Success is the destination we all want to arrive at. The earlier the better. We’re all chasing some dream, some goal, some calling, some endeavor, some vision, some achievement big or small, in the short or long term. Yet for some reason, the path to success remains esoteric, challenging, out of reach, maze-like, never-ending, exhausting, and trapping. Many studies came to the same conclusion about how millions of people start even at a young age pursuing their dreams but only a handful succeed by the age of 65. Why?
Why do so many amazing people all around the world who start off with great ambitions, incredible talents, clear goals, and big dreams never arrive at the finishing line? It has to be for one reason and only one. Let’s ask ourselves another question to help put things into perspective. If one million people start a marathon and only 70% reach the finishing line, without caring how long they took to cross it, why would the 30% not show up? The answer is obvious, it is because along the way, in the marathon, 30% stopped running and stepped out of the race.
With this marathon scenario, we now know that it’s possible, everyone who starts a race can finish it, regardless of the time it takes as long as they don’t stop heading towards the finishing line. This is what happens to many people, they show up early for the marathon(which is good), they warm-up (which is great), they stand on the starting line alongside millions of others(which is okay), then they ‘set set’, ‘go on your marks’, ‘go’ and off they begin to pursue their big dreams, goals, calling, carrier, ambition, vision, endeavors, etc.
But then a couple of weeks or months or years into the success marathon, some people begin to get tired, others become less interested, others become distracted, others wander off, others forget why they got into the marathon, others remember something else they think is much better they could be doing, others get knocked down by others, others get angry and frustrated for lack of sight of the finishing line, others get pulled back by others, others suffer a pulled muscle — all these and many more challenges slow down the runner, they surely do. But I can assure you, none of it can stop a willing and determined marathon runner.
The challenges we face and sometimes suffer as we run the success marathon are what we call failure. Which if simplified, is ‘stopping’.
Never stopping = Success.
Why do people stop? They stop because they interpret setbacks, challenges, or problems as a failure. Then they believe it, accept it and decide to step out of the success marathon. Most people walk away from their greatness in broad daylight. Most of the time, nobody or nothing forces a person to give up. When it happens, the answer is always with a person’s heart and mind. Look no further.
I want to ask you a favor, as weird as it sounds coming from letters in a Yewe Yewe blog, please don’t ever stop in the success marathon. All challenges you will ever face along the way are not failure, they are challenges and they exist because you are not running the marathon alone, there is never enough time for preparation, there’s always room for learning and improvement, our energy gets used up and we need to slow down or pause to replenish it just like an athlete grabbing a bottle of water, resources are scarce and scatted so we have to compete for them and find them.
Don’t take the challenges, problems, and attacks you face personally, they happen to us the same way the rain falls and the sun rises. I don’t think there’s somebody out there who when it rains become so annoyed and frustrated that they stop working or doing what they had planned to do. Instead, people become clever and they pick up an umbrella. See, instead of stopping because it’s raining, people found a solution, to put something over their head and keep going. That is exactly what you should do, whenever you are facing a rainfall along the path to success, instead of stopping mistaking it for failure, find a solution as fast as you can, cover your head and keep going.
The athletes in the marathon have mastered the science of running; they know when to slow down when to grab a bottle of water and sip a little bit at a time when to look over the shoulder and estimate the speed of others when to look ahead and measure the stamina of those ahead when to feel their own legs and arms to determine how much strength and energy they have left and how best they can use it, when it is time to make a splint forward but most importantly they know that a marathon is a long run — arriving at the finishing line is their first priority, crossing the finishing line within the shortest time possible is their second priority, the third priority, how they run the marathon depends on the first two.
Here is the amazing part about athletes, they run well aware of the fact that; they could suffer a pulled muscle, they could get knocked down, they could become tired, they could run behind so many runners for a prolonged time, they could slip and fall, etc. Being aware of all the challenges and problems they might face, prepares their heart and mind ahead of time which puts them in ‘I won’t stop‘ mode ‘no matter what.
Have the mindset of a master athlete running a marathon. Be aware of the existence of challenges and take them as a normal thing just like rainfall or sunshine. Don’t ever take it personally, instead find solutions as fast as you can and keep going. Remember, staying in the race is the first priority, crossing the finishing line in the shortest time possible is the second priority. It is so because, in a rush to cross the finishing line, you might make terrible mistakes that can disqualify you from the overall success marathon. Once disqualified, it won’t matter how talented or skilled or experienced or hard-working or deserving you are.
Focus on your Pace
Closing, keep in mind that it doesn’t matter how far behind you might be as long as you are still making progress no matter how small. Also, focus on your pace, that of others might inspire you but it should never discourage you. In the words of Martin Luther King Jr., ‘this is the most crucial and important period of your life, what you do now shall determine how your life shall go, be a bush if you can’t be a tree if you can’t be a highway–just be a trial if you can’t be the sun just be a star if you can’t fly–run if you can’t run–walk if you can’t walk, crawl but by all means keep moving.
Editorial/ Yewe Yewe