Run Your Own Race – It’s the Only Way to Win

Run Your Own Race

Sometimes it’s better not to see what’s coming up from the side and simply focus on the road ahead.

Run Your Own Race – It’s the Only Way to Win
Seabiscuit, in blinders that kept him from seeing War Admiral thundering behind, won this 1938 record-setting race by four lengths.

I realized the other day that I’ve been spending way too much time comparing myself to others — looking to the left and to the right — instead of focusing on the road ahead. I already knew about the dangers of mulling over mistakes from the past, but it totally escaped my attention that watching what other people do and then comparing it to what I’m doing can be equally destructive.

I’m also realizing it’s a hard habit to break with its roots planted in (ugh) envy. It starts with observing the competition and ends up with my coveting what my neighbor has: more business opportunities, more money, more lucky breaks … more success.

Now, I don’t know if these entities to the left and to the right really do have more of these things than I do, but that’s what happens when I compare my “insides” with their “outsides.” Somehow, when I’m comparing myself to them, what they have always comes out looking bigger and better.

I think of horse blinders, those shields on a horse’s bridle that keeps it from being spooked by things it sees coming up from the sides or behind. Any shadow, even a rabbit, any movement seen in a horse’s peripheral vision can cause it to rear, panic, bolt or simply dissolve into a nervous wreck. When it’s not unnerved or distracted by what’s going on around it, the horse stays focused on its own path.

I could definitely use my own set of blinders in life because the more time I spend comparing myself to others, the less time I have to travel the road of my own destiny. How can I run my own race when I’m so busy looking at the competition — both real and imagined? In fact, keeping my eyes on what others are doing is a good way to stumble and fall.

One of my favorite photos is of the racehorse Seabiscuit — wearing blinders — as he crosses the finish line four lengths ahead of War Admiral, the horse that, by all appearances, should have been the winner in their famous 1938 race. Seabiscuit was an undersized racehorse from humble beginnings, knobby-kneed and the target of stable jokes, who often came in last in his early racing career. Yet this photo from the famous match race shows little Seabiscuit sailing past the enormous War Admiral, easily winning by four lengths.

The photo sits above my desk as a good reminder that I need to keep my eyes forward, focused on what will encourage me and inspire me. I cannot get discouraged because someone else — younger, prettier or more accomplished than me — is in the same race. In fact, I wonder if Seabiscuit would have won that amazing race if he could have seen the giant War Admiral thundering beside him.

To see the thrilling Seabiscuit-War Admiral race, click the arrow on the video below: 

Kim CalvertKim Calvert is the editor of Singular magazine and the founder of the SingularCity social networking community. An outspoken champion of people who are living their lives as a “me” instead of a “we,” Kim oversees the creative direction and editorial content of the magazine and online social networking community. She secures contributors and is responsible for maintaining the fun, upbeat, inspirational and often-humorous tone of Singular, a lifestyle guide for successful single living.


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3 thoughts on “Run Your Own Race

  1. Do you wanna know the real reason why they put blinders on Sea Biscuit? Because he was a nastyass competitve horse. Not because he would spook, He was predisposed to biting other horses that got too near him. He got off on the competition. If you think for one moment Sea Biscuit wasn’t aware War Admiral was nearby, think again. He probably heard the other horse’s breath and felt the vibrations of his hooves as they struck the ground behind him. Yes, horses hear with their feet as well. That little red devil was far from a spook. He was feisty, cantankerous and had an ego as big as Kentucky. He loved competition. Breeze him by himself, and he lagged. Put another horse on the track and he was rolling thunder.

  2. Good advice Kim. It’s really important to discipline our thought life – to fix our thoughts on what is true, honorable and right. God honors faith, the enemy attacks with fear. We need to keep our minds going in the right direction, stay positive in our thoughts, and live in faith, not fear.

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