Doing something difficult is a matter of setting a goal, then reaching that goal. But so many people, whether in their careers or their personal lives, give up and turn around when things get tough, even if the goal is in sight. Matt Scarfo gives us his One Big Tip on how to keep your eyes on the prize and accomplish what you set out to do.
One morning near the end of April, fitness studio owner Matt Scarfo got up early and ran the 57 miles from his studio in Morristown, NJ to Trenton, NJ to join the peaceful protesters who were campaigning for the reopening of small businesses in the state.
As a small business owner himself, Matt was directly impacted by the shutdown and wanted to make himself heard by the governor—and a 57-mile trip was the way he was going to be heard. Despite never having run more than 22 miles at once before and being far more acquainted with short-distance obstacle courses, Matt realized he was out of his league, but knew that he would succeed in completing the run.
Most people, even marathon runners, would balk at the idea of running that distance with no training (especially since he did the entire run on nothing but some Pop-Tarts and a Red Bull), but Matt had a secret mental technique that allowed him to guarantee himself success.
Rather than looking to the next bend in the road, he placed his feet squarely at the finish line in his mind. He had already succeeded, his legs just needed to get him there. “Your brain is there just waiting for your body to show up.” Matt says, “My future was already determined. It was success.”
The fact that he had already mentally finished was pulling him forward toward his goal, but there was another force that was pushing him from behind. “Had I stopped at any moment and turned around and gone back,” he explains, “the emotional price that I would have paid, knowing that I had set out to complete this task and willfully ceased and turned around and done something else, for me, that kind of suffering would have been more than I was prepared to handle.”
The reality is that goal-setting and goal-reaching are intertwined concepts. Getting to where you want to be, whether you’re running a marathon or building your business, is a matter of visualizing yourself already there. All you need to do is let time catch up and don’t let the fear of failure stop you, let it empower you.