I recently started running, and from the first step it became clear that running is tool for learning powerful life lessons. While, running may not be of interest to you, I highly recommend this post – It may just be what you need on your quest to becoming a better learner.
Sure, running keeps you healthy, but what I’m most interested in is the process – Just after ten minutes of running I was fighting a battle, which was expected, but I realised today that running is less physical and more of a mental battle. Getting to the end of the route meant I had to engage with internal warfare, focus and as a by-product I learnt more about discipline.
Running has taught me some great lessons that are applicable to a vast array of disciplines and activities.
When I first started running today it was easy – like everything – it starts out easy. I was happy to be out and en route, as bonus I was having fun, but out of nowhere unexpectedly it started to get difficult. This was perhaps ten to fifteen minutes into the run, suddenly my chest started feeling tight, my legs got heavier and I stopped enjoying myself.
I had only just started my journey, but already it was getting *difficult*. At this point a voice told me to stop. Which made me tell myself I couldn’t. This was the same voice that spoke to me back in Spain when I was on a mission to improve my Spanish. As I discovered in Spain, this voice appears whenever there’s an opportunity for growth, so I shut the voice out and kept running.
Guess what ?
I could do it and I just kept going. I still felt some pain, but that didn’t matter because I was winning, not the silly voice in my head.
Lesson: Things always get difficult and we will always feel pain, that’s when the work actually begins, everything beforehand is a warm up.
I found it more optimal to focus on my breathing and getting to the end of the street. Anytime I allowed my mind to think about distance I lost focus and the voice started speaking again.
This is a familiar scenario with different context. When I started learning Kanji I found it difficult to get started because of the breadth of the task. Although I really wanted to learn, I hadn’t a clue of how regular David was going to learn two thousand Kanji
Learning two thousand Kanji is a monstrous task. I ignored that big number and focused on one Kanji at a time. One thousand Kanji’s later and I’m still going. It’s all about focus. Forgetting about everything surrounding the task at hand, and focusing on a actionable task. Learning one Kanji. Taking another step. Taking another breath.
Lesson: Make things easy by focusing on what’s in front of you, everything else doesn’t matter.
I’m still a young runner, however I do know a thing or two about discipline, and It’s clear that running helps develop this. You don’t have to be disciplined to get out and run, but it takes discipline to keep running. Discipline is a by-product of consistent focus.
Humans are resistant to change. Naturally we fight it. However, gradual change usually goes unnoticed.
One day I’ll wake up and realise I can run ten miles, whereas now I can barely manage three. However, in order for me to develop discipline, I need to remain focused. All I’m worried about at the moment is getting out the house tommorow morning and running to the end of the street. When I get to the end of that street I’ll worry about the next
Running is highly recommended from me. It teaches you to deal with internal warfare, it teaches you how to focus, and eventually you’ll learn that discipline is not that hard to achieve.
What have you got to loose except for a few pounds?
I’m going to be sharing my progress with running through my e-mail list. Make sure you sign up in the box on the right for weekly inspiration 😉
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