In March 1987, Eamon Coughlan was running in a qualifying heat at the World Indoor Track Championships in Indianapolis. The Irishman was the reigning world record holder at 1500 meters and he was favored to win the race easily. Unfortunately, with two-and-a-half laps left to run, he was tripped and fell hard. Even so, he got up and with great effort, he managed to catch the race leaders.
With only twenty yards to go, he was in third place–which would have been good enough to qualify for the final race.
Then…Coughlan looked over his shoulder to the inside. Seeing no one there, he relaxed his effort slightly. What he hadn’t noticed, however, was that a runner was charging up hard on the outside. This runner passed Coughlan just a yard before the finish line, thus eliminating him from the finals. Couglan’s great comeback effort ended up being worthless for one and only one reason–he momentarily took his eyes off the finish line and focused on would-be competitions instead.
One of the most important factors in your reaching your goals in life is to have a single-minded focus. Don’t let yourself become distracted by what others do or say. Run your race to win!