“Excellence is not a singular act, but a habit. You are what you repeatedly do.”
- Shaquille O’Neal
I believe that there is a profound truth in Shaq’s words. We are what we do. Whether we intend for it or not, it happens. Tell jokes and you’re a comedian. Eat fancy food and you’re a foodie. I run and am a runner.
I got into a discussion about running with an acquaintance awhile back and they commented, “Well, I bet it’s easy for you, you have a runner’s body.” While I sincerely appreciated the compliment, it took all the strength I had not to burst out laughing. Yes, I’m beginning to have a runner’s body, I thought, but only because I run. And because I’ve put in consistent effort over the past 2.5 years to cultivate that ability. I’ve been hurt some of the time, which might have been avoided if I had eased into the whole running thing a little more slowly, but for a majority of the time I’ve slowly and steadily worked at it – one step at a time, one mile at a time.
A mantra that I use whenever I get really tired is “Your only job is to keep putting one foot in front of the other.” I just keep repeating it and it reminds me that things are really pretty simple, just take that next step.
And if the one-step-at-a-time approach can take a low self-esteem, pudgy, lazy guy like I was and turn me into a marathoner hell-bent on running on every continent, imagine what it could do for you!
I’m not saying it’s easy. There will be setbacks. There will be detractors and naysayers along the way who will try to keep you who you were. Who you were is who they’re comfortable with. Seek out people who see who you can be – who you’re becoming – and will support you. I support you!
The journey of 1000 miles starts will a single step. And the first is most definitely the hardest. But the second is a little easier, the third even easier still. Before you know it, you’ll be stepping boldly forward taking giant strides the old you never dreamed possible.
Take that first step, friends.
Make it an incredible week!
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