Having recently tuned into the Olympics, we’ve all been inspired by the amazing feats that the athletes have achieved. But I noticed, maybe more this year than ever before, that the interviews kept referring back to the slog. The daily grind, the hard, diligent, dogged determination that it takes to achieve your goal.The icy Winter mornings that must be faced and endured by runners, swimmers and cyclists before they attain the Gold.
As I look towards my goal, being a successful freelance writer, able to support myself entirely from my work and ultimately leaving my 9-5, I face this same road.
The long and winding road, as Paul McCartney put it, is a hard one but one which builds character, and gives a person raisson d’être, a reason to live. A purpose. As a Christian I have an innate sense of this purpose but have struggled for much of my adult life to understand how to unlock my own potential.
I have now come to the blinding realisation that only with commitment, perseverance and sheer graft does anyone achieve anything worth celebrating. For those people who achieve greatness without effort neither appreciate it or are satisfied by it. There is an old proverb, “Restless is the sleep of the idle man, but sweet is the sleep of the diligent man.” For too long I have been idle, allowing excuses and fatigue to cause me to falter, but today I strike out with purpose.
I run the 5km. Not particularly fast, my fastest time is about 25 minutes. but I take great delight in finishing the race. As an ideas man I’ve always been a great starter, but seemingly I always crash and burn at the first onset of difficulty. In a race I start strong, but steady. Towards the middle I inevitably slow down, almost to a walking pace depending on how match fit I am, but, I always manage to keep going because I know where my finish line is, I know what it looks like and I know how I will feel when I get there. It is that knowledge which propels me. And is that knowledge which enables me to kick into a sprint and overtake a dozen or so people in the final 2-300 metres.
By writing this down, I am committing to do the same with my business plan. Write down my aims, so I know what the finish line will look like, be aware that fatigue will come but persevere knowing that a second wind will come and I will be able to finish strong!
I’d love to hear any feedback from anyone who has gone solo or is thinking about doing so and to hear your own stories.