Fortune is your birthright. You are entitled to it just like any other person or persons you admire. But what do you think is the best path to it: a sprint or a marathon?

A sprint is a “short shift race.” Sprints are the shortest running events that require a burst of energy and speed to get to the finishing line. Outdoor sprints include the 100-meter, 200-meter, and 400-meter events. World record holders here include Jesse Owens, the American sprinter who ran the 100 metres in 10.3 seconds and the 200 metres in 20.7 seconds, and Usain Bolt, the Jamaican sprinter who broke the world record for the 100 metres with a time of 9.5 seconds and the 200 metres with a time of 19.19 seconds in Berlin. 

On the other hand, a marathon is a long-distance race. Some distances covered in a marathon are up to 5,000 meters, 10,000 meters and more. World record holders include: Dennis Kimetto (Kenya) - 2014, and Kenenisa Bekele (Ethiopia) – 2016. Some of the female world record holders include: Mary Keitany (Kenya) – 2017 and Tirunesh Dibaba (Ethiopia) – 2017. They didn’t become overnight successes in just one day, the day they created the world records, but it took many weeks, months, and even years of preparation, strategizing, practice, building up mental, emotional and physical stamina to attain stardom. They ran step by step, over a long distance, to get to the finishing line.

Fortune or success in any field of human endeavour is a night work that has day results. Even sprinters do some good practice over a period of time to be able to break new records. So winning in any area of life is not a quick dash or one-shot affair. It is a daily routine of adding input after input after input, and so on. Earl Nightingale, defines success as “the progressive realization of a worthy goal or ideal.”

That you don’t see the business, investment or career result today, after you have been putting in efforts, doesn’t mean the efforts are wasted. In the words of Jim Rohn, “Success is not so much what we have as it is what we are.” The discipline you are going through in engaging your mind, sharpening your thoughts, controlling your emotions, maximizing your time, and taking consistent actions, are all building you into a better edition of yourself. That is what athletes do. That process upgrades them into the persons that qualify for their new records. This is the best path to fortune or any other success.

Some athletes hold world records for a very short time, others for a very long time. Here is a list of some longest world record holders in some athletic events: Florence Griffith Joyner – 100m – 29 years; Stefka Kostadinova – High Jump – 30 years; Jürgen Schult – Discuss – 31 years; Yuriy Sedykh – Hammer – 31 years; Jarmila Kratochvílová – 800m – 34 years. It took other athletes very many years to break the records of the afore-mentioned persons because they first built themselves into persons that were not easily duplicatable. One-leap or quick-fix approaches have their many limitations.

Therefore, if you follow the marathon path of consistently building up your self-discipline, abilities, stamina, attitude, skills, strategies, actions and maintaining focus, you’ll stay long in success or fortune.