“If they can do it, so can you.”
A couple months ago I ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in Chicago and saw a sign that read, “If Trump can run, so can you!” While that was bit bit of a play on words, it got me thinking about the whole, ‘if they can ____, so can you!” idea.
Which can be true. Except when we’re not willing to do what it takes in order to make ____ happen.
Take for example: If my friend Heather can finish a half marathon in under 2 hours, so can I. We’re roughly the same age, neither of us have kids, we both work out, and we both like to run.
Except … Heather works out twice a day. Heather makes different food and beverage choices than I do.
So I can’t just start training for a half marathon and expect that I’m going to beat my best time by nearly 10 minutes without a LOT of hard work. I need to be willing to commit to working out a bit harder and longer. I need to be willing to commit to changing my eating and drinking habits. I need to be willing to stick with these changes for the whole of my training, even when it’s hard or hot or cold or there are 10 other things I’d rather be doing.
It’s not that I can’t run a half marathon in under 2 hours. It’s that I can’t just say, If she can do it, so can I! There’s more to it than that.
I have to be willing to be honest about who I need to be to accomplish that goal. I have to be willing to realize that what works for Heather to achieve her goal may not work for me. I need to be willing to make adjustments. I have to be willing to do the things necessary in order for me to stretch to meet that goal.
Or I have to be willing to update my goal to fit something that works for me.
Maybe I update my timeline. Maybe I update the goal itself. Maybe I shift the goal in a new direction. Maybe I decide to change the goal itself entirely. Or maybe I decide that goal isn’t really important to me and I want to work toward something that I can truly commit to for a defined period of time.
So yes, it’s certainly true that if they can, so can you. And also:
“Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.”