Are you in the middle of running the biggest race of your life? Perhaps a course, which may have caught you off guard and calls for perseverance. Maybe not – but I have news for you – we all will find ourselves in unexpected trials at some point in our lives.
How we run the race of life will determine our success.
In my last post – How to Run the Race When Life Gets Tough, I shared with you a tool that helps me when I am overwhelmed.
“Fix your eyes on Jesus and remember you just have to get to the next mile-marker.”
I was so intrigued by how much the mile marker mantra has helped me to get through overwhelming circumstances, and it made me somewhat curious as to how marathon runners make it to the end. So, I pursued reading and discovering about people that compete in tests of endurance.
I may not be a runner but let me tell you, one can learn a great deal from people that know how to go the distance.
SEVEN LIFE LESSONS LEARNED FROM A MARATHONER
We need to run the race of life with others. Can you imagine running a marathon all by yourself? Others will inspire you to keep going when weary, pick you up when you fall, and you will have the opportunity to do the same.
One needs to pull back every once in a while and see the big picture. Things that seem huge at the moment can once again seem manageable when we step back and see the entire picture.
I think that is why I love flying. As you pull up in the air, you begin to realize we are just a small part of a big world full of hurting people.
I do believe all pain has significance, should be acknowledged, and can’t be measured. Pain is pain!
However, I do think we can gain helpful insight by looking around. One can almost always find someone with more problems, more pain and less going for them. By seeing this, we may find ourselves reaching out to help or saying, “Well at least I don’t have those conditions so surely I can handle this.”
Equally important you can find someone down the road that may have it better off – this can fuel hope and inspire new goals for us to reach for.
3. CHECK YOUR PROGRESS
One must check their progress from time to time. It can serve as a reminder of how far you have come. Sometimes we can get so discouraged and bogged down by our situation we do not even notice we are making progress.
With mental health challenges and I am sure with many things the steps forward can appear so small we don’t mark our forward motion. When you take the time to add the steps together, they tell a different story.
Maybe you are not where you want to be but moving in that direction is a good thing, take the time to applaud your progress.
Of course, you wouldn’t want to get stuck just looking at where you have come from as this might create you to be stagnant.
One must …..
4. SET A GOAL AND FOCUS ON IT
A person must know what their destination is. Once you have the goal in mind, breaking it down into smaller goals like mile markers will be key if it is a race in life that requires perseverance.
Remember – keep your eye on the mile marker and remember you just have to get to the next one.
5. TRAIN AND PRACTICE
Marathoner’s train and practice for the race. You have to put in the hard work to reach the finish line.
So maybe you were thrown into the unexpected and unable to train. That is okay just start right where you are. You will make mistakes, but that will be alright – just keep practicing.
Be consistent in your training.
6. BELIEVE IT IS POSSIBLE
One must have faith they can reach the finish line. Every step forward should be a reminder that you are capable. You can do more than you ever thought possible.
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”Matthew 19:26
7. PACE YOURSELF
You don’t want to start too fast or too slow. You want to keep moving one-step at a time in a steady manner. Of course, along the way do not forget to REST and REFUEL.
Running a marathon is a test of endurance, much like life. Fixing your eyes on Jesus and concentrating on the seven life lessons learned from marathoners will assist you in crossing the finish line. I have no doubt one can develop resilience and the tenacity to run the race set before them.
Are you running the race of your life like a marathoner?
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For the month of May, our Monthly Favorite Page will highlight mental health resources, organizations, and things that have been helpful on our journey. Please keep checking back throughout the month for additional items.