I bet you have heard the story of the Tortoise and the Hare. In case you have not, I will give you a quick recap.
The Hare takes off fast, gets a huge lead, and decides to rest. He falls asleep, while the Tortoise keeps going. Because he kept “running” without stopping to rest, the Tortoise won the race.
That is a nice story, and it teaches a nice lesson about having a consistent work ethic and persevering. However, to me, there is a much bigger lesson here that no one ever mentions.
The average life expectancy of a European Hare (I had to pick one of many types) is 3-4 years. The average life expectancy of a Tortoise is 50-80 years.
This begs the question:
who cares who won the race?
I am fine losing a “race.” I have lost many. Others built their network marketing businesses to high levels much faster than I did. Many of my friends wrote books years before I did. Shucks, most of my highschool friends have been Grandparents for years – while I am waiting to become a Grandfather in November.
The real question is NOT who won the race.
The real question is ARE YOU STILL RUNNING?
I have discovered that there is only so much fun and excitement about achieving a goal – especially one that is fast or easy to hit. To me, the true joy comes from playing for the long-term.
Think about it. Which do you really want:
– an amazing wedding, complete with a divorce later, or a real, amazing marriage?
– a huge loss of weight, only to put the pounds you lost back on (plus an extra 20), or a real change of lifestyle that gets you – and keeps you – healthy?
– a goosebump-provoking, super emotional spiritual experience one night, or a lifetime of growing in your Faith?
Short-term looks, feels and even tastes yummy. Just keep in mind what I have heard many folks say through the years:
“30 seconds on the Lips; forever on the Hips!”
Your “taste of success” – in any area of life – will soon be forgotten. As I sit in my office typing this post, I have on top of the bookshelves around me a lot of “success trinkets.” Certificates of Accomplishment. Trophies. Plaques. There is another word for all of these items:
One day when I am gone, someone else will do something with these items. They might go to my children, or be thrown away. It will not matter to me, because I will be elsewhere, celebrating the True Reward of a life well-lived.
Play for the Long-Term. It is the only place where you will truly win in life.