I don’t run. For that matter I don’t jog, trot or canter either. I have been known to lope and I’ve been told I walk at a pretty fast pace. I well remember the joy that came along when, as a child, I would burst into a sprint. (And then because I was mostly bookish, I would gasp and pant for several minutes.)
But I digress, I think in part due to the burgeoning spring which encourages thoughts of being outdoors and being active. This post isn’t about literal running of any kind. It is about understanding the right pace and energy level for a project or activity. Most of us start out full of energy and enthusiasm for a new venture but if we didn’t clearly understand how the venture would go, we can let our pace lag well before the finish.
I’ve been known to sit comfortably on my couch and turn on the last portion of a long race like the Marathon during the Olympics or the Tour de France. It amazes me that the athletes who are still in the race at this point can find it in themselves to increase their pace at the very end. These people have mastered the art of being in it for the long haul. They can portion their energy and hold something back to make a strong finish.
How many times have you found yourself agreeing to something, thinking in the short term, only to feel disgust build as the thing goes on and grates at you? I’ve told the story how I accepted the request to be called by my first and middle names at the start of a job only to have to get everyone to change a now established habit when I started to think long term. How many marriages end simply because the two people weren’t really thinking long term at the start, were just entranced by their love goggles? How many times were you ill-suited for a job that you took? How many projects are in a partially completed stage around your house?
Relationships of all kinds can be entered into casually, even if intensely, and rarely do we think about how they may develop and last. Sprint or marathon tells over time.
Tasks and projects should be easier to identify as sprint or marathon, but this will require a bit of planning before the plunge.
Have you mastered the art of identifying and planning properly for a sprint or a marathon?
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