Two runners step up the starting line.
The first runner is wearing the most technologically advanced, aerodynamic running gear ever created. It reduces drag by 14% as compared with any other fabric used to make running clothes. It is the best and most expensive running gear available.
The second runner is wearing the cheapest, least aerodynamic sweat suit available. It is very old and worn, and purchased it at a retailer because of its low price. It’s embarrassing.
The first runner is wearing the newest shoes made by the finest running shoe manufacturer on Earth. Not only do they weigh less than any other shoe by the widest of margins, they also do more to protect the runners feet and legs from fatigue. The best runners run longer and faster in these shoes.
The second runner is wearing an ordinary pair of cheap running shoes. They are nowhere near as light as the first runner’s shoes, nor do they do anything to protect this runner’s feet or legs from fatigue. There is no evidence that any runner is faster in these shoes, and there is good reason to believe the heavier weight reduces performance.
The first runner has a sports drink specifically designed to provide everything a runner needs to improve their performance, including the electrolytes and other minerals that have proven under rigorous, scientific study to improve performance against any other liquid one might consume while running.
The second runner has water. Not even bottled water. The water this runner intends to drink is tap water from their kitchen sink.
The first runner is wearing the best running watch and heart rate monitor, allowing this runner to manage their heart rate and their split times, and a host of other measurements important to winning a race. This runner looks like a world champion.
The second runners has no watch or heart rate monitor, and is wearing wrist bands and a head band that makes them look like something straight out of 1974.
Which runner wins the race?
How You Lose
The first runner, the one with all the professional gear, is poorly trained, has incredibly bad form and, despite the appearances to the contrary, isn’t a very experienced or fast runner. This runner has never done the work it takes to run this race—or any like it.
The second runner, despite their lack of gear and their appearance, is well-trained, has perfect form, has years of experiencing racing, and is very fast over long distances, having done all the work necessary to have achieved this state.
It’s Not the Gear
There is no gear or tool available to you that will allow you make up for a lack of the fundamentals of success necessary in any human endeavor. Trying to replace the mindset and skill sets with the accoutrements is a fool’s errand. Worse still, avoiding doing the work necessary to build the competencies required of you is not only negligent, it’s how you push the results you want further away from you into a future that cannot arrive without you doing what is necessary to bring it to life.
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