Life is a Marathon, not a Sprint

My Project Three Toastmaster speech

This is my Project Three Toastmaster speech delivered today, 1st February 2012...

"Fellow Toastmasters, Mr Toastmaster and Dear guests, Ayubowan.

Ayubowan is the traditional greeting of my motherland, Sri Lanka, and it means “Long life and Good Health”.

Once again Ayubowan!

My Friends, How do you want to live this Long Life I have wished upon you? There is a mantra that my former Boss used to quote “Life is a Marathon, not a Sprint” and I will share with you the secrets of this mantra to live your life.

A Marathon is an endurance run of over 42 kilometres. 42.195 kilometres to be exact. A Sprint, on the other hand, is an intensive acceleration to complete 0.1 kilometres.

Your life, is it a marathon or is it a sprint? I believe it is a marathon, due to the simple fact that Life is an endurance test of 70 to 80 years.

To win a marathon, you need training, proper nutrition and dedication. To win the race of your Life, you need hard work, practice and dedication.

I will share with you three points to live a long happy life. My first point is that you should work to live and not live to work. Give your family priority; everything including work should be second in line. Keep to time in everything you do. Punctuality is the politeness of kings.

We live in a rat race. People in our society value success over happiness. Don't let them get to you. Work to Live. Work hard and work smart. Work for the bare necessities in life. You don't need a plethora of luxuries to live. Enjoy coming in at seven and walking out at 3:30. Scorn the late comers who snicker when you leave on time.

As people in the software industry, each work project is a sprint for us and we forget about the Marathon.

Your spouse, children and your parents should be on the top of your list. Spend time with them. Play football with your son and hold your wife's hand when you go out for a stroll. Call your Mum and chat for an hour. Remember they will be there when you are in need. It won't be your Project Manager or the Vice President of Research.

Time is important. You need time to train for the marathon of life. You need time to practice and finally you need time to run. So always try to keep to time. If you wake up late, you will get to office late and then leave late. If you leave late, you will miss watching the sunset with your kids. You will miss watching your son or daughter grow up.

I remember my Dad teaching me to knot my first tie. But if you are too busy, you will miss the many firsts in your child's life.

Life is about endurance. Remember you can't achieve all your goals in a single sprint. Space out your goals and slow down to enjoy the nippy morning air and the dragonflies at night.

Work to Live. Money is not everything. Family First. Your four-year-old might not want you around when he's fourteen. Take him on your shoulders now.

Keep to time. Organize your life. If you've got an iPhone 4S, Siri will help. If not Microsoft Outlook and an old-fashioned alarm clock would do.

Wake up. Live in the Present and don't try to fix the future. Believe in a higher power who will take care of you. Slow down. Pace yourself. You have another 30 kilometres to run.


This article was originally written on Google's Blogger platform and ported to Hashnode on 17 Sep 2022.