Thursday, May 15, 2014

Good at the Beginning or Good in the Long Run?

Good at the Beginning or Good in the Long Run?

By Kathleen Lisson

"Wow, that's amazing! I could never do that."

I read a post on Seth Godin's blog titled 'Good at the beginning' that reminded me of the reactions I saw in some of the people I met when they learned that I like long distance running and, more recently, that I was going to hike up Mt. Kilimanjaro. Their reactions were not negative toward me, but I felt a little worried that their admiration was shortchanging their own capabilities to meet challenges. 

Finishing my first half marathon

Their approach to my adventures made me ask myself:

  • Do we think people hike up Mt. Kilimanjaro because they are really good at hiking? 

  • Do we think people run half marathons and marathons because running comes easy to them?

Early successes certainly make continuing through hard practices easier. Hiking seems to be less painful to me than other, more inexperienced hikers. I enjoy running long distances and I know that type of exercise is unpleasant for some people. 

I haven't 'picked up' many things about hiking right away. Orienteering is a learned skill, and there is trial and error in getting used to new gear and learning how to 'scramble.'

I appreciated Seth Godin's observation that "the people who are good in the long run fail a lot, especially at the beginning."

I would rather be good in the long run.

Read Seth Godin's post here:

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