As a high school teenager, (17 and 18 years old) I was a State Champion sprinter in both the 100yd and 220yd dashes. I also ran the anchor leg of the State Champion 440yd relay sprint. No one ever beat me or the relay team in any race that I or we ran. We were very good when it came to running events.
The winner of each type of race was always the first to legally and properly cross the finish line. In all of my memory, I can never recall anyone,…any runner ever being awarded a medal or ribbon before the race was run or during the running of the race. The winner and the other two places (2nd & 3rd) were always determined at the completion of the race. In short, to be a recognized and rewarded participant, you had to have actually run the race,…covered the distance,…and crossed the finish line.
In the short distances, the runners can always see the finish line while they are actually running the race. Such is not always true during the long distance races. In either case, the finish line is the point of determination as to whether a contestant did, in fact, cross the finish line and complete the race.
The rules of competition are simple. In order to cross the finish line in any type of life situation, you must always know what and where this finish line actually is. Once you clearly identify the finish line,…the objective,…then your purpose is to focus your total attention on this finish line without any distractions of your mental capabilities. You are to continue to keep your focus on the finish line the entire time you are running, and not take your attention off the line until you have successfully crossed it.
So much of all success is based and built upon focused mental attention (energy) while physically performing the work tasks.
So the key to success in all efforts in life is to know the purpose and objective of your success building efforts and then stay focused on completing the necessary work ethic in order to complete the mission and accomplish your desired success. There are to be no breaks, no vacations, no hit-and-miss sporadic work efforts. Success demands consistent and persistent application of the required work habits that will enable one to become successful…No exceptions!
Vision is critical. To win by completing the race or any other type of competition, all participants must clearly see the finish line no matter the circumstances.
Allow me to tell you, that when and for whatever reason the finish line cannot be seen, i.e. poor visibility, detours, derailments, and the like, the competitor still must keep his eye on the destination, the goal, the end result if he truly desires to win the race.. Fog (in any form it materializes) can and most usually will destroy one’s chances of winning his race. If “fog banks” roll in and obscure your vision, additional help or other type physical assistance may be needed to keep the competitor on course and always headed in the direction of the goal line until it is crossed. With all of this being said, the only requirement remaining is for the competitor to actually cross the finish line. All that he or she needs to do is to stay steady at the task of competing and enduring all the way through the race until he crosses the finish line.
During the fall and winter seasons of the year, football reigns supreme. Throughout each week thousands of people pack themselves into stadiums, parks, and bowls to watch two teams compete against each other for a victory. Each competition must have some sort of a measuring device to determine the final score and therefore the winner of the game. A Goal Line and two Goal Posts at both ends of the playing field provide the means of measuring the final score. In life, as in football, a team won’t go far unless they know where the goal posts are.
The Creator of the Universe full well knew the importance for a human being to know where he is going,…for him to have a final goal or destination to reach. God recorded His Truth in the Holy Bible in The Book of Proverbs, Chapter 29, verse 18 : KJV
“Where there is no vision, the people perish; but He that keepeth the law, happy is he.”
As is always the case, God is specific and purposed in all of His instruction to us. There is never a question as to what an individual should do if he or she wants to be obedient to the instructions of the Word of God. So my advice to those who do not wish to perish,…is for you to have a VISION for your life! And then spend the remainder of your life converting the vision into its final reality.
So what can we learn from all of this discussion?
We must learn that to realize your dreams, you must keep your eyes on the goals that you have set that will enable you to turn your dreams into reality. Let’s take a quick dip into some icy oceanic waters through a true story about a long distance swimmer that clearly drives home the point of knowing precisely where you are going with the living of your own life.
On a foggy morning in July 1952, Florence Chadwick waded into the chilly waters off Catalina Island some twenty-six miles southwest of Los Angeles, California. Her Goal? To swim the channel between the island and the California Coast.
The water was numbing cold that day. The fog was so thick she could barely see the boats that were accompanying her as she swam. Several times a high powered rifle was fired into the waters to frighten away deadly sharks that approached Ms. Chadwick.
She swam for more than fifteen hours before she finally requested her assistants to take her out of the water and prematurely terminate her swim….Her trainer tried to encourage her to continue swimming,…to stay in the water,…and to keep on swimming,…since they were so very close to the sandy beaches of the California coast.
Florence was not a stranger to long-distance swimming. She was the first woman to swim the English Channel in both directions. But that day, she was discouraged. Whenever she looked ahead all she saw was thick and obscure fog. Florence actually gave up only one-half of a mile from her goal!
Later, she said,…“I’m not excusing myself, but if I could have seen the land,…I might have made it.” It wasn’t the cold water, exhaustion, or fear that caused Florence to fail, that day. It was the fog. Two months later, Florence Chadwick swam the Catalina Channel and set a new speed record.
Keep your goals in sight today and continue to press on. You just may be much closer to fulfilling them than you realize!
Leaders Gotta Lead…………….