Victoria Leckie, 35, is Scottish, grew up in Hong Kong and lives in Dubai. She is a writer, runner and the first athlete sponsored by Adidas in the Middle East. She won her first marathon in Jordan in 2009 and will run in the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon.
1. Find what you love to do and you'll never work another day. I spent many years in the corporate world, enjoying my work but not loving it. Then I discovered a way to marry my love for running/fitness and writing. You must never underestimate the power of the mind, as a positive attitude shows no limits. Running long distances and climbing mountains taught me this and led me to complete a sports psychology diploma. So when you think you've reached your limits, you're probably only halfway there.
2. The toughest things in life bring the greatest rewards. The harder the challenge, the sweeter the victory; the higher the climb, the sweeter the view. I remind myself of this when my legs and lungs are screaming. Likewise, the great things in life are not things. The more I go through life, the more I realise how little happiness comes from material goods.
3. All is flux. During a challenging period in my life, I remember a dear friend reminding me that "All is flux"; ie, everything flows, nothing stays the same, and the only thing you can guarantee is change. I think about this often and remember as a result to never get complacent, too comfortable or overly stressed.
4. Dare to be different. Sometimes it takes great courage to be different, but never be afraid to be true to yourself. We should all celebrate our differences instead of feeling compelled to conform. Strive to defy convention as often as possible and only then will you discover new and untrodden paths.
5. Live in the present. Yesterday is behind us, tomorrow is ahead, but today... today is a gift. It can be so easy to get caught up in striving towards our goals or worrying about the future that we forget to live in the present.
As told to Jemma Nicholls
The Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon is on January 27