Do you remember who won the gold medal in the 400m back in 1992 at Barcelona?
No worries, I don’t either.
But your memory may be jolted if I mentioned Derek Redmond.
He didn’t win any medals that day. In fact, his hamstring snapped when he was just about 250 meters away from the finishing line!
You know the rest of the story; he got up in pain and hobbled towards the finishing line in order to finish the race.
Some things are beyond your control
Derek held records in 1985 and 1987 but has had to pull out of the 1998 games due to past injuries. Eight operations and four years of intensive training later, he was ready to set another record and take home a gold at the 1992 Olympics.
So much effort has been put into the training sessions and Derek started the semi-finals strong. But as his hamstrings snapped. And so did his dream of getting an Olympic medal.
With much tears and in great agony, Derek persevered and finished that last 250 meters of the race.
The winning mindset completes the race
No one would have blamed Derek if he had let the medical team carry him off to nurse the injury with treatment. No one expected him to carry on. But he insisted on completing the race.
Did he win the race?
You bet. He may not have won the medal for being the first to cross the finishing line. But he won the hearts of many by leaving behind a powerful lesson, a flame that would inspire.
Twenty-four years on and the picture of him limping to the finishing line with his dad is still vivid in our minds.
But do you remember who won the gold medal for that race? I don’t. And I still can’t find it on Google.
As I reflected on the race, I see winning business mindsets that Derek had.
Winning is not about how fast you start
It is about whether you can persevere to the end amidst challenges and setbacks. It’s about laying the foundation as he trains rigorously and consistently.
If the service your offer brings real value to your clients, then continue running the race. Don’t give up just before you see results.
You don’t have to be the fastest to succeed or the one who brings in the most revenue. Keep your eyes fixed on why you entered the race, endure, persevere and finish the course. You will yet win.
Winning is not about starting off well
It’s about ending well.
Anyone can have dreams and visions, and almost anyone can start new ventures, but how many would have the discipline to put in consistent efforts to stay in the game?
It’s easier to plan than to implement just as it is easier said than done. Not many will follow through on what they say.
The prize goes to the person who completes the race.
There will be setbacks
How do you handle them?
- Some play the victim and blame game
- Some quit
- A minority will persevere because they don’t give up easily
Through the pains and the hurdles, they persevere. They can honestly say that they have given it their best shot.
If you have not implemented all the action plans with diligence, it’s premature to say that your strategy or your business won’t work.
There will be discouragements, mistakes, hurdles, challenges, and disappointments but only those who discipline themselves and persevere can say they have finished the race to claim the prize.
You don’t have to do this alone
Derek’s dad came to his support, walking alongside him, encouraging him. And so he continued, persevered, and leaned into the father as he finished the course.
What would be the application for you here?