It does not matter how slow you go so long as you do not stop. Confucius
In the past, life could be run like a 100 yard dash. In a 100 yard dash, a runner explodes with all the force and power he/she can muster towards a finish line that is just about a football field length away. The fastest runners reach it in just 9 secs.
The key to a successful 100 yards dash comes from strength, speed, and a great start. The runner crouches low to ground and using the strength in their lower body, they propel their body up and forward with as much power and speed as possible.
In the past, strength, speed, and a great start were needed to be successful. Were you strong enough to take it if you wanted it? Could you move faster than everyone else and get it? Did you have advantages of money, education, and connections that other people didn’t (aka, did you have a great start)?
Each new interaction was another opportunity to start a 100 Yard Dash and improve your position for the next 100 Yard Dash. Relationships and reputations be damned, because the communication channels didn’t allow for timely transmissions and there wasn’t much that could be done about it anyway if you didn’t have your own strength, speed, and resources.
But today life is more like a marathon. Instead of strength, power, and a great start, a marathon is about the long run and having the mental and physical stamina to keep going for 26 miles. It doesn’t matter how fast you run– maybe being fast matters a little, but the biggest accomplishment is just finishing the darn thing.
Running a marathon requires that you take care of yourself, that you practice, that you learn to control your mental activity and focus long enough to run for 5-7 hours in one shot, and that you cultivate relationships. No one runs a marathon by themselves. Other seasoned marathoners and running store experts provide advice. Massage therapists help you heal, and your spouse and friends provide moral support. Armies of volunteers make the races possible. In return, you must give advice to other runners, volunteer at races when you’re not running, and provide moral support for your family and friends in the pursuits that are important to them.
Fortunately, today, the long run has gotten much shorter. Technology means that word about people living life like a 100 Yard Dash gets around, and we can avoid doing business with them. It also means that building relationships and reputation happens much faster, too.
Give, because you’re running a marathon.