Goals are set – 20 laps. You set off. Swimming is not your strong suit but you want to try it anyways. At this point you are 5 laps in and very happy with your progress – you can feel the workout but know you still have energy in the tank for the other 15. Your pace is good. You can visualise the next 19 laps in your head.
You look to your left, you’ve lost focus. You see a 90 year old woman slowly gaining on you. She doesn’t have a care in the world and does not realise the disastrous impact she is having on you.
Your ego won’t let it happen.
You think “I’m in peak physical shape – I can’t let someone 65 years older than me pass by without even an effort.”
You decide you won’t let it happen so you speed up slightly, she’s still there but you’re inching ahead. You’re pretty chuffed with yourself as you finish 10 laps. The speed is still there but you continue to push hard. 11 laps….. 12 laps…….. 13 laps…………. and you’re exhausted.
You fail at your target and don’t feel great.
This happens to everyone at one point or another. You set your goal, a timeframe, how you’re going to get there and then you set off, confident in your knowledge of reaching that target.
But that old lady is your colleague, your friends, the people you follow on instagram. They are doing something different, in your mind something better. You decide that you should also be doing something different, something that seems more exciting, more interesting.
However – you don’t know anything about those other people – only what they are showing in that thin slice of their public life. That woman might have been the olympic gold medalist in swimming for 12 straight years, she might swim every day, she might have been swimming for 80 years.
You just started.
You’re not an expert.
But you could be. Stick to your goal and your own path, stay focussed and improve every day. Be a better version of yourself today than you were yesterday. And one day you’ll get there.