The idea that “success is a marathon” speaks to a certain truth. That truth is that success is a long game. That you have to invest your heart, your soul, your blood, and your sweat to obtain it, whatever your definition of success may be.
Start, But No End
Success, however, is not a marathon. A marathon has a starting and an end point. When you cross the finish line in a marathon, you are finished. In this regard, the marathon as a metaphor comes up lacking. It can give you the false belief that you have time that you don’t actually have. It can lead you to believe that days and weeks don’t matter, that you have plenty of time, and that eventually, you will reach a finish line and have success.
This is not how success works. There is no end to the work it takes to maintain success.
The Daily Sprint
Success is more like a never ending series of sprints. Each day is like running the 100 meter. You have to do the things today that create success. A day is too short a time to create success and is far too long a time to waste. You need to accomplish your most important tasks each day, and you need to do so with a great sense of urgency. So, you sprint.
Once you complete today’s sprint, the next day you sprint again. Yesterday’s race is over, today is a new race. You do what’s most important for your success, and you do it like you are running out of time.
The way to produce lasting success is to pay the price every day, in perpetuity. It’s about daily disciplines as much as it is goals.
Success in relationships requires that you do the work and invest in the relationships that mean the most to you. Financial success is mostly a set of financial disciplines that are kept every day. Creating good and productive adults is about the daily and weekly disciplines of parenting. Whatever success means to you, it breaks down to daily (and weekly) sprints.
Successful days lead to successful weeks. Successful weeks are the building blocks of successful months. Months of disciplined actions make up successful quarters and years. You can’t have a successful year without having a series of successful sprints.
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