Don’t Negotiate With Yourself

Motivation.

I don’t know if this is a normal thing, but I talk to myself when I run. In my head, I set mini-goals, “To that lamppost. To that bench. To that little crack in the sidewalk.” 

I’m the only one who knows the goal. If I stop before I get to the lamppost, or the bench, or the little crack, no one looking on would know I fell short of my goal. 

But I would know. And I would have broken one of my primary Life Tenets: 

Never break a promise, especially to yourself.

It’s easy to negotiate with ourselves, isn’t it? We set high goals, lofty dreams, but we give up before we realize them, before we ever know what we COULD have done. Maybe it’s too hard, or takes too long, or we get distracted, or just plain tired (can I get an Amen?). 

But life is about forward progress. Forget perfection. Seek forward motion. You can adjust along the way. We have to keep pushing ourselves, reaching for those big dreams and doing those hard things, with “consistent persistence”, according to the late, great Zig Ziglar. It takes motivation. Determination. Drive. Grit.

So sometimes my inner voice literally sounds like this: “Of course you can. Of course you can. Of course you can.” 

We keep running, keep moving, keep reaching. No. Matter. What.

Maybe it’s just a step today. If you pushed hard and that’s all you have in you, then that’s okay.  Take another step tomorrow. And the next day. And the next. 

Not every step will be difficult, but not every step will be easy, either.

Just. Keep. Running. One step at a time. Every step matters.

Because here’s the thing about steps. 

They take you places.

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