The Last Mile
Most people think of “The last mile” as that time when a person is running the last part of a race and almost runs out of fuel to finish. It’s the time when the muscles ache, the shortness of breath begins, and sweat builds to heavy beads all over your body. You either stop running and start walking, or you continue and somehow keep running to finish.
No matter how you feel it or how you perceive it, “The last mile” is almost always the difference between mediocrity and greatness.
Inside each of us and within every organization, there are inevitable stopping points; relationships that are not honest and fair, instead are devious and misleading, and financial situations that are losses instead of gains. No matter what the situation, we either consciously or unconsciously reach that last mile marker in our lives and many times, we fail to claim the prize by forcefully continuing.
Most people may think at this point “yeah – but”. The “yeah but” syndrome is a symptom of the failure disease called excuses.
“Yeah but my wife and I are too different”.
“Yeah but my boss doesn’t understand or appreciate me.”
“Yeah but I don’t have the money to start right now.”
“Yeah but I don’t have the time.”
Yeah, but what about the top 2%? What about the people that do have the great relationships? What about the people that are living abundant lives at every level? What makes them different?
The answer is: they have learned to run their last mile.
We should understand that those of us who have never tried to run the last mile have been programmed, probably by our parents, starting when we were very little to be cautious with money and relationships. They were trying to protect us and helped us to stay secure. For most of us, this meant not venturing out for fear of failure.
We cannot blame our parents for what we are today. We do have the chance to change.
There is a story about a sand wasp and its interesting programming. The sand wasp is programmed to always check out its burrow before it enters. It checks around inside the burrow for anything dangerous and after finding it safe, the cautious wasp brings in its food and starts to eat.
In this experiment, the food outside the burrow is moved a few feet away and when the wasp returns to retrieve the food, it has to move the food back to the front of the hole and return to check for danger. As soon as the wasp returns to the burrow to check for safety the food is moved; again two feet away and every time the wasp returns, it starts the process over again and never eats. The sand wasp is a victim of its programming. The sad part of this experiment is that the wasp dies from starvation.
However, humans can quit and have a chance to change their programming. Most of us just don’t use our god given gift to change our programming. Instead, we defend it. We justify and rationalize with words like, “That’s just the way I am,” or “I’m no good at that”, or a number of other excuses.
It’s time to stop. You can start utilizing last mile thinking. Choose now to be a human, not a sand wasp. You have to decide to participate. You see the last mile is really the first mile and you have to start now; Not tomorrow, not next week, not next year. Surround yourself with successful people and start running now.
I run the last mile every day of my life and I love what it brings for me. Do it and you won’t believe how abundant your life will become.
Taken in part from David Adlar – Author