So, the longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. To me, it’s more important than facts, than the past, than education, intelligence, money, circumstances – past failures and successes.
Charles Swindoll wrote passionately about the importance of Attitude – we can all relate to his opinion, even if not everyone agrees with it. I think about attitude and mindset in similar terms – a disposition, mood, an intention or inclination.
I remember my first Half Marathon. I’d never run more than 10 miles – the half is just over 13miles long. I went into it just hoping to finish and get the medal. I did finish, though I can’t recall ever being more exhausted in my life. Once I completed the race, I went on to participate in 4 more Marathons that year. Each one was easier and less challenging than the one before.
Then I started thinking about a full Marathon, +26 Miles of running and definitely +5 hours. I procrastinated for 2 years, convincing myself that I can’t possibly run for over 5 hours. Eventually a cousin persuaded me to enter the lottery for one of the Majors – the Chicago Marathon.
I got in – so now things got REAL. I tried to train hard, over a 7 month period, but couldn’t actually manage even a 13 mile run. Most I ran was about 8 miles, so I was very nervous going into my first full Marathon race. Once again, my attitude and mindset was, “Just Finish the Race”.
Two weeks ago, I did complete the Chicago Marathon, in just under 6 hours – swollen knees and all. And then a strange thing happened – I got really excited about running more full marathons. I even promised myself that I’d complete the rest of the 5 Majors (Berlin, Tokyo, London, New York & Boston).
This weekend, I ran my second Half Marathon of 2019, didn’t train much, but I was very confident that I’d finish. Afterall, if I could complete a 26 Mile race, I’ll never be intimidated by a 13 Mile race again.
This leads me to the title of my Post – Attitude & Mindset. As soon as I completed a Half Marathon, my mindset changed, I became more confident, more self assured, having gained self belief by actually doing what I set out to do. Once I completed my first full Marathon, my attitude about that challenge also changed – couldn’t wait to complete the next one.
My insight here is that, in life, it’s important that we embrace challenges with the right attitude. It’s also important that we keep taking on more challenges – and trying to do things that seem difficult. Things that really stretch us. There will be mistakes, setbacks & successes. Inevitably though, there will be Growth – in Confidence, Self Belief and hopefully some World Changing accomplishments.
So, now I encourage aspiring Leaders to keep taking on bigger and bigger challenges – Personal, Professional, Physical, Intellectual – doesn’t matter.
In the Process, I’m hoping you’ll improve our attitude and nurture a Can Do mindset. Then you may find that Charles Swindoll’s words take on an even deeper meaning…