The closer we get to the finish line, the more motivated we are to cross it. We rise above the pain and the fatigue. We blink away the sweat and ignore the burn in our brain, legs, arms or lungs. We accelerate our pace. We redouble our efforts. The last few yards are always mental.
So what happens when the Finish Line keeps moving? What do you do when the end zone is erased? How do you reconcile your will to win with the need to just keep on going? Will you stop, go the same speed, speed up, or slow down? Are you going to pivot or just persevere your way forward?
We’re all asking ourselves the same questions but we’re not reaching the same answers. Our responses are either causing finish-line anxiety and withdrawal, or they’re strengthening our will to win. What emotions are you creating for yourself?
As the writer William Gibson said, the future is already here, it’s just not very evenly distributed. Whatever your finish line, someone has already crossed it. They’re fully vaccinated. They’re living in a place where there is no virus. They’re achieving career success. They’re financially independent. They’re at their ideal weight. They’re living with their soulmate. They’ve made it exactly the way you want to make it.
The truth is that even when we cross the finish line, it will immediately be replaced by another one. In America, herd-immunity could be achieved by July 4. In Canada it will take a little longer. If you’ve made it this far, you’ll make it through the next few months. It’s easy to be disheartened by continual setbacks and snafus. In hindsight, they’re inevitable. The miracle is that the reasons for hope and optimism are so strong. The question is: what happens next? How will you become better, faster, healthier, smarter in a post-vaccine reality?
Here are the Five Forces that will help drive you across your Finish Line, whatever it is:
- We’re adapting much better than expected to lockdowns and social distancing in the second wave than the first. Households and companies are learning to work effectively from home, shop online and enjoy virtual leisure pursuits. We’ve swung from a 5.5% GDP decline in North America in 2020 to a potential 6% GDP growth in 2021. That’s a double digit swing signifying boom-like conditions. In Canada, the economy added over 300000 new jobs, triple what the economists were expecting.
- Government is here to help. They are willing to support incomes through the crisis and preserve expansionary monetary policies. Without those impetuses, we would have plunged into another great depression.
- Science has delivered effective vaccines in breathtaking fashion. They point towards a normalized life in the years ahead. They have also inspired other disciplines to pursue their moonshot. Covid has shown us that literally anything is possible.
- People are showing extraordinary resilience in the face of unprecedented change. An Environics Institute study in August 2020 revealed that 64% of Canadians are confident in their own abilities, 61% feel that they have people they can depend on when they really need it and 59% believe they can bounce back quickly after hard times. In every case, the scores were higher than they were five months earlier before the onset of the pandemic.
- The social justice movement and rising commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion are building a future where doing the right thing is as important as doing things right. According to the April 12 issue of Barrons, 40% of global equity flows are now going into Environmental, Social and Governance funds. Companies that rank highly on these metrics will get the most attention. The future is definitely looking cleaner, fairer and freer than ever before.
For every one of the Five Forces driving you across your finish line, I could provide you with multiple barriers blocking your path, but you already know them. Now it’s time to focus on how you can blast through them. The world will evolve at its own pace. But you can evolve your world at your pace. How fast will that be? What small things can you do TODAY to achieve the outcomes that matter most? I’ve created this video as an invitation for you to take action. Let me know what you decide to do.
This is Mike Lipkin and I’m at the finish line. It’s time to start the next race.