[blank] is a Marathon, not a Sprint

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marathon Life, Business, Marriage, etc…. you can fill in the blank. We’ve all heard various versions of this expression.

Although it’s somewhat cliché, this saying has a special meaning to me – I’m am actually running the NYC Marathon this weekend (bib #49764 if you’d like to root or track)! Just a few years ago I could barely run a half mile. Then, I set increasing goals of 1 mile, my first 5k, then a 5 mile run, then a 10m, and then a 13.1 (Half Marathon). Finally, in Nov 2013 I ran my first full Marathon and now I’m attempting my second.

I’ve been considering my journey and what contributed to this personal achievement:

  • Dedication: Over 2 years of training, challenging loooooong runs, making it to early morning events, working through some inconvenient health issues like plantar fasciitis and Hurricane Sandy related pneumonia
  • Commitment: planning personal time around runs, continuously striving to set new Personal Records, setting other related targets (like completing at least 10 Half Marathons this year)
  • A way of life: eating better, finding time to run on business trips, joining/starting running teams, weekly training regiments

In retrospect, this focus on a personal goal doesn’t have to be a 26.2 mile run. Think about anything you’re passionate about, and how much effort you put into it (Fantasy Football, winning negotiations, cooking, coaching little league, etc.).

Now, apply that type of dedication/commitment to your career. I see many parallels of my personal marathon journey with UMT’s approach to our client engagements. I’ve been with UMT almost 10 years, I am still impressed with our collective continuous improvement on our methodologies, ongoing training at all levels of the firm, proactively evolving our consulting approach and value proposition to meet changing industry/client needs, and striving to be the trusted partner that our clients will repeatedly rely upon.

What are you passionate about? How will you achieve your next personal/business goals? Set some mid/long-term targets, and design an approach to get there!

(If you’d like some reading suggestions that inspired me: Steven Kotler: The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance, and Jason Ellis: The Awesome Guide to Life.)