For the past several months, I have walked and ran dozens of miles over the lonely, rural roads of central Louisiana, wearing combat boots and training for my very first half-marathon. There was not one time when I put on my boots to begin a run/walk that I did not think of the men and women who serve or have served our country, wearing the same combat boots.
The difference was that they were doing it away from friends, family and safety. They were walking in the heat of the desert and doing for the love of country and a heart to serve, risking their lives for the freedoms I too often take for granted.
It started in the summer of 2013, one year ago, when several women from my company, Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp., made the decision to participate in the June 2014 Seattle Rock 'n Roll 1/2 Marathon. We would be the “Fairway Women Who Rock” and it seemed like a very cool thing to do. What I later realized was that the decision to participate was the easy part. Running the race would also require discipline and determination.
Because the race was one year in the future for several months my mindset was: “I will begin training...tomorrow. Or maybe next week.” As the timeline fell to within six months of the event, I knew if I was going follow through on my decision, I would have to get serious and develop the disciplines to train for this event, even with my heavy travel schedule. Once I actually started the training, my thoughts were “This is hard.” Developing a determined heart would be crucial if I were going to participate in my first ever half-marathon at the age of 61.
A partial definition of determination is “the act of coming to a decision or of fixing or settling a purpose.” For me, it was the battle between my mind and body. My mind was saying, “You can do this.” While my body saying “Are you crazy? There’s no way.”
I really had not committed to the decision to participate in the race. What I needed was purpose. That’s when I made the decision that would actually make the participation a little more difficult: I would not merely participate in the race—I walk/run with my combat boots to honor our military and in the process raise money for my favorite charity, the Boot Campaign.
This purpose then became the driving force which helped me to win the battle of mind versus body. Once that purpose was set, there was no turning back.
Success in business and in life is much like this. We make hasty decisions or set huge goals at the beginning of a new year, but fail to realize the discipline and determination it will take to carry us through to the finish line. The first half of 2014 is now over and it may be time to seriously review the decisions you made on Jan. 1. You must only have implemented the necessary disciplines to achieve the goals you want to achieve but you must have settled on a purpose as to why you want to achieve those goals and dreams and have a determined heart to run and win the race.
Running a race in business or in life requires making a decision, implementing the necessary disciplines and having a determined, purposed heart to carry you through to the finish line. This quote from Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton seems to say it all: “The longer I live, the more I am certain that the great difference between the great and the insignificant, is energy—invincible determination—a purpose once fixed, and then death or victory.”
Louise Thaxton is a producing branch manager for Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp., based in Leesville, La.,where she oversees satellite offices across Louisiana. She can be reached at 866-960-9115 or firstname.lastname@example.org.