How lessons from our personal lives positively impact our business lives.

After running my first marathon last year, a client asked me, “Do you really think the human body is made to run 26.2 miles?” My reply was, “It may not be made to do that, but I know the human spirit is capable of making your body and mind do that and so much more!”

Her question got me thinking about how many lessons from our personal lives can be insightful for our business lives too. So many lessons from the road, things I learn personally from running and cycling, also teach me things I can use in business.

While running a marathon, you have a lot of time to think, learn and experience a different side of life and yourself and you get to see first hand what the human spirit is truly capable of…not just yours, but many other people’s too.

In Columbus, there was a portion of the course where the front runners would go by the slower ones. I got to see for myself the beauty, grace and determination of the wheelchair and handcycle athletes. They are poetry in motion with the fastest athletes finishing in under two hours.

Not far behind them were the fastest runners, who would ultimately run the race in less than 2.5 hours for the men and under 3 hours for the women. To me, this is also an amazing tribute to the human spirit and what it can do.

The next part of the journey included learnings and insights from our Clif pace group leader, Marie. One thing Marie told us early in the race was to dedicate each mile to someone or something important to us that helped us reach this point. I thought this was a great way to pay tribute to the people and things in my life that helped me reach the starting line…and would ultimately get me to the finish line. It was also great to spend that mile thinking about those people and experiences and how they have enriched my life and the joy they have brought to me and others.

The people you meet while running a marathon is another great part of the experience. Some of the people I met included a man who decided to run the marathon to lose weight. He lost 15 pounds training for Columbus. Another guy I met around mile 20 was struggling up a hill, we tried to energize his spirit with “Good job. Keep it up. You can make it.” It’s a cheer that is common in races and it makes a difference whether you’re hearing it shouted out to you while you’re passing someone and feeling strong or you’re hearing it as you’re being passed and feeling tired. This particular guy thanked us and told us he entered this race on a bet and it was a bet he’d never make again. I’d be willing to bet when he got to the finish line he felt differently because he had done something so special, even if it hurt and was really hard. That feeling of crossing the finish line is something he will have for the rest of his life. And it’s the human spirit that got him there.

So what lessons from this experience can we all use in our work lives?

Lesson 1: No matter what your challenge…physical or other, you can overcome it and achieve great things if you put your mind and body to it.

Lesson 2: You may be born with a gift or you may not be, but the harder you work, the more successful you will be…even if that hard work may be very painful or frustrating at times, it’s worth it in the end. But you have to stick to it.

Lesson 3: Thank the people who helped you get to where you are and will help you get where you’re going. No one reaches their goals alone. There are always people there to guide you. Make sure they know how much you appreciate them and their efforts. Then reflect on all they’ve done for you and pledge to pay it forward to others.

Lesson 4: You’re never too busy to cheer others on. Cheering others success is as important as being thankful for your own.

While your human spirit may never inspire you to run a marathon, I encourage you to listen to it and embrace it. You don’t truly know what you are capable of achieving until you really push your limits. When you do, I think you’ll be surprised what you can accomplish and the impact those accomplishments can have on your life and the lives of others, both personal and professional.

As for what my human spirit has in store for me next, it’s a work in progress. And I say bring it on! I know there are many valuable lessons to be learned.


One Response to “How lessons from our personal lives positively impact our business lives.”

  1. Kevin Hallberg Says:

    You have inspired me, but it won’t be a marathon…that’s life. Keep going Girl!!! You’re awesome!!!

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