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500+ for 50 – day 50: sprinting through the finish

Today marks the culmination of my journey to write 500 or more meaningful words for 50 consecutive days.  It’s a bittersweet ending for me.  While I could most certainly benefit from a day off, it’s hard for me to say goodbye to what’s become my daily routine.  My goal throughout this process was to prove to myself that I could commit to an ongoing effort to develop my talents and skills.  And I’ve been successful at that.  This has been a tremendous experience, and it’s one that I will be forever thankful for as I move forward in my life. 

As a result of the demands of my commitment to writing, I’ve created some very beneficial habits for myself that will undoubtedly serve me well in the years to come.  I’ve learned to manage and prioritize my time more effectively as I’ve gained a better understanding for what is valuable to my growth.  And I’ve been able to more effectively identify the things that provide little or no benefit to me and make the decision to eliminate them from my life.  But perhaps most importantly, I’ve learned to make my writing a part of my daily routine.  After 50 days without a lapse, it’s become second nature for me to pull out my laptop and begin stroking some keys.  And it feels pretty good knowing that I am now finally wired to effectively utilize God’s greatest offering to me each and every day should I choose to do so.

You’ve probably already recognized through earlier posts that I have often utilized my experiences in football metaphorically to develop a great bit of my vision for personal development.  Although I did not understand the reach of its influence at the time, football taught me countless valuable lessons about life that I utilize each and every day.  Today I’m reminded again of my time playing for my Dad as a kid.  My father was the greatest coach that I ever knew.  He had this way of motivating us to get more out of each and every effort made on the field.  One of the things that he taught me at a very early age was to “finish strong”.  My Dad is a man who values effort, and there was no better place to gauge a player’s heart than during the last few yards of a long sprint at the end of practice.  I can hear him now yelling “turn it on!” and then see him jumping with excitement to congratulate those of us who summoned the will to dig deep to grind it out, leaving everything that we had on the field.

In life we can very easily be influenced to ease off the pedal and coast into the finish when our destination finally appears on the horizon.  We are trained creatures of comfort…sometimes so much so that we have conditioned our minds to survive challenges rather than to embrace the opportunity for growth within them.  How often in life have you set out to achieve a goal, be it personal or professional in nature, with great momentum at the onset of your venture only to feel yourself begging for the finish line as you neared your journey’s end?  My guess is more often than not.  I’m here today to encourage you to stop allowing that mindset to prevail within you.  Stop sabotaging the growth process.  Your dedicated effort at the finish is just as important as it was on the day that you began.  Anyone can start out on a defined pathway to success and push it for a little while, but it takes relentless determination and guts to finish the process with the momentum necessary to carry you forward to new goals and new heights.

While you may have established a defined finish line for a goal that you are presently seeking to attain, I can assure you that there will be no finish line in life.  There will forever be opportunities for individuals like you and I to establish new benchmarks and further our reach in the world.  For me, Day 50 does indeed mark the fulfillment of one significant personal objective, but I know that I will not stop to celebrate for long.  Because Day 50 also marks the birth of new, greater opportunities for me in my life.  I am by no means finished with my journey in writing.  This is just Chapter 1 of an enduring commitment to excellence.  And because I understand that, I cannot simply coast into the finish and breathe a sigh of relief for the campaign that’s behind me.  If I want to excel in my next venture, I need to take this opportunity to feed off of the momentum of a strong finish here and turn things up a notch as I head into my next journey.  My quest for excellence does not conclude simply because I reach a defined milestone.  It simply begins again at a higher level of entry with a more elusive benchmark in sight.

If you’re nearing you target off in the distance, don’t simply allow yourself to pull up and coast into the finish.  Instead take the opportunity to reignite the fire within you and “turn it on!” so that you can harness your momentum and allow it to lead you towards the pursuit of broader, more fulfilling goals in the future.  The journey never stops…not at a Day 50 or any other for that matter.  Keep pushing and raising the bar higher.  There are no limits to what you can do.

May God Bless!