I’ve found that doing charity work could be vital for growth – personal and business. I run my first half marathon last weekend at the Great North Run. I never thought I could ever run that kind of distance.
It all started because my husband ran the race last year.
Lesson #1: Greatness rubs off
It’s a great idea to surround yourself with people who are always striving to improve themselves in life and business. It rubs off.
I decided to run the race because I was inspired by my husband. I had also been invited by ForwardUK to speak at their women’s conference last year where I met two fabulous ladies, Naana and Naomi. I found out more about their work and I just felt compelled to do my bit to support them. Forwarduk works to end child marriage and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and these two ladies are very passionate about their work.
If you want to know more about child marriage and FGM then check out The ForwardUK website and Eleanor Mills’ blog . Eleanor is Associate Editor of The Sunday Times and she has done some great research and written extensively on the subject.
Running the race was all about giving something back to support other women.
Well almost. I also wanted to lose some weight. I’m not a saint! I didn’t loose any weight at all! Shockingly enough! But I live with the knowledge that I didn’t deny myself any goodies this summer. I can’t complain about that!
What I indirectly ended up doing was helping myself in other more rewarding ways. Completing the race gave me this renewed sense of achievement and purpose. The aches and pain didn’t take that way. In fact I felt alive and proud that I had finally done something that I always thought I couldn’t do. That did a lot of good for my psychology and will definitely affect the way I go about business.
Lesson #2: Get unstuck and re-energised
If you are feeling stuck then set yourself a goal partnering with a charity and experience the same sense of purpose and true gratitude for your life. You’ll realise just how much opportunities you have at your disposal. You’ll also feel re-energised to pursue and achieve more than you are currently doing. I can assure you, you’ll have a new vim and lease for life and business and the realisation that you can always do more, far more to help yourself and others than you are currently doing.
Lesson #3: Winners don’t quit, quitters don’t win
Training for the race was incredibly tough and I believe I would have given up if not for the fund raising I was committed to doing for the charity.
You can achieve more than you think if you don’t give up. This advice is not rocket science. We’ve all heard this several times growing up but do you live by this simple principle when pursuing your most cherished dreams?
Lesson #4: Great connections
The race gave me an opportunity to reconnect with old friends and colleagues and to establish new relationships with people who were either truly passionate about running, fundraising or simply supporting charitable work. These are great people to know! They keep you grounded.
If you want to connect with people who are intent on leaving a legacy, changing the world for the better, then you need to consider doing some charity work.
Lesson #5: More opportunities
I now have the opportunity to run in the London Marathon – offered by another charity when they found out that I had run the half marathon. A full marathon? Really! Wow that would be something. I haven’t decided whether to run it or not but I’m seriously considering it – I was going to run another half marathon next year before attempting a full marathon but I will keep you posted on what I decide to do. Where could all these opportunities lead?
What can I say? Running the race has been a real eye opener and I encourage you to try it for yourself or let me know your experiences if you’ve done so already.