No one finished the Barkley Marathon this year. This news isn’t really a surprise. Only 15 people have ever finished this 100 mile race since it’s start in 1988.
The Barkley Marathon may be the toughest endurance race in the world. And the difficulty starts with the application process. Getting in to Barkley is shrouded in secrecy, even after the race became famous through the film, The Barkley Marathons: The Race that Eats It’s Young. The Barkley Marathon is almost impossible to finish. And it’s designed that way on purpose
Why attempt the impossible?
You may say, “Running 100 miles? Good for them. I’m not that crazy.”? But do you feel a wee bit of inspiration, like a forgotten dream. Is there something inside saying that maybe you could be awesome too?
Or you might be like me. I’ve juggled both fantasies of greatness and the couch-potato syndrome at one time or other.
Fake challenges and real failure
I love stories when the hero struggles and wins. I imagine myself right there in the story, doing daring deeds. But there’s also something lazy lurking inside that wants an “easy button.”
In the past I’d set up “easy” challenges and fool myself with fake success. Or I went to the other extreme and set impossible goals doomed to fail because I didn’t do the hard work.
Do it because it’s hard
In 1962, John Kennedy cast a vision to land a man on the moon and return safely to earth. He said we should set this goal because it’s hard.
We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills
I’ve learned you grow fastest when you set huge goals and then do the hard work.
The hard things show you what’s real inside
Don’t get me wrong here! You don’t have to do everything the hard way. Sometimes you should take the tour bus to the top of the mountain instead of scaling the cliffs. Don’t be so creatively stubborn you ignore proven success strategies. (That’s my default approach.)
But find a hard challenge if you want to grow. You may not take on the Barkley Marathon or fly to the moon. For you, it may be sending your oldest child away to college. It may be having that conversation you’ve been avoiding. Maybe it’s losing weight, getting in shape or changing jobs.
The hardest challenge is coming face to face with the real you. I think that’s why you and I take the easy way whenever we can. Taking the hard way is like a mirror for your psyche.
Inside Out Success
I’ve discovered this truth: you create the world around you from what’s inside you.
My success would have been faster and bigger if I’d managed my inner world better. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t have all my sh!# together yet. But I’m making progress. Telling my story anchors the lessons deeper in my soul. And I hope it helps you make better and faster progress for getting your sh!# together too.
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