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In our goal-oriented world, it’s easy to get caught up in a win at all costs way of living.

We take pride in the outcome, but what about the process?

Are we proud of the integrity that we displayed?

Are we proud of how we responded to others when under pressure?

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Clemson University Football Strength and Conditioning Coach Joey Batson is quoted as saying:

“They don’t put championship rings on smooth hands… You win championships when the stadium is empty, when the band ain’t playing, when the cheerleaders ain’t cheering, when it’s just you and your brother, right beside you.”

I love these types of quotes as they are a reminder that we can’t just expect to turn up and expect everything to automatically work out.

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It would be nice if there was a straight path between our goals and their achievement.

No dramas.

A clear course of action.

Zero obstacles.

Satisfaction guaranteed.

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Madison pacing me in a local parkrun

For the past few years, I’ve been conscious of my poor level of fitness.  As a father of three very active kids, it was getting harder and harder to keep up with them.

A daily regime of religiously walking 10,000 steps over the past 3-4 years has helped slightly, but I still had a long way to go.

Through a series of circumstances, a few months ago I found myself standing at the start line of a local 5km parkrun. Parkruns are a fantastic initiative that enables people to run, walk (or in my case hobble) for 5km early on a Saturday morning. You register for a barcode and are able to track your times, giving an incentive to continually improve.  Best of all it’s free!

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Most people don’t like criticism, so we do everything that we can to avoid it.

We surround ourselves with people who agree with us.

We don’t dare to share our ideas.

We do work that is well below our true capabilities.

We come in and leave quietly, hoping that no-one notices.

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On your worst day, you can stay eager.

When everyone else is flagging, you can stay eager.

When you’re having the Monday blues, you can stay eager.

When work seems humdrum and the customers are cranky, you can stay eager.

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There is one Mona Lisa, but millions of replicas.

The original is priceless, the replicas can be purchased in the gift shop for a few dollars.

We all know who painted the original, but we have no idea who copied the replicas.

The original took great skill, but all the replicas needed was a fancy printer.

People travel from all across the globe and queue for hours to see the original, but just cast a passing glance at a replica.

And then there’s you.

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A seed starts in the dirt.

In the dark.

Well underground.

And then, when no-one is looking, something starts.

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If only we knew what tomorrow would bring.

If only we knew with certainty what the absolute best decision was.

If only we knew which clients to spend our attention on.

If only we knew which job candidates would hang around and make the biggest contribution to our team.

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Sound the battle cry.

Blow the trumpets.

Raise the banners high.

It’s time to march forward.

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