The Truth About Running Your Own race

Personal Growth

I think am not the only one who, once in a while, wishes the grass was as green on my side as it is in my neighbors’.

Yet hanging out near the fence, wistful staring into my neighbors life does not help me become more effective in my own life.

In a past post, I talked about how the choices we make matter when it comes taking charge of our lives.

(And just to clarify, when I say ” taking charge of our life” I mean doing so under God)

I strongly believe that what you choose to do/not to do today affects your life tomorrow.

Running Your Own Race

Another way to take charge of our life is through  “personalized” living.

To be successful in any area – from marriage to career to every day life decisions – we need to run a race  that is not defined by others.

I believe that success and happiness does not come from conforming but from staying true to personal convictions. It’s not that we can’t learn from others. But not at the expense of authentic living.

Unhealthy comparison is an enemy to running your own race.

Comparison is an ugly thing.

It kills dreams, frustrates passion, diverts attention and leaves you empty.

When you compare yourself to those that are ahead of you, pride rolls in – and pride can blind you to areas you could improve on.

When you compare yourself to those walking besides you, you get too busy competing to live authentically.

When you compare yourself to those that are ahead of you, you get all wound up in envy or discouragement.

Authenticity

I believe our world today needs passionate, authentic people. It needs folks that are walking in revelation, temperance and values.

I have discovered that modeling works best where people have refused to lend their ears. Live your life well and they’ll observe and catch something.

And even if they never do, they’ll have no excuse when the day of reckoning eventually comes.

Some of us are so deep into role-playing that we’ve forgotten what it feels like to be ourselves. Personally, I feel that trying help others from a place of falsehood just doesn’t work.

Intimidation

God created us to be unique individuals. Not clones or copies.

I believe that no matter how hard you work or learn, the only person you should end up being is you.

When God created you, He put in you the gifts and wherewith all to carry out His purpose.

Not ‘others’ purpose, but your purpose.

There’ll always be naysayers and grippers – people who revel in cutting you down. They’ll say that marriages are failing and so you should not “try so hard”. They’ll grumble about the economy and use it as a excuse to stay miserable.

George Bernard Shaw said, “People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it”

It’s about choices. You choose your battle. And then put on the ear plugs.

Cost

Running your own race comes with a price tag.

We are constantly warring  against fleshly desires and comforts. Our human nature wants it easier, faster, better, more convenient, less costly, more rewarding.

Yet authenticity, that deep life that comes from knowing who you are and living like it’s true often leads down a narrow path.

In his new book, Kingdom Journeys, Seth Barnes says

“You can’t be remade until you allow yourself to be unmade”

He goes on

” When you are truly broken, authenticity is all you have left. You’re motivated to find something solid in your interior to anchor to.”

Authentic living digs out all that can be dug out until all that remains is what God wants.

Question – Is there a place for authenticity in our world today? Do you believe others can learn from you? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
 

25 Comments

  1. Sheila Beloved' Achieng says:

    For the longest time in my life i compared myself with others and completely forgot that God has a plan and purpose for my life and its good to be reminded cause we tend to forget our calling and why we are where we are and why we are who we are

    1. It’s true Sheila, we so EASILY forget. I thank God for the Holy Ghost who keeps me alert and nudges me to His reality each time a wander off. Thanks so much for reading and sharing.

  2. authenticity is essential. When it comes to waling out our God given purpose and potential then we have to be our self and not a second rate someone else. Great post!

    1. Thank you Dan. It’s amazing that anyone would want to be a second rate someone else instead of an original. The world lies to folks that it’s easier copying and aping than striving to grow and be authentic.

  3. Lincoln Parks says:

    Authenticity is king. I wear it out, I go all out and I have to share that with others. I need to make sure that I am authentic in all situations because if I am not that means I am lying to myself and God.

    1. Lincoln, so true. And we won’t last when we are operating from a position of falsehood. It’s so awesome that you’ve made authenticity a priority. Reminds me of your tagline “Lead like you” 🙂 Thanks so much for dropping in and sharing.

  4. Betty Draper says:

    ” When you are truly broken, authenticity is all you have left. You’re motivated to find something solid in your interior to anchor to.” This a powerful quote. I don’t think brokenness comes all at once, it’s a process that takes our life time here. The goal is to be comformed into the image of God which is the same for all believers, in the life God has put us in and with the different event of our life. Hoping my pot is so cracked that there is not much more breaking to do when He calls me home. Great post…a good read…Blessings

    1. wow Betty, what profound thoughts.

      I so love this “Hoping my pot is so cracked that there is not much more breaking to do when He calls me home.”. Can I share it on Twitter?

      Seth Barnes talks of continuous brokenness as well, it’s not a one-off experience but more of a lifetime of breaking.
      Your last line is a big blessing. Thank you so much for sharing. God bless

  5. There is definitely a place for authenticity in the world. If everyone prided in being unique, we would have greater appreciation for our individual parts to play in society hence less comparisons.

    You ask a question, I would say is food for thought for me. Will
    people learn from my mistakes or my accomplishments? I believe they
    should, I hope I can share as much as I get the opportunity and be a blessing to them.

