I have recently finished Charlie Spedding’s excellent story about his running journey. It is a must for any aspiring runner, or really anyone that wants to reach their full potential. Charlie won the bronze medal for the marathon in Los Angeles and by his own admission, he probably wasn’t in the top most talented runners at the time.
He did it by developing a vision of success and aimed to peak at the right time. He changed the language that he used, so he could change his thoughts, this would change his actions and ultimately change the outcome.
The most powerful part of the book for me, was when he was plateauing at being an excellent runner, while still being short of world-class.
He had a team talk with himself and asked three simple questions:
- What do I want?
- Why do I want it?
- How much do I want it?
It struck me that a lot of people ask themselves the first question, some even the second. Few ask themselves the last one.
I want to do a lot of things, of course, but how much? – Am I prepared to go through the process, the effort and focus required to achieve the outcome. Usually not. By only asking the first two questions, we start a lot, we become average at a lot, at best…above average.
I quit golf, not because I didn’t (usually) enjoy it, but because I wasn’t as good as I wanted to be and I simply did not want it enough to put in the effort required, or perhaps more accurately sacrifice my time and other opportunities in it’s pursuit.
I encourage everyone to have a checkpoint with themselves from time to time and go through these key questions. You might be surprised what you decide to not pursue, or perhaps you may even surprise yourself on what you can achieve.