There are various definitions out there that define the word success and I believe it to be very subjective. Society tells us from a young age that true success has to sound something like “the attainment of fame, wealth or social status”. The kind of definition that makes most people unhappy and miserable over time. Even the richest and most powerful people in the world do not only chase the money or power position. If that would be the case, then most successful companies like NIKE, Facebook or Microsoft would have been sold for a high price early on and the creators would zip cocktails on some tropical island all day. Nonetheless, all of them keep grinding every single day from early morning to late night despite all the financial freedom they have achieved.
So, what is true success?
I think that true success originates from deep inside of us. That is why it is so subjective and cannot be quantified. Each of us carry their own dream with them, some struggle to find it or might never find it. It is solely up to us to take the time and spend the energy to do some proper soul searching.
It is too easy to get wound up into the daily struggle of having to go to school, studying and working to not find time for ourselves. If you have not found your true purpose yet, do not worry but keep working on it. If that means a week holiday alone, fine. You can start with 10min meditation daily (check out “headspace” in your app store, starts with 3min daily and guides you all the way, worth every second).
Success and triathlon
Many times people are very outcome orientated. “If I could just break that run time for the 10k” etc. etc. – that is definitely not something that will keep you in the game for long. I know many talented triathletes and athletes who were chasing some ranking or objective goal.
Some of them reached it and since there was not more to get them out of bed in the morning, they quit the sport – hasta la vista.
Some are abusing this beautiful sport and ability to move so freely (like many cannot, be grateful for this!) with getting so down about the objective result like a finish time, that the quit the sport because of that. Ri - wait for it - dicilous, if you ask me. Someone hand them a tissue please.
This picture was taken at the finish line at IRONMAN Florida. I was extremly happy, tired and satisfied despite not knowing if I reached my objective goal of qualifing for Kona or not. I did my absolute best on the given day and I am proud of that. The Kona qualification is just a nice bonus which I gladly take of course!
Stop chasing times
If deep known you realized that you are one of those people that use finish times and rankings as your main motivation, do not feel bad, but you have to act! You cannot continue down this path, since it will lead inevitably to loss of joy for the sport and will definitely not make you a happy fulfilled age group 85+ athlete. Even Jan Frodeno who says that the main thing that drives him is "winning", has a strong internal drive to nature and the love of being outdoors. Everyone is different and has different reasons that get him or her out of bed in the morning. If you think you found it, take a look in the mirror and think hard if it is a healthy drive or not.
“Man, why is that guy so much faster than me – I have been training so hard and gave my absolute best on race day”.
We all fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to others, it is a human instinct to do that and even feel jealousy about it for an instant. Most importantly, SNAP yourself out of it the second you think that. What good is that going to do you? None. You will waste precious time thinking of other people, while you could be working on yourself to improve. Start with the mental state, since this will certainly derail your best performance on race day. Heading with a mindset like that into a race, will be a foundation for being a little baby when things get hard!
You will start comparing all over again when someone passes you and you lose touch with your own self once again. Take Mark Allen during the famous “IRONWAR” in 1989 when he battled his biggest rival Dave Scott from the swim, all the way through the bike and ran side by side for most of the marathon. If he would have allowed his thoughts of comparing himself to his rival deadly looking Dave Scott on the day, he would have lost the race. Always when these negative comparing thoughts creeped up, Mark looked away from his rival running right next to him and distracted himself with the nature around him and focusing back on himself and feeling grateful. Just doing the absolute best that he can in that moment. That is all we can do. By the way, he ended up winning the famous battle and became the IRONMAN World Champion that year.
Bottom line, never ever compare yourself to others.
You can use them as motivation to fuel the fire, but never get down on yourself – absolute no benefit of doing that, quite the opposite.
Work hard, dream big and do the best you can every single day. You will become the best version of yourself, if you play with that approach in life.
Happy week everyone,
Become the unstoppable you,