In Order to Finish First
This past weekend Mark Martin did it again! We talked in an earlier post about a person's being too old to accomplish his dream. Well, Mark Martin proved that his win a few weeks ago over the age of 50 was not a fluke. He won again Saturday night at Darlington in the Southern 500, conquering "The Track too Tough to Tame" for only the second time in his career.
Darlington is one of the toughest race tracks on the NASCAR circuit. It couples high speeds with tight racing conditions, meaning there is not much room to maneuver around competitors. This often causes drivers who are fighting for the same piece of real estate to beat up and bang on each other, sometimes with one or both of them ending up in the wall. Hitting the wall is common at Darlington, and rubbing it is almost expected sometime during the 500-mile race. Scraping the wall leaves a strip of paint down the side of one's race car known as the Darlington stripe.
It's a feat to keep one's car in one piece for 500 miles at Darlington. In his post-race interview Mark Martin revealed that back in the 70's, early in his career, fellow racer Dick Trickle told him, "In order to finish first, first you must finish." Dick Trickle, who is known by most racing historians as the most winning race car driver in American history because of his estimated thousands of wins on local, Midwest short tracks before moving up to the national touring series, told Mark this, as Mark put it, because at that point in his young life he was all about giving the car as much gas and going as fast as he could. Mark admitted that he kept crashing, knocking off the front of his cars by being too aggressive.
Mark learned with experience to keep his car in one piece throughout the race so that at the end he was in a position to go for a win. It's impossible to have a chance in the final laps if you have spent half the night in the wall.
The moral of this dialogue can be applied to our everyday lives: use your energies wisely with attention to the end result. In business set yourself up for success when it matters. Do not dive into a project at work full force and burn yourself out before taking it to completion. Be patient with relationships, sometimes waiting for them to find you instead of forcing the issue . . . or letting the one you are in develop naturally.
When we set our goals, we need to look at them as the victory lane in the race of life. We need to set action steps to achieve those goals that ensure we will make it to the end. If we crash halfway through the race, we and our pit crew will have a difficult time getting the car to the finish line. Not that some races haven't been won by overcoming great adversity; it just makes more sense to set yourself up to take the checkered flag.
Quote of the Day!- "Lose your wishbone, get a backbone."-unknown