This post is dedicated to all those who have wanted someone to go a life journey with you, but no matter how hard you try, it just never works out. This can be anything from a marriage relationship or a business partnership, or as simple as wanting to have someone come over for breakfast. In this particular case, I wanted my sister to come run with me today. She didn’t. Here’s why:
1. Think they can be bought.
My sister has been running for a while now and I was trying to push her above her comfort zone. I thought after we run, we’ll go out and have some breakfast, nice reward for a hard days run. She usually goes only 5-7 miles, I was going to have her go 13 miles.
She skipped out on the run and she still took me up on breakfast. (the easier choice by far, but she may cancel that as well.)
If they won’t go with you for free, they won’t go very far with you when you pay them.
2. Make it hard for them to follow you.
The first 2 times we went out and ran, I wanted to run with her. I picked her up. I went where she wanted to go. I got to run with her. This time I wanted her to come run some hills over at my house, which meant she had to drive out. This is an obstacle. Furthermore, if we were going to breakfast, she would want to shower and she has a lot of travel stuff to get ready with. Strike one: breakfast. Strike two: drive time. Strike three: travel bag full of showering supplies.
Make it as easy as possible for them to say “yes”. If that becomes a burden, maybe you really don’t want that person with you on your journey.
3. Tell them they can’t follow you on your journey
We ran the first day and she was strong. We ran the second day and she was strong. She went 7 miles each day. I told her. she wouldn’t be able to go 13 miles, but I wanted her to do it anyway. This would be a good journey for her, and we would get to do it together. I’ll never again underestimate the power of words, or think that someone can’t do something. Or tell them they can’t do something. By doing this, I made a reality of what I feared. I knew she couldn’t do it. I tested her for 2 days to see what she could do and I “knew” she couldn’t do it.
How can I run 20 miles at a time? If someone asked me to run 50 miles and told me I can’t do it, I may believe them. 50 miles is hard–until you do it. You’d be surprised what people are capable of. Never underestimate the power of the human spirit.
4. Change your plans
Because I knew my sister could not run 13 miles, I changed plans at the last minute from instead of running from my mom’s house to my house with her for 13 miles, I was going to have her drive out to my house and go run up hills for 7 miles. Obviously, this was not a better option for her, even though in my mind it was.
People like stability. Make a plan stick with it.
5. Make the plans about you.
The whole point of going on a journey with someone is because you want their company. You want to go on this journey with them. You have to sacrifice yourself a bit to go on this journey. You can go on a journey by yourself, but that gets lonely. Make the plans about your partner. Build them up. Make them think it’s their idea to go out on the journey. I did this the first day of our run. “I’ll show up. You tell me where we go.” I said.
I got what I wanted, I got to run with my sister. Everything else didn’t matter. She wanted to go and that was fine with me. This last time, I wanted to get a big workout in for Biggest Loser, and I wanted her with me. It was more about getting what I wanted rather that what she wanted. You can’t make people do anything they don’t want to do. Make them want to do it. Make it their idea. Make them choose to take you on their journey.
The good news. I did get to go with my sister on her journey for breakfast! My kids will have a wonderful time with their aunt. And we’ll get to laugh about all this. Hope it helps you on your journey.