There are countless things that stop people from reaching their goals. I have been studying “the Performance Gap” for three years and some people push through and others quit on their way to completing their desired tasks. Pushing through to the finish is not always easy. But the most successful people find ways to keep at it even when the task is difficult.
Recently I completed a half marathon (my second one since turning fifty three years ago). I was never a runner and I do not really like to run, but it has become my preferred way to stay healthy and push my body to stay fit as I go into the later half of my life. I made a commitment to make age 50 to 75 the best years of my life, and it is important that my physical body keeps up with all the other things I am doing.
While running the 3M Half Marathon I passed the ten mile mark and found that my legs were no longer happy to have a spring in my stride. They felt as if they were large tree trunks, not the legs of a runner who trained for this course. At mile 12 I could barely run. Walking would have been hard, but running was really difficult. But I kept going. Its what people do if they want to cross the gap between potential and results.
Apparently I had always had the potential to run a half marathon. Yet until age fifty I had never wanted to, nor did my personal mindset see myself as someone capable of doing an athletic task at the level of a 13.1 mile race. But my work on crossing “The Performance Gap” in my work and personal life has meant a strong effort to “Try New Things”. But trying alone is not enough. There must be a commitment to going the whole way.
This was what I did in the half marathon. I kept going. At mile markers ten, eleven, and twelve I stopped and stretched my legs, but I did not walk. I have committed to run the whole way. For the last mile I cranked up the music to the most motivational songs on my phone, and just got to work running. While this race did not have many hills, the last mile did have upward topography. Ouch. Insult to injury. Uphill? But I put my heart and soul into pushing through to the finish.
While my time for the race was not one for the record books (it took me 3 hours), I ran the whole race and did not quit even when I felt like I had reached the end of my abilities. This is a great reminder for me in my business efforts, relationships with friends and family, and my soul-level pursuits. Keep going and pushing through to the finish. The results are worth it.
(If you cannot see the above video.. here is the link: https://youtu.be/aRmIKfEEUWc).
Thom Singer is a keynote speaker and professional master of ceremonies / emcee. He is the author of 12 books and the host of two podcasts. He speakers regularly at company and association meetings about “The Performance Gap: How to Overcome the Paradox of Potential”.