Know Where The Finish Line Is
One morning, on the news I saw a video of an Olympian long-distance runner. Amid a herd of runners, he was chugging ahead clearly on his way to winning the gold medal. He had a good pace and stride. The crowd was cheering and there was excitement in the air!
He increased his pace and sprinted across the finish line pumping his fist in the air victoriously. He began to slow down and veer off to the side of the track to rest. He had done it! Or so he had thought. The other runners continued to race around the track. What happened?! At first glance, he looked confused then realized his mistake. He had miscounted the laps. There was one more lap to go until the end of the race.
He attempted to recover. He quickened his pace and jumped back into the race. Unfortunately, he finished the race in 10th place. Victory had been so close!
I asked myself, “How did he NOT KNOW where the finish line was?” What signs did he miss to miss out on the gold? Here's my theory.
His biggest mistake was tunnel vision.
It’s great to be laser-focused and on track with your eye on the prize but you must also be aware of what’s happening around you. In long-distance running a bell always rings to signal one more lap to go. Clearly, he missed this important signal because he was focused so intently on crossing the finish line first.
With tunnel vision you'll only receive parts of the information you need to achieve your goal.
THE FINISH LINE
Knowing where the finish line is is so very important because it...
1. Gives you a clear picture of where you're going.
I always coach my clients on how to tap into their imagination and use their five senses to create their goals. What does your goal look like, sound like, smell like, taste like and feel like?
Crossing the finish line, check. The bell ringing, uncheck. If the runner had been 100% clear about his goal, he would have realized that crossing the finish line does not sound like a ringing bell.
2. Distinguishes counterfeits from the real deal.
Getting “close to” is not the same as “exactly as”. Once you’re clear on what it is you want don’t settle for anything less. Finishing first on the last to second lap is not the same as winning the race.
3. Allows you to determine how much farther you must go to pace yourself and avoid burnout.
Being aware of the distance and the number of steps you must take until you reach your goal allows you to break it down into manageable chunks of activity. This inherently helps you manage your energy. Don’t sprint when you don’t have too.
4. Ensures you don't celebrate prematurely which can be embarrassing and demotivates you to go back and finish the race.
Take it from me, as a long-distance runner it's one thousand times harder to jump back into a race once you’ve stopped running. Ever see runners jumping in place at red lights? They’re keeping their rhythm instead of stopping and starting, stopping and starting and every intersection.
IN IT TO WIN IT.
If you’re in it to win it, create a clear picture of your finish line, stay laser-focused and be aware of the moving parts around you.
On your mark, set, go!