A day or so after one of my favourite runners of all time came in fourth in the USA Marathon Olympic trials, Boston Marathon Champion, 2-Time Olympian, and NCAA All-American, Des Linden, posted this on Twitter.
I share this for a few reasons:
- Des had every reason to feel defeated and down after barely missing a spot on the 2020 USA Olympic Marathon team but instead she focussed on the fact that she didn’t quit and kept pushing through.
- The idea that we can actually make a decision like “no quit” into a habit in our daily life is one that lends itself to success in many areas of life.
- If we don’t quit, we can make our worst days into barely a hiccup rather than a disastrous cascade of choices that don’t align with our goals.
You know, before folks join us in the Weighless program, one of the prevailing issues that we see repeated again and again, is that when a person hits a bump in the road and makes a misstep (like eating a cupcake at the office birthday party or being too busy to make it to the gym) that instead of accepting that they slipped up and get immediately back on track, they quit and throw caution to the wind for the remainder of the day – or the week – or the month – and they resign themselves to start again when they are “really ready.”
But what if they added “no quit” as a habit?
What if they simply shook off that momentary lapse and got right back on track? Well, then they would join us in taking their worst day and make it “not that far off their best day.” A day that would have otherwise turned into a stream of regrettable decisions would instead be a day where you missed your workout but went for a lunchtime walk instead. Or you ate the cupcake but then had a lovely piece of fish and a salad for dinner.
The truth is that every time we give ourselves an excuse to quit, we get better at quitting. But every time we don’t quit, we get better at pushing through.
Which one would you rather practice?