I have been reading Seth Godin’s book “Linchpin” and he talks about the principle of sprinting. I’m just going to quote from him:

“The best way to overcome your fear of creativity, brainstorming, intelligent risk-taking, or navigating a tricky situation might be to sprint.

“When we sprint, all the internal dialogue falls away and we focus on going as fast as we possibly can. When you’re sprinting, you don’t feel that sore knee and you don’t worry that the ground isn’t perfectly level. You just run.”

In my world of production at Willow Creek, there is something fascinating about the sprint.  It seems like we spend quite a bit of energy trying to simplify stuff or to make something doable so we don’t burn ourselves out.  But instead, what seems to happen is that we tend to have too much time on our hands to worry about what’s next, or get frustrated by the things we don’t like or wish that something that is broken would get fixed.  This idea of sprinting makes me think about the huge tasks that get put in front of us that take too much time, require too many resources, and generally push ourselves to the limit.

I had lunch with someone and we talked about old times, and some of the crazy projects that he had been a part of.  In a particular era, he didn’t have a day off for something like 2 years, yet those 2 years contain some of his favorite memories of working here.  I started thinking about all the amazing things I have been a part of over my life, and most of them have come at a time of immense workload, a sprint.

The sprint feels like something we need, to stay energized and to push us to the next level.  Something that helps us stop thinking about all the problems we have and focusing on getting something done. Most people I know, including myself, get a little nervous when people start talking about an all-out run. By sprinting on a regular basis, our endurance is built up, we can run farther, we can begin to pick up our normal pace.

Seth Godin summarizes this thought nicely:  “You can’t sprint every day, but it’s probably a good idea to sprint regularly.”

  • Nice idea ….
    Regular sprints ….
    gonna try it within the next days!

  • Great post todd, we just finished a huge season of sprinting @ my local church. I really loved the topic because I think there is a lot of tension with this topic. There are those that emphasize pace, resting, rythm and the common “don’t burn-out” warnings. I totally hear and agree with these ideas but have always felt like on occasion it’s just un-avoidable that more time and pace is required. Although its crazy, some of my best memories and greatest accomplishments are during those times of extra-effort and sprinting.

    I just discovered your blog, and love what you have to say.

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