January and February are naturally depressing. The holidays are over; it’s cold; our cars are dirty; everything is a shade of gray; work is scarce; days are short. Forget business, negative media, competition, the economy, health care and rising gas prices. This time of year stinks (and “stinks” is not my word of choice).
It reminds me of the hills I encounter when I run. How I deal with hills can impact the quality of the race. How we deal with January and February can impact the rest of the year. At my company, I encourage people to search for positive news to report during our weekly office meetings. We encourage each other to look to the future (warm weather, lots of work, cookouts) and quit focusing on our present conditions. It’s all about our attitude. When encountering a hill or obstacle, our attitude is the main propellant that gets us over it.
When encountering a hill, some people stop. Some look for a way to go around it. Some slow their pace to conserve energy. Some keep a steady pace. Some attack it.
Personally, I love hills! My wife and I often run together. We have watches that tell us our pace, distance, calories burned, etc. We always encounter several hills during each run. I initially believed that she would slow her pace at each hill because I would beat her to the top. After several runs, I questioned her about slowing her pace. She showed me, using the data stored in her watch, that her pace had been consistent. She examined my watch and noticed that my pace increased during most ascents.
Both of us get to the top of each hill, but differently. Neither one of us, however, stops or looks for a way around it or slows down. My wife is steady. She leans into the hill, but controls her pace. I also lean into the hill, but I accelerate. I want to conquer that obstacle as quickly as possible. I know I will be fatigued at the top, but it feels good to know it’s behind me.
Those people that stop, slow down, or waste time trying to circumnavigate the hill will be left behind. Those that maintain a steady pace or accelerate through the hill will lead.
Are you a leader?
—Bill Evans, president, Evans Glass Co., Nashville