The year was 1992 and I was glued to my television set anticipating the evening broadcast of the Summer Olympics from Barcelona, Spain. I had been waiting all day to see the 400-meter semi-finals. A close race was expected but no one predicted that the world would witness one of the most epic moments in Olympic History.
Derek Redmond was a young British runner favored to win the race. 250 meters from the finish line Derek tore his hamstring and fell to the ground. Despite being in excruciating pain and facing horrific disappointment, Derek proved to be a true Olympic Champion.
In the face of horrible agony and impending defeat, with tears running down his face, Derek stood up and began to hobble towards the finish line. It was then that a man pushed his way through the crowd fighting back security guard after security guard to make it to the track.
That man was Jim Redmond, Derek’s father. His father told him, “You don’t have to do this.” “Yes I do!” responded Derek. The world watched as father and son continued down the track together. As they approached the finish line, Jim let go of his son and Derek completed the race and crossed the finish line alone where he received a standing ovation and won the hearts of the world.
Few of us will ever compete at the Olympic level, but all of us have our own finish lines to cross; the question is, do you have what it takes to cross your finish line?
Superior Planners Inferior Doers
Executive Business Coach Marshall Goldsmith drove this point home in his book Triggers where he stated,
“People are Superior Planners but Inferior Doers.”
That being said, what do you need to do to get better at execution and become a superior doer?
6 Steps to Help You Push Past the Finish Line
1. Gain Clarity
You must first clarify your endeavor to see if it merits undertaking. A goal worthy of pursuing is one that will give you a sense of innate accomplishment and lines up with your passions, skill sets, and values.
2. Connect to Your Purpose
When you know the purpose behind what you want to accomplish, albeit a goal, idea, or project, your purpose pushes you forward beyond anything you thought possible. It is your biggest motivator and connects you to your sense of meaning and significance. Finishers are always connected to their purpose.
3. Develop your Skill Sets
Devote the time and put in the hard work to improve your skill sets. Focus on what you want to get better at and concentrate on always looking for ways to improve. If you study the work ethic and mindset of top elite athletes, you see a common denominator among them; they never get complacent. They continue to work hard and are constantly finding ways to raise the bar on their performance. In their minds, good is never good enough.
“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.” Mike Tyson
4. Learn to Persevere
We will all face setbacks and disappointments in this life. One thing that many people are lacking in this age of immediate gratification is patience. People give up on their goals because they haven’t developed the muscle of patience. Patience is not only a virtue; it’s also a state of endurance. To learn perseverance, patience must be exercised.
5. Cultivate a Powerful Mindset
Choose a powerful mindset before you commit to your project or goal. Creating and embracing a strong mindset will help you persist despite obstacles and setbacks. Short term thinking won’t push you past the finish line; a commanding mindset will.
6. Schedule Deadlines and Celebrate Milestones
Start with the end in mind. This concept gives you the visual image you need to focus on the finish line and strengthens you as you work towards that reward. Celebrating milestones for yourself along the way gives you much-needed encouragement and quick wins which build valuable momentum. Momentum is always your best friend and a powerful force pushing you towards the finish line.
Crossing the Finish Line
The real reward for crossing the finishing line is seeing who you become in the process. All finishers beat the odds stacked against them by persevering. They understand that,
“How you do one thing is how you do everything.”
Finishing builds your self-confidence and demonstrates courage under adversity. It paves the way for others to be inspired just as now 25 years later, Derek Redmond is still inspiring us; that’s what a lasting legacy looks like.
The question to ask yourself is,
“Are you willing to do what it takes to become a superior doer and cross the finish line?”
There is a crowd watching you, know that your legacy will live on way past the time you cross your own finish line.
Rita helps her clients:
• Embrace their true potential
• Change their limiting beliefs/thoughts
• Create Purpose
• Live Empowered, Confident, and Successful Lives
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