Three Traits of ‘The Best’: Be it in business or running

I’m a runner, but to pay the bills I’m a writer. In doing some reading for work I came across an article highlighting a few of the traits that the author felt made Steve Jobs the incredible innovator that he was.

The thing is, be it a creative dreamer in the business world or a motivated runner with aspirations, many of the traits that will get you to the top in one apply to the other. A goal is a goal after all, being goal-driven and having the ability to persevere comes down to pretty much the same things.

The Entrepreneur article was a good read, but I found myself hearing echos of themes I’ve written about right here.
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PASSION. Do what you love and regardless of outcome never forget that you love it. Running is wrought with highs and lows, to get through the tough times you need to remember that underneath it all, you really do have a genuine love for running in the purest form. Running fast is awesome, but running as a stand-alone needs to be your passion.

CURIOSITY. I’ll stretch this to mean more having the ability to wonder, “What can I do?” Run curious. Run for the journey of finding your best. Dream epic goals and go for them. Even if you fail you’re still better off than being moved to shoot for it.

NO FEAR. They say Jobs wasn’t afraid of failing, good. Because you shouldn’t be afraid, failures happen. They are unavoidable, you learn from failures and the epic fails of races and workouts make you BETTER. Or rather, they’ll make you better if you’re able to learn from them and apply those lessons going forward.

Running may be better different than business in a number of ways, but getting to the top of something takes the same qualities regardless. This works even if the ‘top’ is your personal best. That’s the remarkable thing about running, even if you’re never going to realistically set a World Record or win an Olympic Medal you can still take the journey. Have the courage, tenacity, and CURIOSITY to take the trek to find your best.

Run curious, my friends. Run without fear. Run with PASSION.

1) What is a trait that you had before you were a runner that has helped your running?

2) What is a trait that running has actually helped you acquire and hone?

3) How do you try to run without fear?
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15 Comments

Filed under facing fears, goals, motivation, running, writing

15 Responses to Three Traits of ‘The Best’: Be it in business or running

  1. I definitely think the lessons you learn as a runner translate to business and a work environment. I know I’m biased because I am a runner, but when I coached, I noticed that the kids who ran as a sport were “different”. They took school very seriously and made good grades, participated in other activities, and were very driven. I’m not saying other athletes weren’t, but it takes a certain level of concentration, drive, and determination to be a distance runner. Most of the kids I coached are in AP/IB/Honors classes and have scholarships to college, if they don’t have it for running they have it for academics.

    Even as an adult, it impresses me when someone sticks to a training plan for a race for 8 weeks and doesn’t give up on it. That definitely translates to work as well with long-term projects.

    • hey, call me biased because i’m a runner too, but i certainly think drive in running, drive in school, drive in LIFE all run parallels. :)

  2. I think my discipline and ability to push my limits before I became a runner has gotten me a long way from being a non-runner to running half-marathons (and a full next fall!). They say that your limits are more mental than physical, and I tend to ignore that voice in my head that doubts my abilities, and just go for a goal without inhibition, allowing me to push my physical limits.

  3. Dennis

    I have three as well. 1. Be honest. Always tell the truth. To yourself and others. 2. Be on time. When you say youre going to be there, be there. 3. Do what you say your going to do. If you set goals and have a plan to get there, then execute the plan.

  4. One trait I had before I was a runner that helps me in running is my work ethic. Whatever I’m working on, I’m 100% in on it during that time.

    Running has helped me acquire mental toughness that I feel like I didn’t have before. Sometimes my job involves people getting angry/yelling at me and being a runner helps me keep calm and keep from getting upset in those situations. And then of course when I get home I can go for a run to burn any lingering emotions off :)

    I try to run without fear by not doubting my ability and trusting my training.

  5. Kim

    I have always been of the mindset that complaining doesn’t accomplish anything. When I started running that was helpful – I didn’t complain about workouts, I just did them.
    As a runner I think if you are going to run you should give it everything you have – I try to carry that theme out in all of my daily tasks (cooking, cleaning, mom stuff…)

    • i’m SOOO with u on complainers, i can’t really stand the whiney types…sort of like, “we’ve ALL got stuff we could complain about, but you don’t hear us all throwing the pity parties!” hehe

  6. One trait I brought to running: DRIVE. [Ha. That actually sounds kinda funny!]

    One trait running brought to life: Faith that the small bits of work will coalesce into something larger (if you plan them properly!). A few tempo runs won’t win you a PR. Intervals won’t let you finish a marathon. This one workout won’t make or break anything. But when you put it all together…magic happens. Well, not magic – that’s the point. But good things happen.

    How do I run without fear? I don’t let the stories about a few bad things dictate my running life. Yes, I take precautions. Yes, I avoid seriously bad situations. [And yes, this all is a little less relevant in the safety of Singapore.] But I don’t let fear dictate my life. I run alone. I might just run through dusk. I run at the side of a shouldered road sans sidewalk. I run on trails. Are all of these the absolutely, guaranteed, very much most safest options? Probably not. But they’re also not the most dangerous things ever – and at the end of the day, I refuse to let overblown fear force me onto the treadmill 24/7. Stupid? Perhaps. Doing what I love? Absolutely.

    • NEVER let fear stand in your way, I love your outlook. of COURSE be safe and do all you can, but if people over-thought about anything they would find a reason to be afraid. keep running sans fear! :)

  7. Pingback: I’d Run Through the Eye of a Hurricane…Maybe not, well, maybe if I had to |

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