I’ve been distance running since my senior year of college. I’ve participated in and watched many marathons over the last decade and it’s incredible to watch the leaders start to come in, flying at 5-minutes per mile. Inevitably as they are coming in, I hear something from spectators around me pretty consistently. They whisper things like,
They were built to run.
Running just comes naturally to them.
They’re lucky running is easy for them.
What’s interesting is that I see the same thing with people winning with money and in life. Spectators, people observing from the outside of that person’s life, say things just like that…
Well, he just got lucky.
Well, she can do that because she has a ton of help.
Well, if I had their (job, money, time, situation…fill in the blank,) I could do that too.
But in both situations, the spectators miss it because they are judging a person’s success by only what they see at the finish line.
- They didn’t see the 4:00 a.m. 16-mile runs before work that person logged that led to that finish line.
- They didn’t witness the hundreds of lonely hours alone on the road that led to that finish line.
- They didn’t consider the painful ice baths, exhausted muscles, and strict diet that led to that finish line.
- They didn’t know about the late nights at the office, the overtime, the daily grind of pushing and persisting over years and years that eventually propelled that person to the top in their company.
- They didn’t think about the sacrifices made – the tuna sandwiches and Ramen noodles and hand-me-down-clothes and missed vacations – that led to that family becoming debt-free.
- They didn’t hear about all of the hard work and sweat and tears that that enabled that person to build wealth.
We glamorize the finish line but dismiss what it took to get there.
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We think that success is a fluke or accident. We attribute it to the family they were born into or the lucky break at work. We ultimately attribute it to something outside of their control, and therefore outside of our control.
But ask anyone winning and they will tell you, it doesn’t happen by luck – not at the finish line, not in the marketplace and not in your bank account.
Winning happens in the miles logged, the hours dedicated, the sacrifices made, the money saved, the blood, sweat and tears poured out behind the scenes that no one ever sees. That’s where winning happens. The finish line is just the result.
“Champions don’t become champions in the ring – they are merely recognized there.”
It’s the small things, behind the scenes that no one sees, that leads to the BIG things that everyone wants.
Photo via lifechurch.tv