Tanisha Drummer Parrish

What Success Really Looks Like

‘The elevator to success is broken. Take the stairs.” – Jenifer Lewis

This past Sunday was the Chicago Marathon and I just so happened to be in town visiting friends.  I love the energy and excitement of this day as it represents the culmination of many months of training, focus and endurance for thousands of people.

Watching the marathon reminded me of my own experience running the marathon and the many lessons I learned.  I realized that I needed to reapply some of the lessons from that experience to my life today, specifically my career.

Lately, I’ve been feeling like I’m not making the progress that I should. I’ve created false expectations of where I should be based on others. While I know comparing myself to others is a clear path to unhappiness, it’s often hard to ignore.

When you run a marathon, you typically don’t view it as a competition against others. You view it is a competition with yourself.  You want to beat a time goal or maintain a certain pace. During my own marathon, I don’t remember anything about the other people running the race. What I do remember is looking inward and telling myself to keep moving as I celebrated each mile that I finished.

It’s no secret that everyone would love to have Oprah or Bill Gates’ level of success. Not only do we want great success, we want it quick, fast and in a hurry. We expect the journey to achieving our goals to feel like a sprint: one quick burst of energy that ends in victory. More often than not, the experience is more like a marathon: sustained effort and commitment to keep taking one step forward despite periods of discomfort, fatigue and lack of motivation.

Success is a long journey often filled with roadblocks, setbacks, rejection and failure. How you view and respond to these moments is what will determine whether or not you reach your goal.

Here are 5 life lessons I learned from running a marathon:

  1. Hold the big vision – Never lose sight of the end goal even though you
  2. Be present – Appreciate where you are now. You’ll never get this moment back.
  3. Run your own race – Don’t compare yourself to others.
  4. Take the stairs – The journey is often more rewarding than the destination.
  5. Keep going – The moment you are about to quit is often the moment right before a blessing is about to happen.

When I clicked on the link to watch Jenifer Lewis’ video, I was not prepared to get smacked in the face. Within the first 20 seconds she had sucked me in and given me chills.  Not only does she have a powerful message about success, she speaks with such conviction that you have no choice but to pay attention. PLEASE NOTE: The video has some strong language so be aware if children are around or you are work.

© 2023 Tanisha Drummer Parrish – Life Under Innovation