According to a study by Jacob M. Havenar, 106 people embarked on a 20-week marathon training program for the first time. When it was over, 31 completed the training and finished their first marathon successfully, but 75 people dropped out before week 10 of the program.
The difference between the finishers and the quitters was their mental motivational factors. Below are are list of the right motivational factors provided by some of the participants:
To live a healthy lifestyle
To lose weight
To achieve a personal goal
Because they enjoy competition
To get personal recognition
Because their friends were doing it (affiliation)
To help with psychological coping
To find new meaning in life
To improve self-esteem
My desire to run may be different than your desire, but we probably share at least one in common. You need to tap into the motivational factor that resonates with you and use that motivation to get you through the intense training necessary to cross the finish line. Never doubt that you can finish a race. In the process you will discover things about yourself and change your life for the better. Everyone who crosses the finish line is a winner and the accomplishment will carry you through challenges in life.
Even with all the preparation in any sport, unless one has the desire or motivation to compete and finish, his training is useless. We can have the know-how and go through the religious gymnastics of Christianity; but unless there is within us an unquenchable desire to “follow hard” after the Lord, to know Him in His fullness, the final record will reveal our place as falling short. Isaiah said, “the willing and the obedient shall eat the good of the land.” Isaiah 1:19
How far we will go in God is determined by the desire of our hearts (Psalm 37:4). According to the words of Paul, God is at work in us “both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13