Running a marathon, a triathlon, an Iron Man, a mountain race or some of these popular variants today (as I’m passionate about, and are part of my Sporty base), it’s a great activity, a way of enjoying the environment, learning to improve, enhancing and physically taking care of our body, and have a hobby or a powerful passion, but I hate to say this it is very easy.
What do we need to run a marathon (or related disciplines)?: Basically we need effort, perseverance, discipline and capacity for suffering. All very important facts in life, but quite easy to apply, since they are only factors which depend on oneself .
From there, for a few euros, we will find everything organized, with the route marked, water on each check point, medical survey to prevent any surprise, many people cheering and treating us like true heroes (just for being running). And if it fails for any reason, the opportunity cost is practically zero, since it’s only up to us to connect to the internet and see what other race we want to run in the next attempt, as there are plenty of marathons and other events every weekend throughout the geography. And do not worry, if you twist an ankle, for example, you can always move you to the next street and catch a taxi to drive you home or to the hotel if you are not in your town.
Is life like this? One thing organized, full of pillows to prevent you falling, well marked, with second chances, and without any risk?
I think the professional, personal or entrepreneurial life in any facet, is really more similar to an adventure than a marathon.
In any ambitious adventure, effort, perseverance, discipline and capacity for suffering is a bare minimum. Anyone can think of undertaking any expedition without having prepared the most of what depends on him, that is, their abilities. But from there on, each one is responsible for choosing the course (no arrows in the way); has to procure their own aid drink and food; encouragement and motivation will have to come from his own conviction and inner strength, because we will not find much people helping us in the way; and has to assume that once started, the opportunity cost is high, both for what he has sacrificed and left undone, or the high cost to have again another chance. Oh!… by the way, and if you twist your ankle, you will not find a taxi to take you home, because here there is always a risk that you have to know how to manage.
Society seems determined to educate people on doing marathons… into believing that if they work hard, study hard and do the duties of a good citizen, then you will find a full signal steering circuit, securities, options and good accompaniment .
This would be ideal (but very boring, on second thought), but despite some episodes or periods that seem that it’s like this, it is not the reality of the world in which we live. And then it happens that very well prepared students in their careers, with masters and many languages, are really surprised to see that the promised highway is not there anymore. Or professionals with very good track record, they think someone should have work for them because they are really good marathon men, and have worked really hard.
Ladies and Gentlemen: there are no motorways, no marked path. The future is has no indications, is a virgin map, uncertain, changing and complex; but also exciting and full of opportunities. But we must understand that this is not a marathon where we can work only in what depends on ourselves, what we like, we want or we know how to do. To go ahead, we need to adopt a more adventurous attitude and understand that apart from our skills, to do what we want, or we know, or we like, we must be responsible for everything else: direction, key decisions, stages, uncertainty, management risks and search opportunities.
I wish you a good life adventure!