Running is the greatest metaphor of life, and its message should center us. There is always someone ahead and someone behind you. There is always someone better and someone different. The only thing we have control over is who we are.
I apply the same principle to directing races. I have been a race director of road races for many years and my driving force has remained the same, to have the best race I can. From my first race, a 200 people event, I wanted to make it a race runners would remember. Being better than others has never been important. I am my own benchmark.
As in running, comparing myself to others has not mattered. Directing a good race, the best it can be is what I seek as an organizer. There is no comparison needed. That premise eliminates envy. My success is not contingent on somebody else’s failure. It’s all on me, as it should be. “Success is not an accident” – Brian Cavanagh, USATF coach.
I’ve never understood envy:
“I concluded it was because they were perhaps envious and upset that someone was trying to accomplish something positive. I just carried on and kept running, realizing just then that sometimes the toughest part about achieving something and succeeding is realizing that maybe not everyone is going to be happy for you. But, you must remain positive and remain driven. Leave the negative people to the cold frustration of complaint. They inhabit a lonely world best left to themselves.” – David McGillivray Motivational Speaker.
I don’t get the desire to hinder another person’s success. Even if the goal of keeping them down is achieved, it does nothing to enhance one’s work. There is no real satisfaction when it comes at the cost of somebody’s pain or failure.
“Only a person who is miserable will spend their energy trying to inflict harm on others” – K.K.
Honest success that fulfills the heart is only earned through hard work and…luck. Sometimes, no matter how much work a person puts into it, it might not happen. But still, knowing you poured your heart into it, will feel good. That’s where satisfaction resides.
Being true to yourself feels good. Doing the right thing feels good and brings peace. Because at that moment when the lights go off and there is no one to lie to, no one to pretend to, when the only person to account to is you. When it’s you and only you. You and yourself. At that moment, you can only feel good when you have done the right thing.
It’s not about being the best, second, or otherwise. It’s all about being yourself, someone you can live with. Someone who can sleep in peace at night.