At NLPWORKS, We train right downtown in a major metropolitan city. In some ways that’s a good thing.
In Toronto, every once in a while there can be an event that makes it difficult for us to get to where we train (actually because it’s in such an awesome location every event seems to want to be there…but that’s another story)
Today we had a marathon – the 2nd Marathon that Toronto hosts every year. One in the spring…one in the fall. The fall one ends about 200 meters from the training space which is both awesome because we get (during the breaks) to watch the finishers just before they cross something off their bucket lists.
Occasionally it can become painful because sometimes we watch people whose determination has far exceeded their physical capacity, like last year when I watched someone who had kicked off their running shoes at some point and were stumbling along with bloody socks.
5 years ago our training space was less central but along the same race route and I watched runners (including a student) pass by in the very cold, crystal clear morning air and thought: what happens after?
We have all had experiences where we perform brilliantly. We are AWESOME! We pull it all together and, like a magician take all our resources and focus them on one event or experience and learn or realize something pretty spectacular:
And we realize “I am FANTASTIC.” and understand that “I DID it!!!!”
Aaaand then what?
Today watching people 200 meters away from running a MARATHON!!… Completing a huge milestone,…Ticking off a bucket list item…whatever, I watched some runners breeze by, smiling, enjoying their shining moment while others were almost literally killing themselves to reach the finish line…just to finish. Just to survive. I saw one person utterly collapse about 400 meters away from their ultimate goal. He or she had to be taken away by ambulance. DNF after enduring all that physical, emotional and psychological pain.
Where I stood, strangers, (reading the names on the bibs) and the occasional family member cheered, “Hey John – you’re AWESOME!” “Cheryl – keep going..ONLY 200 meters left!!” “BRUCE…keep it up buddy!!” and “Dad…we LOVE you!”
But then what happened 20 minutes later?
Twenty minutes later I watched a bunch of tinfoil blanket wearing marathoners, who were now pedestrians. What really struck me emotionally was watching the former runners…limping along the sidewalk heading home only a few minutes after they had been heroes. I watched them struggle valiantly to reach the finish line and then limp pathetically the opposite way to their hotel room…their car…their train…subway…bus. So many of them took their success and then stumbled backward to close off the journey. They were no longer jubilant. They were no longer heroes…they were grim survivors.
Survivors and in some cases walking zombies…as other heroes stumbled past them hearing, “You rock Carol!” and “Jennifer – you’re the best!!”
Only a few moments before they had been striving…cheered on…, and then 20 minutes afterward just another pedestrian with a medal around their necks feeling less successful anymore…and maybe over it – because the race was certainly over them!
In my classes sometimes I ask students to remember moments of success..or moments or raw joy. My fear is these moments are far too fleeting only to be obscured by the walk home.
So preserve and protect your successes. Keep them close and isolated from the pain of achievement and perhaps the pain of the aftermath, because you want those successful moments to be pure and separated from what happened before and what happened after. People who do well are those who remember the pride of the finish line…not the lonely painful stumble back to the subway or car or hotel room…
We provide the only 20-day NLP Courses in North America that Exceed the Training Guidelines and practice standards as established by the Canadian Association of NLP. Our students come out of our trainings HIGHLY competent with tremendous skills and knowledge of how to apply NLP to their own lives and the lives of others.