So, you’ve made it this far ay? Well done. Feel proud. It’s easy enough to look back at some small successes and start to feel pretty full of yourself and that’s fine. However, I’m sure you know as well as I do that life has a unique way to knock us back down off our pedestals in a catastrophic fashion.
The Great South Run I took part in was held in Portsmouth in 2013. My decision to partake in a charitable sporting event such as this was arrived at only after a tussle with my conscience. Should I leave it out as I simply don’t have the time or should I get stuck in because it’s for charity? My heart strings pulled tighter as I opted for the latter. I was never the fittest girl in the bunch but I knew full well that I was certainly the most determined and tenacious. So with this in mind, training began. Every day after work, I would take myself for a good run down by the canals, timing myself in order to monitor my progress. The smile on my face (and the sweat on my brow) continued to grow as I noted myself making progress each day. I knew full well at this point that, out of my friends, I was definitely the one putting all the work in and I wouldn’t feel the least bit smug at the finish line when I came first out of us all.
I continued to train on a daily basis and even treated myself to some top of the range running gear (you know, just so that I’d look the part as I claimed my victory). The day finally came and the 6 of us were dolled up to the nines in lycra and sweatbands. I had put so much effort into preparing for the event and I felt comfortably assured that I would surpass my friends’ expectations, as well as the finish line. The gun went off, and we were off. I had done my research. I saw hundreds of people darting off and I found myself thinking “fools, slow and steady wins the race!” As I hit the half way mark, I started to feel myself struggling. How? How was I struggling? I had done so much training and put so much effort into being the best, and people continued to overtake me. I pushed on and on and finally, the finishing line was visible. I sped up and blitzed towards the banner, sailing through and breathing a massive sigh of relief and accomplishment. However, much to my dismay, there they were. My 5 friends. Sat down. Waiting. Waiting for me.
It’s a truth no one likes to admit: no matter how successful, how hard-working or accomplished you are (as an individual or as a business owner), there is ALWAYS someone who is better than you. No matter whether they’re smarter, wittier, prettier, fitter, more advanced, more wealthy, more experienced… there is always someone. Yes – I know – it’s certainly not the best feeling in the world to come to terms with, but once you do, definitely don’t let it get you down rather use it as a driving force.
After the run, I was initially horrified that I hadn’t come first out of us all, albeit slightly disappointed in myself, then I got to thinking. We had all done this in aid of a fantastic cause whilst keeping fit and healthy in the meantime, which I hadn’t done previously but much to my surprise, I enjoyed greatly. After careful consideration, I decided to take up running as a hobby and even found the humility to ask one of my friends to run with me to spur me on.
The most successful people in the world are ridiculously humble about most things, but in particular, their skills, talents and attributes. The difference is that successful people will gladly recognise that there are other people out there who are better than them, and they use it as an opportunity to learn, develop, progress and improve. I really don’t think people realise just how important a trait humility is. Undoubtedly, there will come a day where you think “I’ve made it” and it’s par for the course that at this point, you take your foot off the gas which inevitably leads to fading talents and regression.
If you genuinely have a burning desire to become successful, you will certainly find yourself grabbin’ a big chunk of humble pie every day so that the person you are tomorrow will be a phenomenal improvement on the person you are today.