Yesterday I completed the first triathlon I’ve done in five years and I re-learned an important lesson about success. Once again, I underestimated how difficult it would be. In fact, before the swim portion started I commented to my buddy that next we needed to sign up for the longer distance.
I quickly ate my words.
The swim went well, although I thought I might drown from exhaustion 50 meters out. The bike totally crushed me. Athletes were flying by me one after another.
By the time I hit the run my energy was zapped. I was wiped out but I committed to just putting one foot in front of the other and no stopping no matter what. My goal was to run the entire time, whether that was at an 8 min/mile pace or a 10 min/mile pace and that’s when an interesting thing happened.
As I continued to plod along, athletes started dropping like flies. Some walked, hands on hips. One literally collapsed. And many of those who had sped past me on the bike were now getting passed on the run.
The burst of speed that had propelled them to the front of the swim or the bike was now catching up with them on the run and my consistent effort, meager as it was, was enough to propel me past them.
Now let’s be clear. I didn’t win. Didn’t even place in the top 50%. But at one moment on the run as my mind drifted I was thinking about the correlation to success — consistent effort is key. That’s how you build momentum. As long as I just kept running I would move to the front of the pack.
I was recently listening to a podcast with Seth Godin who had just written his 5,000th blog post. He said that no one blog post has made his career. Rather, the consistency of showing up every day and seeking to add value has catalyzed his success. He called it “swinging the ax and fetching the water.”
So what’s your goal? Whatever it is, do a little every day. It doesn’t even have to look good. It turns out a little every day goes a long way in the game of life.
Hi! I'm Dustin.
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