Think about the difference between running for miles and miles vs. training for a marathon. The distance covered may be the same, but only one activity has an end goal in mind.

This analogy applies to many professionals whom I coach; they seem to spend their days harried from running between small tasks instead of gaining satisfaction from accomplishing something big from the accumulated distance they have covered.

Running a marathon is an intentional act; you know it will cause discomfort, but you choose to do it anyway for both the intrinsic and external benefits it provides. The trick is to frame your professional work as running a marathon, finding a common thread and an overarching purpose to guide the smaller steps that consume your day.

Crafting your own finish line can allow you to feel that it’s worth pressing through the pain to reach the end.

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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