sure you enjoy it.
Thanks for reading. If you feel it resonates with your thoughts, do follow me.