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Why finishing is so important

Posted by Pradeep Gupta on January 5, 2011


Recently, I participated in a series of games organized by the Oracle Employee club in Hyderabad. There were several events taking place but I decided to try my luck at the ‘Slow Motor biking’ race.  I never participated any bike related events in past, so I was little surprised when I found myself registering.

I was not the only one who was drawn to the event; it had more than 160 participants.  I was surprised to find that I wasn’t just interested to try this event; I was becoming determined to win.  You see, I had recently been building a competency in riding my motorbike slowly.

This fall, Hyderabad experienced heavy rains. Riding a motorbike on muddy roads, in heavy traffic, means every few hundred meters you risk getting your shoes full of water.   To avoid soggy shoes, I practiced going slowly to keep my feet on the bike as much as possible.  It seems, life challenges are good way to discover and develop new capabilities

Back to my race:

The rules
1.  Get your front tire on start line
2.  Start on the second whistle
3.  Never let your feet touch the ground
4.  Cross the finish line.

Failing any rule is immediate disqualification

I successfully completed the preliminary round and started the final round strong.  My friends were cheering loudly as other contestants began to fall off.   Soon I was a strong contender for second position.   As I got near the end, I slowed down to see how the other person was doing, and touched one of my feet..

aahhhhhhhh..

Stunned and frozen in place, I knew the damage was done. I had lost second place as I did not complete the race.

As painful as this loss was, I took some life lessons from the experience.  I reflected on the importance of finishing.  All the hard work that goes before helps support the finish, but you have to keep your focus and get the job done.

Let’s not put the feet down till we touch the finish line.

7 Responses to “Why finishing is so important”

  1. Great post Pradeep! Nice, simple and right on the money. Thanks I needed a reminder today :)

  2. paul gupta said

    Great post. I tried dirt bike (motorbike) riding a few times near Petaluma out here in the SF Bay area. Scary experience. You are a brave man.

    The only career advice I got out of bike riding was that if I want a good career I need to stop putting my life at risk :)

  3. Amy Wilson said

    Terrific story Pradeep! Thanks so much for sharing!

  4. Chandan said

    Thats a nice one Pradeep! I was so much into reading this that i never thought that u wd loose. But moral of the story is superb :)

  5. Rebecca Emerson said

    Among many things, this is a great analogy for the software development release cycle. True to every release cycle in every company I’ve been in. We review the last release, we take a look at the industry and get feedback from customers to help us understand what bike to ride, what race to enter, what the rules are. Once the code is being written, we periodically check in to make sure our assumptions and direction is correct. However there comes a time when we’ve entered the home stretch and development must focus on the finish line. People are excited and cheering you on, new ideas are emerging because of what is now possible that was not before. It’s tempting to make a change or add something to make it THAT much better or to get that lucrative customer, before we’ve finished what we’ve already started. Your story is a good reminder, that we must keep our enthusiasm in check. One race must be finished in order that we may begin the next.

    Great post, Pradeep.

  6. Simarjeet said

    Nice one Pradeep

  7. [...] Ever watch a race where the guy in front keeps looking back and as a result it costs him? Pradeep Gupta, one of the writers at Talented Apps,  gives us a personal example of  Why Finishing is So Important. [...]

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