While I have never ran track a day in my life (other than my infrequent trips to the Riverside Park on 137th street), I’ve always admired the sport because for me it was a direct correlation to how life should be run (pun FULLY intended).
First, in order to even qualify to join the race takes WORK. That work includes tireless hours of focus, persistence, dedication, rejection, acceptance, follow through, and much much more. If every race were for ever body there wouldn’t be only 6 – 8 lanes right?
So let’s say the work has now been done and you have qualified to go for the win. Where we often lose is walking onto that track and trying to get set besides other’s in THEIR lane. Too busy during our Work Time watching how THEY train, and how THEY got the recognition, and how THEY got the awards, and how THEY trained for the race. No no No no No. I can almost GUARANTEE that if we try to replicate the actions of other’s to the T we will NEVER get the same results. It’s impossible. What’s for them is for THEM and what for you is….well you know the rest *wink*.
We must realize that there is a lane created and cleared JUST for us. It is no mistake, no confusion, no mishap. This lane can only be started, ran, and finished by YOU. So sliiiide on over and get comfortable – we’ll be running this race for awhile.
So now that we are settled into our lane, may the race begin. This race takes a whole new level of all I mentioned above – tireless hours of focus, persistence, dedication, rejection, acceptance, follow through, and much much more. If it were easy – EVERYONE WOULD BE ON THE TRACK and not in the stands.
This new level takes even more tenacity because you will always be easily distracted by those racing besides you, especially if they are your friends (can you feel me on this? – or am I the only one that has ever gotten discouraged by another friend’s victory?). But don’t fret – You Got This. You wouldn’t be at a starting line if there was no intended Finish.
Now back to our track reference. As we get closer to the finish line everyone starts to narrow into one lane right? Now don’t be confused – this does not mean we suddenly start stepping on peoples toes to get to the end! The finish line has gold for EVERYONE – the doorway to success is NOT that big, but we will ALL get through it.
Notice even as they are all in one lane they, respectfully, go around each other as they race without the push, shove, shade (well sometimes I’ve caught the side eyes) and so forth. Because all that is is wasted energy. Energy that you need to get to Your intended goal.
I use all these references to state what I’ve stated at the top: STAY IN YOUR LANE – IT’S THE ONLY ONE CLEARED…. This is the only guaranteed lane that will lead you to all that you deserve and desire. Don’t look down in desperation, but look up for indication, and side for inspiration. Did I mention this race called life is a Marathon and not a Sprint? Take your time. Quality over Quantity and Productivity over Busyness.
This week, I challenge you to sit down and begin to map out our lanes.
- What does it look like?
- Who is helping us along the way (if we can put our pride to the side and realize how much our resources are assets in this race)?
- Who in the stands are pushing us towards our goals and who are the distractions?
- Who do we need to stop looking at to our left and right with jealous and comparative eyes, but instead inspiring and admirable hearts?
- What WORK do we need to put in to qualify for the race to begin with?
Often times we can feel like we are a small ant in an ant farm: moving without direction, guidance, and for trying to achieve the same goal as the hundreds around us. It initially feels easy to fall into the crowd and follow the footsteps of those we may think are more knowledgeable around us. But the truth is we are never going to reach the same goal as anyone else the same way. You could try with all your power to emulate the life of someone you admire, but you will never yield the exact same results. That’s not how God allows things to work. He didn’t create you to be a replica. He has a lane designed specifically for YOU, and no one can run faster, harder, or more successful in it than you.
Here are some suggestions to help you learn to Stay In Your Own Lane:
#1 Find your lane! This is the first and most important step. What do YOU love to do? What fills you with passion? What could you see yourself doing in ten years with excitement that you can get working on now?
#2 Stop worrying about what others are doing! The most common mistake in exploring your purpose is seeking it in the purpose of others. Be inspired by those around you who are finding their calling – but don’t be intimidated or weakened by what may appear like greater success than what God has for you. No mans success is greater or worse than any others – its just DIFFERENT
#3 Be Patient! Staying in your lane requires discipline. You don’t have time to look back to see who is gaining in on you. You don’t have time to look ahead and stress about when the finish line is approaching. You have to live in the moment, do what you believe it takes, and be patiently excited about the future results.
There is enough gold in this world for everyone. Don’t waste time chasing after someone else rainbow when yours is right behind you.
I could go on and on, but I think your brain is already processing enough. Have an incredibly blessed day – and I’ll see you on the field.