I had the opportunity to watch a triathlon over the weekend. The two men that I knew had to swim over 1/2 mile, bike 25 miles, and run 6 miles. I can barely do the the running part much less the rest of it but 730 people thought they could handle it. Bravo to all of them.
As I saw people finishing the bike part and head back out to the run, I thought about their training and sacrifices they made to get to the finish line. I am sure there were days when putting one foot in front of the other was very difficult especially if they were dealing with bad weather or a bad mood. These individuals had to discover ways to motivate themselves so that they could continue the ride up the steep hill or deal with too many people swimming in the same lane in the pool. How did they do it? Were there times they wanted to forget the whole thing? Did they have supporters who said “you can do this; I have confidence in you?”
In business, it is difficult at times for the business owner or executive to motivate themselves to get the task at hand not only done but accomplished well. Dealing with late payments, nasty clients, reports, etc. can be frustrating and one has to figure out again and again how to put that foot in front of the other. They may not have the support they need from coworkers, spouses, colleagues, etc. so what to do?
For me, my new motivation when I am facing something difficult will be to think about the oldest person who ran that triathlon. She is 80 years old which is remarkable in of itself but she is also a nun and an author! She spoke to the crowd before the race and I was very impressed with her message, her energy, and her joie de vivre. I think everyone came away from that feeling her presence and I am sure it got a few others to get through the race. Her message was simple and powerful – have faith and relish the life you have.
So next time you are feeling stuck, overwhelmed, angry, etc., get out of your chair and put one foot in front of the other – even if it is to walk to get a drink of water. As you take each step, really feel your shoe touching the ground, hear the sound it makes, and how you engage your leg muscles. Cherish that moment and hopefully it will invigorate (even if it is just slightly) to tackle what you are dealing with. It may be tough at first but if you continually try to do this, your worries and anxiety should hopefully decrease. Remember – it starts with that first step.
I would be interested to hear your thoughts and if this worked for you.