Fuel for the Last Lap
This week I have a pretty crazy schedule that includes about 2000 miles in my car traveling up and back down the East Coast. Cramped up in tthe tight spaces of my car driving the first 475 miles from Greenville, SC to Woodbridge, VA, I started to think about the task at hand -- my goals for this week. I had a thought about effort that I wanted to share:
Harnessing adrenaline is a means to accomplish extraordinary short term results.
As a runner in high school (the mile) I learned for the first time about wasting adrenaline at the wrong time. I was a 9th grader when I ran the mile for the first time, and it was the last time I lost a race. Before I got to the starting block, my adrenaline was already raging -- short twitchiness in my legs and a heartbeat that was way too fast. For three of the four laps, I led the pack, but on the last lap when I should have been able to muster that last bit of kick, there was nothing left. I had used up my power in the starting blocks. I remember the experience vividly -- the crushing feeling of wanting to use inner strength and finding that it was all used up. As a 9th grader, I didn't know so much about all the neuro-triggers that control adrenaline, but I knew that I would have to change the way I "felt" in order to not tap into the deep power that I would need to muster in the home stretch of my next race.
I started practicing running in all kind of weird scenarios to try to figure out what worked -- like running with my mouth shut to control my breathing through my nose. I learned to control my heartbeat and breathing and use it to fuel my "last laps". It was not until almost 10 years later (in training for ultimate fighting) that I learned about how to control adrenaline -- and I still barely know what works.
Back to running, I did not lose a race again, and I believe that I might still hold my school's record for the mile -- not sure...
The real point is that as I was driving and thinking about the business tasks at hand and my ability to accomplish these goals, my adrenaline started to race. I was visualizing the obstacles in my way and systematically eliminating them. I was living in the future of success and acting as if I had already accomplished those outcomes.
Nothing else can fuel that "last lap" of business like adrenaline. Just make sure you are burning fuel for the right purpose.