Yesterday, I was thinking about how people train for a marathon. It seems pretty straightforward: you run a little more each day to build up stamina, you eat appropriate food to get more energy, and you get advice from other experienced people who have run marathons before. What you don’t do is sprint short distances, running as fast as you can before you tire out.
We don’t train for the other marathons in our life. When it comes to starting a business, we get impatient about the results while waiting for that first big sale instead of building things the right way: steadily and sustainably. When it comes to justice, we often focus on short term fixes instead of long term, systemic change. That’s because the sprint feels better, like we’re going somewhere more quickly. However, it just leads to people feeling burnt out and unable to sustain that kind of momentum for the long haul.
What is life but one big marathon? Train for the right kind of challenge ahead. Don’t focus on shortcuts or quick results.