Running is like a professional or business journey. If you keep running in circles, you are stuck in a loop of the same challenges and frustrations with very little progress
Read: Competing with yourself leads to meaningful victories
Have you ever thought of running as a metaphor for your career? Running is not only a great way to stay fit and healthy, but also a powerful tool to learn valuable lessons that can help you succeed in life.
In this blog post, I will share how I returned to my casual running hobby and the parallel lessons of running in both our professional and life journeys.
I rebooted my running hobby in 2022 after the markers in my annual physical exam returned a not so good result.
First I started walking 7,000 steps daily for about 2 months. Soon after that, I started gunning for a 1k run
Paco Park is my favorite running spot because there are plenty of trees, you won’t inhale vehicle emissions and it’s safe. It’s pretty cool when you’re only running 1 km or 4x around the perimeter.
But things got interesting when I tried to increase my mileage because the 3K run meant going in circles 12 times, and the 5K run 20 times.
When running in circles I feel like I’m not making any progress, and this leads to both physical and mental exhaustion.
However, when I tried the sport on the open road, I got a breakthrough. The 5K became a 7K and the 7 became a 10, and the 10 became a 12k. In one run, I crossed five bridges in Manila- The China-Manila friendship bridge, Jones, MacArthur (Sta. Cruz), Quezon (Quiapo) and Ayala.
I experienced some difficulty though- At first, I experienced a clogged nose because of the pollution, and my right knee became sore because of wrong running form (landing of the foot). Despite this, the accomplishment is satisfying and worth the pain.
The same can be said for our life and professional journey.
If you are nearing burnout or unhappy with where you are, maybe you’re just running in circles. It might be time to check your spiritual compass to determine your north star
Our vision, purpose and values are like the north star that guides us in our journey. The vision is our long-term goal that we aspire to achieve. Mission is our purpose in life– our reason for being and doing what we do. And our core values are the principles that shape our attitude and behavior. These are the elements that inspire and motivate us to keep moving forward.
In business setting, vision is our long-term plan, where we see our company in the future, at least in 10 years. The yearly plan to achieve the 10 year plan is called business objectives. The mission is the purpose of the organization, and the CSR of the company is largely influenced by this. And the core values are what defines the organization culture and employee attitude and behavior- how we treat ourselves, our customers, and our stakeholders.
To achieve our business objectives, we need to have a clear strategy and a plan of action that we can execute step by step. These strategies and action plans need to be align with our purpose and values.
By following the north star strategy, we can optimize our success and achieve our goals in a meaningful and sustainable way. This strategy helps us focus on one key metric that reflects the value we provide to our customers and our business, and allows us to adapt to changing conditions as they happen. The north star strategy is an innovative and effective way to plan for the future and execute in the present.
Running in circles is physically and mentally tiring. But running towards our Northstar is rewarding.
Where there is no vision, the people perish… – Proverbs 29:18 [KJV]