Nobody just decides to run a marathon. No one goes to a running coach and asks, “How do I run this thing without getting tired?”* If we want to run the marathon, we have to train.
The coach’s job is important too. The coach doesn’t magically dispel the runner’s tiredness, they help the runner to put it somewhere. In their mind and in their body, the tiredness still happens. The coach helps them cultivate the strength to cope.
The runner, the coach, the race, the tiredness – these are just variables. Professionally, we deal with all of them. Where do we put the tired, the stress, the doubt to finish the race? How do we train? How do we coach others through the same process?
As Joshua Medcalf says, “The people at the top of the mountain didn’t fall there.” If we’re tired, if someone we’re coaching is stressed, it’s fine. We have to understand where to put it. We have to overcome that obstacle over and over again.
There are a lot of steps taken before the first step in the marathon. We have to show up. We have to do the work. Especially the hard work. With repetitions we build strength. With practice we build intelligence. Success, whatever that means in each unique scenario, only comes with a process.
h/t to Brian Koppelman and Seth Godin. This conversation inspired today’s post.
*some people do. We know who they are. See “Be A Hacker, Not A Hack” for more.