The Success Fade

Zechariah Newman —  May 2, 2016 — Leave a comment

The drift is destroying your life!

I have watched friends get addicted to drugs. I have seen others destroyed by affairs. One family friend stole thousands, and another convicted and in jail. Real people who I respect going the wrong direction until it all falls apart. It breaks my heart as I watch families torn apart by the drift. Lives cast aside and ruined. Though to us on the outside these acts seemed sudden, I know better. We don’t one day destroy something; it is a slow fade a drift that builds negative momentum. We don’t start at these tragic points, but sometimes we don’t recognize the extent of the drift until those wake-up calls.

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Photo by: KC Newman Photography

In my life, I run marathons. I have been on mountain tops physically, stretching the limits to what I previously thought possible. But I have also experienced the fade. I needed my eyes opened to recognize that I was fading recently. Slowly but surely wandering down a path until I didn’t recognize where I was.

Last year,  at this time, I was running the Eugene Marathon. I was set to break a personal record and finished the run with energy. Twenty-six point two miles and I ate it for lunch. Four months ago I was still doing training runs up to sixteen miles getting ready to run another marathon. My health excellent, as well as my energy.

Fast forward to three weeks ago, I had a doctor’s appointment where they said my blood pressure was high. I haven’t run as much but still maintained my eating habits while training. Today I could run six to seven miles, and that’s it without exhausting myself. Without the blood pressure check, I would have ended up back at ground zero. From Personal records on marathon time to high blood pressure and average fitness. It feels like it happened overnight but it didn’t.

I slept in a little more and ran a little less. I chose snooze instead of my running shoes. I had my running accountability move away. I stopped putting in the work that had gotten me there and took my foot off the gas. I counted on history for today’s success. That’s not how it works. Rory Vaden says, “Success is never owned; it is only rented – and the rent is due every day.”

I am getting my health back and saying no to the fade. But it won’t be easy, you and I will not fix the fade overnight. However, we can start to take steps toward restoration. The further you have faded the longer it will take to restore. Damage is always done by the decline, and it takes time for others or our self to heal. Follow these simple but not easy to stop the fade and gain traction.

Admit failure. We can’t change what we don’t take personal responsibility for. You have failed, so have I. We have broken promises and let down ourselves and others. We can only heal when we admit that there is something to heal from. Acknowledge that the mark was missed to restore what was broken.

Set the Mark. If we are not aiming at something, the fade will happen quicker and will be less noticed. What does your ideal health, marriage, vocation, friends, service, and ext. look like? If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time. Mark a destination to slow the fade.

Why? You need to write down why you are aiming at that target. It has to be authentically you or you won’t sustain the momentum that you are creating. Methods will change along the way but your why should be so cemented on your heart so that it will get you through the distractions, disappointment, and disinterest. Cement your why to slow the fade.

How? Though your how will change throughout time you need to come up with an action plan. You need to set a course of action. If you want to accomplish a healthy marriage what steps will you take. As much as possible, the how should be measurable. It is much easier to see a fade when you have measurable actions that you know you did or didn’t do. The point is not to be at the hands of a taskmaster but to have a recognition of fade or growth.

Fades are beatable if you refuse to quit when you fall. If you aim at improvement instead of perfection on your journey, it will be much more enjoyable. When you fall and you will, remember that tomorrow is a new day and a new opportunity to pay the rent of success. Be blessed on your journey.

What areas of your life are you fading in?

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