Life Is A Maze, Not A Marathon

Re-Rethinking the marathon metaphor…

Thought Catalog

Imagine if life were a marathon.

There’s a start, a finish, and the faster you run, the further you go:


The secret to winning a marathon is to knuckle down and keep going.

Most of us live like this, but reality isn’t so two dimensional. Real life has no signs, and no straight lines. There’s just a maze of infinite options:


Some paths, like some careers, take five times longer to get where you want. Some paths, like some relationships, are dead ends.


If you were teaching a robot to navigate a maze, you wouldn’t tell it to always run forward. You’d teach it to remember where it’s going, and when it gets stuck, to go back and try a different path.

As people, we’re really good at the running forward part. With a clear stretch, we can soar ahead for miles. But we hate – we’re literally fearful – of…

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2 thoughts on “Life Is A Maze, Not A Marathon

  1. I would suggest that life is more like an obstacle course than a marathon or a maze. One of those long obstacle courses like a Tough Mudder or a Spartan Challenge or the myriad of other obstacle courses that have become a fad. It’s a mixture of high and low intensity across a large unit of distance, where you have to overcome various obstacles that are either easy, uncomfortable, or even painful. One starts the competition with a lot of enthusiasm, but by the end of the course you are tired but happy. It doesn’t matter whether you finish first, or last, but that you finished. Additionally, some of the obstacles are easily accomplished by yourself, however, some of the obstacles are much easier done with other teammates.

    1. Hm, I like that! Especially the need to rely on teammates. Maybe we all face our own unique obstacle course. The obstacles vary in difficulty and spacing, but we all have them.

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