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Winning is easy

It’s easier to win when things are already set-up for you to succeed.

The elite marathon runners in London yesterday completed the race in astonishing times and should be rightly celebrated for it – but they didn’t have to wait 50+ minutes on the start line, nor dodge people dressed as clock towers, bees, rhinos and telephones.

Nor did they even have to run as far: a quieter course means they could take the ‘racing line’ – looking at a few results, some of the ‘slower’ runners who ran the 26.2 mile course clocked up distances between 26.5 and 28 miles simply by not being able to take the optimal route.

It’s worth remembering this as you compare yourself to others: the social media influencer who has proper lighting, image editors, free products and free time; the celebrity who talks about the ‘one trick to weight-loss’ whilst shamefully neglecting to mention the dietician, personal trainer and chef they keep on retainer; the property guru who can show you that anyone can make money in the market (provided you have a spare £100k to start with, and accidentally come of age during a boom).

Jealousy is rarely motivational, and when it is it’s normally for the wrong reasons, and achieves unsustainable, unstable results. As soon as you get a car as expensive as your neighbour’s, you’ll notice a pricier one down the road.

True success must align itself to your own values. Your goals should take into account where you are today, not where someone else is (or was, just before they began their ‘journey’). By all means take inspiration from those who you perceive as more successful, but don’t expect to emulate them if you’re starting from a different place, if the conditions are different.

I’d argue that there is just as much reason to celebrate, say, Charlotte Wong who recovered from breast cancer less than two years ago, had never run more than six miles but yesterday completed the marathon in a smidgen over six hours.

And remember, it’s only inspirational if you actually do something about it.

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