February 22 – The starting line

“It’s not where you start – it’s where you finish that counts.” (Zig Ziglar)

Today’s quote serves as a nice follow-up to yesterday’s quote about happiness and hope. Today, Zig Ziglar reminds me that the finish is far more important than the start.

As I have mentioned on this blog before, I am a NASCAR fan. Tomorrow the Daytona 500 starts the racing season for the top level of the sport. In auto racing, there is a lot of emphasis on qualifying and starting position. At some tracks it can make a world of difference. Unlike most Olympic races, where all of the competitors start from an equal position, one racecar can be 22 car lengths behind when the green flag drops. Very often in racing, a car that started well back in the field rises to the top of the chart and wins.

In life there are plenty of rags to riches stories, and also riches to rags. Those are about how a person might acquire or squander wealth. But, more important are the stories of a person’s growth and transformation of character.

Yesterday I wrote about the notion of hope, and how even in the darkest hours and days of my life, there was always hope. Hope provided the spark, but it took the breath of my own perseverance to gently fan that spark into a flame. There are literally millions of similar stories, of people who encountered difficulties in their lives and rose above them to be people of fine character. In life, it isn’t about where you start, it is about what you do with yourself, and how you work your way through that start to grow into a fine life.

If I want something to be different in my life, if I want to achieve some goal, then the moment I decide on that goal becomes my starting line. Whether I want to lose weight, take on a house project, make a change in my career path, or any other change, where I am today is my starting point. And, it doesn’t matter where that starting point is. If I have the dedication and drive, I can achieve my goal. That is the great thing about life. There isn’t just one starting line when Dr. Ferrara first pulled me from the womb. Every day, even every moment is a starting line, if that’s how I choose to see it.

This quote reinforces the power of hope. It doesn’t matter in life where one begins. What matters is how one lives their lives, and where they end up.

Today the sky is blue, the sun is shining, and the outlook is bright. It seems like a great day to pick a fun project and burst through the starting line on it.

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