Recently I caught myself getting really mad about how long things take. Generally, I’m a pretty patient person. Even though I would like instant validation, I don’t expect it. And that’s because there’s a long road ahead of me. I embrace the time it takes for things to happen because that’s the marathon mindset.
I’ve written about the yoga approach to life before, and the marathon mindset is similar. Only with the marathon mindset, you gotta be cool with how long life takes.
Almost daily I hear someone complaining about how people have no attention span these days. They’re used to the immediacy of information accessed from a pocket-sized computer that we call a phone. And maybe that’s true.
But I don’t think it is for everyone. I think most people know that life’s a slow burn.
Sure, I want what I want when I want it. But I’m an adult. I know that I can’t just take a vacation in the middle of the week. I can’t go out to dinner every single night. I can’t stay up late reading just because the book is good. I can’t keep clicking on the next episode just because Netflix has the whole series available.
I mean, I could definitely do all these things. But there are consequences.
It’s kind of like with running a marathon. You can’t blow all your energy by hardcore sprinting the first few miles. Your pace has to be even and measured. You have to strategize. You have to think about how you’ll not only approach the beginning of the race, but the middle and end too. And should you choose to start the race at a dead sprint, there will probably be consequences. That is, unless you’re a super human who can sprint 26.2 miles.
(Side note: I’ve only ever run a half marathon, and I’ve openly and loudly stated on multiple occasions that it was the worst day of my life. This is a metaphor, though. And metaphors mean that I don’t actually have to run.)I'm embracing the marathon mindset in all aspects of my life. Click To Tweet
So, rather than feeling impatience take over, I’m embracing the marathon mindset in all aspects of my life. Here’s what that looks like:
The Marathon Mindset at Work
In my career, it’s easy to be impatient. I want recognition and validation immediately. I want to move ahead and make a spot for myself, and I want to do it faster than anyone else. But that’s the thing, isn’t it? It’s not about how fast others run the marathon, because if you try to keep pace with others, you’re going to burn out.
Instead, I focus on doing the best I can at work, and trust that I will be recognized when it’s time. Just like when you get the medal when you cross the finish line, I’ll eventually get recognition for the hard work I put in.
The Marathon Mindset at Home
Have you ever tried to remodel a home? Because holy hell. Living in a house with a person you love while trying to be a normal human being and simultaneously remodeling said house is like running a marathon on an obstacle course that some jerk set on fire. Everything is a hazard.
But by embracing the marathon mindset, I can be patient with home renovations. I know that they take time and money, and they’ll be done when they can be done. Similarly, I like to take the long way round when it comes to chores — doing a little bit at a time. It can be easy to get bent out of shape if your living situation isn’t ideal, but be real. When has your living situation ever been ideal?
The Marathon Mindset with Your Side Hustle
This is definitely the hardest for me. I feel like I’ve been writing my whole life, and it’s easy to feel like a failure when you don’t feel success and recognition immediately. But that’s the thing with writing. It’s naturally a slow burn anyway, because who the hell writes a novel in a day? No one.
Embracing the marathon mindset as a writer means that I have to not only acknowledge that writing is going to take hella long, but that achieving any amount of success from it will take even more time.What does the marathon mindset look like to you? Click To Tweet
So there you have it. That’s how I embrace the marathon mindset in my everyday life. What about you? What does the marathon mindset look like to you?
I’m so glad that this doesn’t involve actual running because I’d be out! lol I’m embracing the marathon mindset with our new house. There are so many things we want to do but they will take time and money that we don’t have right now. So, it’s focusing on one project at a time and not allowing myself to get overwhelmed by trying to do it all at once.
I totally know what you mean. We’re in the process of selling our house, and it’s going to take so much longer because of all the little things we have to do.
So. I clicked over here to do some binge reading, having been out of the loop for a bit, and you totally got me with the word “marathon.” If there is anything I love more about running than the physical act itself, it is FOR SURE the constant stream of metaphor and spiritual refreshment it delivers. Seriously. Every week some new parallel between running as a sport and living a good life appears in my brain. This one you have written here is beautiful!! I lovee it. And I am one of those unskilled runners who always starts out too fast and pays a price, but I am learning. In life as well. Pace and steadiness. Happy and healthy. Keep the long view baby! xoxo
I knew this would resonate with you, Marie! And I think you definitely have the marathon mindset down pat!