"Success isn’t found on the couch, it’s usually under a rock… on top of a mountain."
While pacing a rain-soaked LA Marathon, I was asked what the keys were to having a long professional running career. I’ve learned a few things since the summer of 2000 when running shifted from avocation to vocation. In some ways it seems like yesterday when I was the youngest guy at the Olympic Trials eleven years ago, yet in other ways, it seems like a different life. There’s a myriad of ways to answer the question; here are some thoughts…
Whatever the profession, those with long-term success are the passionate few who would be doing what they’re doing whether they were paid for it or not. Dr. Howard Thurman said it this way:
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive and go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
It’s the passion principle. Passion takes you the extra mile, passion gets you through the tough times, passion keeps your hand on the plow.
Dream big and work your tail off. There’s no magic bullet, there’s no quick fix, there’s no substitute for blood, sweat, and tears. Embrace the grind; if it were easy everyone would be doing it. If you’re dreaming big and working hard, you have to learn to ignore the critic. For every dreamer there are 100 cynics. Those who have abandoned their own dreams will try to convince you to abandon yours. Don’t listen. Believe in your dream. They’re on the sideline, you’re in the game.
“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great ones make you feel that you, too, can become great.” -Mark Twain
Follow the golden rule: Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you. When you treat people right, folks want to work with you; when you act entitled, you end up alone.
Assemble a good team; no one can do it alone. Be proactive, don’t wait for good things to happen. My buddy, Josh Shipp, said it this way:
“Stop waiting for your ship to come in, swim out to it or build your own.”
Find influencers and ask for help. Find products you believe in and write those companies a letter. Knock on enough doors and eventually someone will let you in.
In short: Pursue your passions, dream big, work hard, be nice, and surround yourself with others who do the same. Be positive, ignore the critic, follow your heart, invest in your passions, believe in your dreams, & get busy making them reality. Don’t talk about it; be about it.
Success isn’t found on the couch, it’s usually under a rock… on top of a mountain.
Josh Cox is a writer, speaker, TV personality and elite marathon runner. He is a four-time Olympic Trials qualifier and has represented the U.S. in international competition on several occasions. He burst onto the national running scene in 1999 by winning and setting a course record in a 50-mile ultra marathon at 22 years old. He trains with Mammoth Track Club and recently shattered the 50k American Record by more than 4 minutes. Josh and his training partner, Ryan Hall have signed a book deal with Harvest House Publishers for a faith based running book due out in 2011.
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