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I have a friend who is an amazing runner.

He has run 5km in under 17 minutes.  A time that I can only dream of.

I found out today that he has an injury that has held him back from running for about 6 months.

I have another friend who constantly battles with her fitness and running.

Her best time over 5km is just under 37 minutes, but more often she struggles to get to 45.

Both of these wonderful people are inspirations to me.

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You may not have done it yet.

You may feel as though you’ve still got a long way to go.

You may have lost all belief in yourself.

But we still believe in you.

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Reading one book won’t necessarily change your life.

But reading lots of books over a long period of time will.

Going to the gym once won’t make much difference to your health.

But maintaining a disciplined, daily regimen of exercise over many years will.

One act of love won’t transform your marriage forever.

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It’s easy to let fear win.

To let it rob you of your future.

To let it trick you into thinking that you’ll never make it.

To let it encourage you to look suspiciously at the person who looks and sounds different.

To let it make you think small.

To let it make it seem as though the obstacles in your path are much larger than they really are.

To let it deceive you into thinking that this is as good as it gets and there’s no use in trying to make it better.

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Some people have a real “look at me, look at me” mentality.

They’ll do anything to get attention, to grab the spotlight, to be noticed.

Some people don’t want anyone to notice them at all.

Give them a compliment and they’ll shrug it off with an embarrassed look.

They want to be invisible, anonymous, hidden from view.

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I recently read this quote,

You want to know the difference between a master and a beginner?

The master has failed more times than the beginner has ever tried.

Excellence is not about perfection, it’s about persistence.

It’s not about faultless performance, it’s about learning from the experience.

It’s not about waiting for the right opportunity, it’s about making opportunities.

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It’s a new year, or is it?

Does the change of a date signify any other changes?

Will this year be any different?

And I’m not talking about thing that we can’t control.  If that’s what we are hoping for, we are bound to be disappointed.

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It’s that time of year when pundits make predictions.

Who will win the championship?

What will the economy look like?

What will happen to the climate?

Of course, they have no idea.

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Frederic Ozanam, the founder of the St Vincent de Paul Society once said,

“Without any labour, there can be no merit.”

What a great reminder of the satisfaction that comes from hard work.

We sometimes want to avoid the arduous journey, but this is what is required, both to be successful and to feel content with our efforts.

If it all comes too easily, we know that it’s not as meaningful.

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I know that it has been a tough year for many, but I hope that you don’t think that it’s been a wasted year.

The dreams and goals that you had at the start may have quickly evaporated as elements beyond your control took over, but that’s not necessarily the end of the world.

The black clouds may have blocked the sun for much of 2020, but the sun was still shining.

And we will see it again.

So, instead of just wishing for the year to be over and washing our hands of it, I would like to ask, what have we learned this year?

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