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It's not WHEN you finish, it's WHY.

Updated: Jan 3, 2020

I randomly came across that sentence a while ago and it became my laptop screensaver for a long time. I don’t think I had ever thought too deeply about the “WHY” bit. I had started running and maybe the phrase helped me feel less inadequate about my pace!

Recently this took a whole new meaning as I reflected upon a day out.

I have challenged the family to walk the beautiful Cotswold Way (102 miles, to be done in separate chunks) before the end of 2020. Last week we set out with maps, home-made soup & flapjacks and warm layers to complete the 10-mile (16km) between Winchcombe and Cheltenham, which is a gorgeous section. Once at destination, I ran back to the starting point to get the car and pick up the family (who were by that point nice and warm drinking tea!).

♦ 5 hours is how long it took to walk the distance as a family.

♦ 84 minutes is how long it took me to run back.

♦ 13 minutes is how long it took to drive to the end point.

Each journey was different, yet both from A to B (or B to A).

Each journey had a purpose in its own way.

Did we fail because we took 5 hours to do something that could take 13 minutes?

Yes the “journey, not the destination” saying is a little cliché, so what? There are hundreds of things that we saw and learnt during the walk that would go completely unnoticed from the comfort of a car. But each journey had a purpose:

♦ being, seeing and learning,

♦ trail-run training and racing the sunset,

♦ getting back to the family before the café closing time.

Each of those were a success in its own right and fulfilled a purpose.

We all have myriads of examples of journeys vs destination stories in our lives, each with their mix of hardships, learning points and enjoyments.

When we look at our businesses, and our results, sometimes we need to walk, at other times we need to run, and we also need to be ready to jump in the car and go! But what happens if we’re in the car all the time? How much are we missing then? Worse even, what if we’re in the passenger seat in that car? How do you decide when is a good time to walk/run/drive? Do you have that decision power in your life? In your job?

So now I look at “It’s not when you finish, it’s Why” with a new pair of eyes. It's funny what a bit of fresh air can do to your brain.

What’s your take on this?



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