Fortune Cookie Friday: Enduring the Race
Track coaches tell their athletes to run past the finish line, not to it. The last thing we want to do is slow down or quit before we get there. Keeping up our endurance can be difficult, especially after a long and arduous race, but focusing on that goal can pull us through.
There are many challenges in life, and this old proverb from my fortune cookie reminds us that we must push through them if we want to see success—this is true for victories big and small.
From running a marathon to running a business, from getting out of debt to getting out of bed in the morning, we have to make sacrifices and struggle to reach our goals. If we let these trials tear us down, we won’t succeed.
Coping through hard times can be…hard, but there are ways to combat any feelings of doubt or failure that obscure our view of the prize.
A marathon doesn’t begin when we hear the shot fired at the starting line. It starts with training, the moment we decide to enter that race. No one in their right mind would run a marathon without a little prep-work.
Writing a research paper requires a little research. Making a Thanksgiving meal for twenty people involves a list of ingredients and recipes. Even if our task is getting to work on time, it helps to have an outfit picked out, a route planned, and a cup of coffee ready to go.
We should learn as much as we can when we decide to take on a challenge. Knowing what we are getting into before we start will prepare us for any problems. Applying that knowledge keeps us fit and ready for the long hall.
If bad times hit us unexpectedly, getting as much information as possible will help us cope with them. Take a moment to stop, think, then act.
Even with vast amounts of knowledge, we can struggle through our training. A coach can guide us and give us support. If we can’t do something ourselves, we should consider getting help or advice from a professional.
Teachers, financial advisers, and lawyers are here for a reason. We can’t do it all on our own all of the time. It is okay to ask for help just like it’s acceptable to buy a cup of coffee on the way to work because we didn’t have time to make it ourselves. Work smart, not hard.
Coaches can and will support us, but we don’t always have access to them. Having our cheerleaders can keep us motivated while we struggle through the tough times. Cheerleaders are handy when we can’t fall asleep at night, and we need someone to tell us everything is going to be alright.
Friends and family can be great for moral support. We should let them know what we are going through and welcome any help we get. When we are struggling through life—especially if we can’t see the finish line—the people that surround us with love and support can encourage us to keep going.
A good runner knows not to burn out too soon. They conserve their energy for a strong finish. We should set a respectable pace that we can handle, not stress the little things, and control our breathing—don’t’ forget to breathe.
When bad things happen, or a crisis occurs, we shouldn’t panic. All we have to do is examine the information and take it one step at a time. If our struggles feel like they are lasting an eternity, we can find a moment to catch our breath. There is nothing wrong with rejuvenating ourselves with a small amount of leisure time. Finding that perfect stride will help us conserve our energy for the long haul.
When we reach our goals, there is a temptation to stop and celebrate. The best thing to do is to keep moving and stretch. We need to give our bodies and minds a moment to enjoy the success, but we also need to cool down properly.
With our crisis averted, we should look back and examine what we accomplished before we return to normalcy. What did we do wrong? What did we do right? Where do we hurt most, and can we prevent that in the future? Our review will help us prepare for the challenges ahead—there’s always another challenge just around the corner.
We all have personal finish lines that we want to cross. Whether we run at full speed or crawl our way there, each step we take gets us one step closer to our goal. There will be times when we don’t reach the finish, but we shouldn’t consider our efforts a failure. Each struggle we endure is a success in itself.