Stop Being a Sprinter

Day 010 Week 02 Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Creativity is a long-haul activity that is not just for sprinters. But if you are a creative outlier, you already know this. Since creativity and innovation are essentially involuntary, these activities are often engaged in with little or no warning. And since they tend to happen a lot, you find yourself in a marathon, perhaps comprised of an infinite set of sprints. 

But there comes a crossover time when the sprints all run together, and you find you are actually running a marathon. And then you are truly into diminishing returns time. This may be when you become a nerd or just a we bit obsessed with a project or a direction. Maybe not even such a small bit, but seriously obsessed. You may even have become a full-time creator or innovator. Congrats, it is marathon time. 

This means it is time to stop being a sprinter, for here is where the tortoises begin to beat the hares by plodding along consistently without cessation. And along with the change in speed, you also get the armor of the tortoiseshell, which you are going to need. When you create as a sideline, you can always claim it is a hobby, or you are playing around or experimenting.  But when it is a marathon, not a sprint, then it becomes clear to others that you are serious, and this may occur before or after, or during the time that you become aware of it yourself. 

It is at this time that you may as well stop being a sprinter because it dawns upon you that you truly intend to go the distance. Here is where it is handy if your distance behavior has already been habituated into a set of automatic emotionally and intellectually relevant behaviors. It is times like this that you can settle in and enjoy the ride. Sure, there will be ups and downs, but you have already been experiencing them for years.

The bottom line is until you stop being a sprinter, you can not really become a professional, and it takes crossing that line to truly become excellent at getting somewhere as opposed to simply intermittently moving quickly.  It is only once you stop being a sprinter and begin the marathon that you can begin to set goals. It is only at that point that there is a much better ability to predict outcomes more accurately.

Sprinters can only predict short-term results. They may initially have more exciting lives, but over the long haul, who would you rather be married to? A sprinter or a marathoner? Hey, since you are kind of married to yourself, I assume the same answer might apply. 

Stop Being a Sprinter!