    This is a great post Ngina. I like the cost part. I can attest that living authentically is a narrow path by traveling through uncharted territories. I believe that paying for it just shows that it is a worthy cost and benefits will be accrued for much longer than the battles lasted.

    1. Jep, i like your point on accomplishments and failures. sometimes we assume that people will only learn from our success. We forget that our failures, while painful to us, can teach others too. So we hide and feel ashamed instead of sharing where we went wrong.

      On uncharted territories, i think that’s whole point – it’s new and it’s not going to be comfortable. but we (or at least I) keep expecting it to be comfy and easier! Lord help me 🙂

      Thanks so much for dropping by and sharing. always appreciate.

      1. You had me here. “…sometimes we assume that people will only learn from our success. We
        forget that our failures, while painful to us, can teach others too. So
        we hide and feel ashamed instead of sharing where we went wrong. ”

        Exactly what I meant to say. You are a blessing. Thanks as well.

  6. Hi, Ngina. I didn’t comment yesterday because I was too busy thinking about all the things you brought up. This is the line that really got me: When God created you, He put in you the gifts and wherewith all to carry out His purpose. Not ‘others’ purpose, but your purpose.

    I think I’ve gotten too wrapped up in just doing what the experts tell me I’m supposed to do to develop a platform and by doing that I’m missing out on thinking about what God has called me to do.

    I’ll be spending more time praying about this. Thanks for the nudge.

    1. Barb, I am glad the post has spoken to your heart in this way. We are on the same boat, me and you! I fret a whole lot when i don’t see the progress am expecting while others seem to be progressing in leaps and bounds. Comparison isn’t right, I need to stick to God’s business for me. As we seek Him, we shall find Him.

  7. Sarah Mureithi says:

    You Ngina, the truth.. and this right here ”
    “You can’t be remade until you allow yourself to be unmade”..heavenly wisdom…

    1. I loved that quote Sarah. The whole book by Seth Barnes is out of this world! So glad you’ve been blessed too

  8. Juan Cruz Jr says:

    Ngina, I hope that others can learn from me in the mistakes I’ve made as a leader in my home and the workplace. I believe that we have Christ-centered leadership perspective we can do great things in this world, that will bring glory to God.

    1. Amen Juan. i like your perspective. I have seen firsthand how God can turn our messes into powerful messages, as we release those messes into His hands. There’s so much to learn from our failures and weaknesses..i think that’s just how God works in us. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing

  9. Life is a series of brokenness. If we aren’t being broken then we aren’t seeking God. Since we’re born imperfect the only way to get us better is to be remade. Like the quotes.

    I learned a long time ago that marching to the beat of our own drum is much more natural than trying to march to the beat of someone else’s.

    1. Oh i just love that last line Floyd. Yet we still try to go against the natural grain! Blessed are we when we realize that ‘we’ are all we’ll ever be – He wants us to be ourselves and grow from there. Thanks for sharing that insight.

  10. Your post hurts to read…for so many reasons, mainly it’s truthfulness.

    I can get so caught up in comparing that I am miserable and I miss the blessings/opportunities God has placed before me. For the past 4 years God has been unmaking me in order to remake me into who I was created to be in HIM.
    It’s been a long and painful process. This past weekend was a great reminder of how far I’ve come and yet how much farther I have to go in my walk with Christ.
    Four years ago I buried my father, this past weekend we honored my father-in-laws entry into heaven. It was a bitter sweet time of celebrating and missing him.

    Love this quote, ““You can’t be remade until you allow yourself to be unmade”

    Also, the quote by Shaw was good too. He has several good quotes for being such a vile and evil man. Though many don’t know of this evil side as our history books like to gloss over less favorable attributes of people.

    1. TC, so blessed that the post has touched you..esp at such a time. Am so sorry about your dad-in-law. I pray for God’s strength and comfort for you and family. Even when a departed loved one loved the Lord, the separation is ever so painful. Thank God for His never ending grace and ever present hope.

      I hear you..am such a work in progress myself. i remember writing that last line “authentic living digs out all that can be dug out until all that remains is what God wants” and feeling cold in the pit of my belly. Am such a journey, still so far to go. And like you, at least am not where i used to be, thank God.

      I too loved that quote by seth barnes. His whole book is unbelievable.

      I don’t know much of G B Shaw history..Thanks for pointing that out and I’ll check up. Would you have any helpful links? it’s a great quote nonetheless, and some others too.
      Thanks so much for reading and sharing.

      1. It’s easy and yet hard to find credible info about people anymore as many historians like to twist facts to suite their own agenda’s.

        But here’s a few places to start.

        Here’s a clip about Shaw and a brief interview by him. Sorry I can’t find it with English subtitles, I know it exists but can’t find it at the moment.

        Check out the movie “The Soviet Story”

        Here’s a few other things I Googled:

        Go to around 1250 in the clip to hear Shaw speak and to hear about his desire to control population (especially the genetically undesirable) with the use of gas. From what I can find, he was a supporter of Hitler.

        I encourage you to watch the Fox News clip. Very enlightening.

        Let me know what you find.

        These are just starts, there’s so much more you can find. I haven’t ever read some of those blogs, I just skimmed through them quickly.

      2. My last sentence doesn’t make much sense. I had a blog listed on there but took it off as it basically said what the other stuff did.

        Hope this helps.

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