As we approach the end of the year, I am constantly reminding my team to work hard and finish strong. It can be difficult to push through with the holiday season fast approaching, which is why I’m always looking for new ways to keep us all motivated.
I’ve found the most impactful way is to surround yourself with other motivated people working hard toward their goals. A close friend of mine is one of those people. He recently finished a 100-mile race, Leadville, after trying it once before and not being able to finish.
For many, even starting a race of that distance is an achievement. For him, it wasn’t over until he went back and finished. Throughout his training this year, I was incredibly impressed with his long-term dedication to the training and persistence to reach his goal. Not surprisingly, he went back and successfully completed the 100-mile race. His race story below is one I share with my team when we need that boost of motivation and now share with you for hopefully the same effect.
Long races not only require physical strength, but the level of mental focus required is intense. He explained that around mile 60, he was struggling to push through and even contemplated quitting. The mantra he had chosen for himself during the race was, “decide not to quit.”
He repeated this, saying it to himself over-and-over, but he still felt his energy dropping. Suddenly, he realized the unconscious mind doesn’t process negatives. (For example, if I were to tell you not to think of the Eiffel tower, you would immediately think of it, right?) By telling himself not to quit, his unconscious mind was thinking “decide to quit.”
Immediately, he changed his mantra to “finish strong.” This simple rewording allowed him to shift his mindset and gain the energy necessary to finish the race. He was even able to sprint across the finish line.
His race story represents a great lesson that we can all learn from. There will be times when circumstances are out of your control, but you should always strive to focus on what you can control. Focus on what you want, and as the end of the year nears, finish strong!