Success: Why You Should Run Your Own Race 0 34

Emil Zatopek - Greataholic

We all have a stone portrait of success and how we should get there. Study this, apply that, and then…

That’s what Emil Zatopek would hear about his running style.

His arms would dangle like they had no bones, his face would shapeshift with pain and his footwork… Let’s just say his running wasn’t easy on the eyes.


  • He went on to break 4 world records in one race,
  • Held 8 world records at the same time,
  • And broke 18 by the time his career ended.

People will look to the time you wasted, the steps you skipped or the qualifications you do not hold to deem you unworthy of those dreams you refuse to let go of.

On paper they’ll be right, but that’s just on paper.


You’ll Compensate Your Way To Success

I’m aware of how preachy this sounds, but what you don’t have is really, really less of a problem than you think. Every pebble looks like a mountain when looked at too close.

What Zatopek lacked in running technique he made up for with ruthless, repetitive training. Out of necessity he focused on one thing, which eventually fathered what we now call interval training.

To use an example you’re very familiar with, Steve Jobs didn’t focus on coding, yet his dream saw the day.

Like his, your dreams can be broken into 3 indispensable components. Of them,

  • You’ll never be perfect at one,
  • You will be good at one,
  • And there’s a third one that will require you to be the very best at.

Your job is to determine which of the components of your dream is within your reach and excel at it. To recognise this component, think of what made you susceptible to be attracted to your dream in the first place.

Excel at it and the right circumstances will collude to make the rest happen.

Let’s say for example that you wanted to launch a sports agency. From the top of my mind I’d say you’d need money skills, people skills and a great understanding of contracts. Now let’s say you were not so good with people.

If you decided to develop good money skills and a perfect understanding of contracts, your dream would still see the day, athletes would do the mouth-to-mouth job for you and the right staff would be attracted to you. All without you having the very best people skills.


Run Your Own Race

To summarise,

  1. Divide your dream into 3 indispensable components.
  2. Pick one you could be perfect at.
  3. And become just that: Perfect.

During your race, you will notice the people around you doing it different. They’ll swing their arms right, keep their chin up or land on their toes. Ignore them.

You may never beat them at their game, which is good news because they’ll never beat you at your game. For all his boasting about being great, the crocodile will never excel out of water as he would in it.

The likelihood of you reaching your peak is hinged on your ability to focus on your own strengths. Run your own race.

— I’m waving your flag.


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Dreamer, doer and recovering average addict. I am the senior editor of and I'm very honoured to know you're reading this. Your attention is humbling.

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On Fear: The Emperor Has No Clothes 0 28


If you don’t know this powerful story yet, take a seat.

There was once an emperor who commissioned a new suit from 2 swindlers who posed as weavers. They ordered the best silk available, which they hid every night instead of using it for weaving.

To cover up their theft, they spread a fascinating rumour about this new suit: That is was so unique that only those who were worthy of their rank could see it.

If you couldn’t see it, you were unworthy, an imposter, a disgrace.

“What a splendid work of art!” The ministers marvelled as they inspected the evolution of the weaving. Truth is, they couldn’t see a thing, but none of them was ready to be called an fool.

“Oh my, this is amazing!” Exclaimed the emperor, as he saw it in his turn. Not once was there anything to see during the weaving, but the fear of disgrace got every one in and around the city to join into the lie.

On procession day, the emperor removed his clothes, stepped into his marvellous new attire and majestically paraded around town.

“But he’s got no clothes”, a child said. “He has no clothes”, the next person thought. Before you knew it, everyone came to their senses and shouted what had been apparent all this time: that the emperor has no clothes.

Yet. Convinced that only fools would think such a thing, the emperor continued his procession, smile on his face, along with his ministers holding a train made of thin air.


How Does This Story Relate To Fear?

1. Fear Is The Invisible Suit. To embrace it is to see something that doesn’t exist.

Just like the suit only existed in people’s mind, fear is an idea: That things will go wrong, that the uncharted territory is rigged with ambush and that the unattempted is so for a reason.

If you convince yourself to see it, you surely will.

The emperor ignored the voice in him suggesting that there wasn’t any cloth and had the opposite of what he expected. In attempting to avoid ridicule, he met ridicule.

In attempting to avoid failure, fear could lead you right to it. How?

  • You cannot eternally push back a launch date,
  • avoid an apology,
  • or avoid an assignment,

Without consequence. When fear knocks, do that thing right away.


2. Fear Begets Fear, just like the lie about the suit spread itself.

If you convince yourself that anything about a goal at hand is to be feared, it will become easier to accept the fear of everything else associated to it.

It is debilitating. It doesn’t make you more tactful.

If you need life in your best shot, do not launch it from a position of fear. Launch it from a place that says “I can make it because I said so.”


3. Courage Begets Courage, just like the truth about the invisible suit spread itself.

I could as well have said courage is the gateway drug to itself. It only takes one act of courage in the opposite direction of your worries to make you do more. Doesn’t matter how small, what matters is that your brain registers the idea that you are the kind of person who successfully faces challenges.

The rest will catch fire from there.


Rock on!


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The First Strokes On Your Canvas 0 31

Inspaholic 01

There’s nothing expected about the first strokes on a canvas.

At first they seem not to make sense. A random line, a circle here, a dot there. But as the artist moves on, it becomes evident how indispensable they were.

The same goes for the first lines on a tapestry. They rarely bear all the colours, but without them, the finishing touches which attract the beholder’s eye would not be.

However shapeless the first steps in following your dream seem to be, remember that they’re just the base lines of your tapestry. Beauty and acclaim will eventually come, but without the steps you’re on right now, they’ll have nothing to be built upon.

Can I invite you to keep going?

I’m waving your flag.

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