Johnny Kelley has become like a rock star in the Boston community. Having run the Boston Marathon 61 times, finishing 58, he ran his last full race at the age of 84.
He’s repeatedly asked, why?
Why does he keep running so many marathons?
His answer is one of the key foundational principles to reaching any goal; it’s also largely dismissed as insignificant.
“It’s a labor of love. He says. I’m going to keep going as long as I possibly can. I’m afraid to stop running. I feel too good. I want to stay alive.”
Most people attempt to reach goals with the exact opposite approach.
They subscribe to an approach and a mindset that’s harder and harsher than necessary. There’s a (misguided) pride in declaring just how determined, disciplined, focused and hard working they’re going to be, this time around. Finally.
But the numbers don’t lie. According to a study conducted by the University of Scranton, just 8 percent of people achieve their New Year’s goals.
This means, 92% of people won’t achieve their goals and for the 8% who do; their chosen approach is typically one of deprivation and suffering.
To put it simply, the traditional way of reaching goals suggests that you exchange a good deal of time off your life making trades you don’t love, that seldom lead to the outcome you want.
Maybe it’s time to question our approach.
The traditional approach to reaching goals doesn’t work. Of this, there’s ample evidence.
John Kelley offers us a far better and more effective approach. It’s one I practice myself and know to work.
If I can’t find a way to love the trade I’m about to make; it’s a no go. It’s a radically simple approach that requires a touch of rebellion, courage and self-worth.
What’s also important to note about the Kelley approach is that it’s not an attempt to get something.
Kelley doesn’t run marathons in an attempt to get money, accolades or recognition. He runs as a way of giving himself something; it’s an opportunity to feel alive and in love.
His reward is the run; not what happens as a result.
If I could impress ONE idea upon you to carry you through the year (and beyond) it would be this one.
The win is how alive and good you’re willing to feel in your pursuit, not once you’ve arrived somewhere else.
When outcome and measuring become insignificant, the relief is instant. You’re no longer waiting to feel better somewhere else.
It’s an exhilarating and liberating place to live from. It’s how you gain access to much more of your power and potential.
This approach is available not to those who are lucky or have things easier than you. This approach is a choice for those who feel both brave and worthy enough to want to love their life this much.
I hope you’ll allow yourself to be open to experimenting with its value.
Lastly, your choices need not be made because of a date on the calendar or based on arbitrary numbers (like calories burned or consumed or hours worked).
At any moment, for any reason, you are free to re-prioritize what you want to matter most, to choose a different, less-conventional approach, to decide that this will be the year you’re going to practice being much more intentional about loving what you decide to trade your (precious) time/life for.
When it comes to meaningful success and enjoying a deeply satisfying way of life; love, has everything to do with it.