Marathon Runner Crossing Finish Line

The Happiness Plunge Is A Marathon, Not A Sprint

Marathon Runner Crossing Finish LineThere have been two posts recently about marathon runners.  The first was about Clarence Hartley, an inspirational man defining perseverance.  The other was about Gladys Burrill, the oldest marathon runner in the world.  Their stories are inspirational on their own, but there’s a reason why I looked at marathons as a source of inspiration.

Life is one long marathon, yet we tend to think of it as a sprint.  When you are running a marathon, you focus on the entire 26.2 miles, not the particular mile you are presently running.  You might feel like you need to sprint and finish mile 13 as fast as possible, but then you realize that you won’t have any energy by miles 22-26.

Your marathon

You need to keep things in perspective.  Your search for happiness is not a sprint, and neither is your plunge into happiness.  They are marathons.  You need to be patient and accept the curveballs life throws at you.

It’s important to keep this in mind when you feel like you aren’t making any progress.  Two miles into a marathon, it definitely feels like you aren’t really any closer to the finish line.  But at least you’ve started and moved two miles!

There will be muscle cramps along the way.  I can promise you that.  But the important thing is that you stick with it.  You need to see yourself crossing that finish line in your mind and achieve it.

This metaphor works for both the lead up to taking your Happiness Plunge, where the finish line is your plunge, and where the start of the race is your Happiness Plunge and what follows is the marathon.

Reminders as you struggle to complete your marathon:

  1. You don’t want to be the person you were at the start of the race, and you won’t be since you already got started.
  2. The grass is always greener on the other side – including the finish line.  Have reasonable expectations and commend yourself for crossing the finish line.
  3. There is no time limit for completing the race.  Take your time and enjoy the experience.  If your foot gets stuck in the mud, accept it as part of the process.
  4. The finish line is a moving target.  As you start running, what you want may change requiring you to run longer, run a different course, or stop running.  That’s ok!
  5. You are running this race for yourself, not for others.  Support from those who are important to you is nice, but expect it to fade. Prepare to be running on your own for most of the race.
  6. The journey is the most important thing, not the destination.

Do you have any thoughts about this?  Share them below in the comments!

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