I remember the first time I ran a race my dad kept on telling me to focus on myself and my pace and not look back at the other runners. I guess I should have listened to my dad which I did not. On many occasions while I ran as a teenager I use to look back. Even when I went into the military I had the bad habit at different stages of a run or race of looking back.
One day I remember I had the only hispanic in same company as me during Basic Training who was from Mexican Descendency last name Farias. Farias grew up in the rough street of Los Angeles and joined the miltary looking for opportunities. He was a bright kid but I will never forget Farias was because he had a great heart to accomplish every goal he set himself to do. Farias and myself where brought up in the mentality of not working ourselves to hard and not giving 100% just being able to meet the requirements. However both of us where hungry for more.
At the beginning of Basic Training we ended up realizing we had to change our attitude quickly. I was always a runner Farias had never run long distances. At the beggining I remember Farias coming in just barely making the times on our PT (physical traning) Tests and I was a bit above average. Farias realized that if he gave it all he had he could come in with me. At one moment Farias realized that the opportunity of making a better time running was really in his head. Farias became the person I wanted to beat at one point because he was a natural runner in week he was able to bring up his time from doing two miles in 17-18 minutes to doing two miles in less than 11 minutes.
The Underdog Mentor
When I saw how quickly Farias improved his time he really motivated me to do the same. Although Farias was a lot lighter (skinnier) than I was he made me improve my running by a lot. Farias taught me on how to focus on the next guy in front of me and just trying to beat him. Running became fun for me because all I had to do was not allow anyone to pass me and grab the person in front of me. When I felt tired I just focused on moving one leg in front of the other and relaxing so I could make sure I passed the next person. I was also able to make my time a lot better running the two miles under 11 minutes on a few occasions something that now days would really be out of my reach.
One foot in front of the other
I guess in business and other personal matters sometimes we are trying to get in first without taking it one step at a time. When trying to come in first without pacing ourselves and looking at who is behind of us it can only makes us lose focus.
By using Farias example I was able to focus on my targets towards the front and forget at who was behind me. I also paced myself to make sure I was running a comfortable pace for me to finish the distance. I use to have the bad habit of running in front of everyone and then hitting a wall running.
In business I try to make sure I serve each customer in the best way I can. I make sure each projects gets completed with positive results. If I already reached a milestone I forget about that one and focus on the next one to reach.
How do you make sure you are running a race that you can al least be satisfied with your results?
What should you focus on?