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Be ever Present but use the Past to see the Future
No Two Challenges Will Ever Be The Same
As an athlete you know that preparation for every race, or event is always different. Depending on where you are going to be, temperatures, courses, atmosphere, everything plays a part. Well the same is true in life, every job you face will offer it's own challenges, people you work with or meet will all bring different perspectives and challenges to your life. How do you prepare for that? You learn to embrace change, you learn to capture every moment and take with you the experience as it is critical to your success.
Obstacles and challenges that you face on your journey are not there to stop you, they are there to pus you, they are there to teach you to maneuver around them, teaching valuable lessons on the way, and getting your attention so you know that the path ahead is filled with more curves. We are taught to learn the difference between an obstacle and an opportunity. The lesson is that it lies in our attitude toward them. As a runner and athlete I was told early on that success is not about winning, it is about how you face obstacles and react to them. You can look at obstacles as a fence, stopping you in your path, or you can as they say look at them as hurdles and strengthening you as you run from one to another.
Understanding the differences you are going to face in life, trying to prepare for them, taking life lessons with you, being open to learning, and looking ahead on the path to see what lies ahead is what will prepare you for those roadblocks. Goldie Hawn said it well with this spiritual quote, which led to the title of the book, Hawn received from the Venerable Thupten Jgodrup, he is the Nechung Oracle of the Nechung Dorje Drayang Ling Monastery in Dharamsala, India. “The lotus is the most beautiful flower, whose petals open one by one. But it will only grow in the mud. In order to grow and gain wisdom, first you must have the mud—the obstacles of life and its suffering. The mud speaks of the common ground that humans share, no matter what our stations in life. Whether we have it all or we have nothing, we are all faced with the same obstacles: sadness, loss, illness, dying and death. If we are to strive as human beings to gain more wisdom, more kindness and more compassion, we must have the intention to grow as a lotus and open each petal one by one.”
So as you step out each day, to face a race or the race of life, remember that embracing the differences, embracing the challenges, embracing each other, that is the way we move forward and gain success in all we do. Don't give up, don't give in, instead give your all, the goals you set will help you to see your progress, but the boulders in the road may keep you from seeing the progress that lies ahead. One step and one day a time are the best way to approach those roadblocks, help you to find a way around them. I think about the Disney movie “Ants” and I recall the leaf in the middle of the path as the ants were marching, and the panic that ensued because they didn't know what to do, and then one ant suggests they go around the leaf, and everyone is in shock, and disbelief. Go around the leaf, don't be scared, there is something on the other side, and adventures are part of the journey.
Preparation is the Key to Success
Plan a Route Do Not Get Stuck In The Middle
Me - Me - Me - it is all about ME - Why being selfish is smart
Seeing is Believing
Setting goals is key when looking for results, but the power source for achieving results is in being able to visualize success. One main reason goal setting has such a high success rate is because it provides a clearly defined target, and with that a focus point that people can see. The human mind is able to wrap itself around a target, it can see it, and then it can achieve it. Think about the way a magnifying glass focuses sunlight and can then produce enough heat to start a fire. The human mind has this same focus, and the goal produces the heat, so that a fire burns inside our mind and drives us to see results.
Visualization is the key to providing energy and ability in achieving those goals. The conscious mind makes us aware of reality and dreams, but our subconscious can take the visualization and allow us to make it real in our mind. The ability to visualize can actually program our nervous system to make us believe we are experiencing an event. So even though it is not reality, we imagine it with such clarity, that we believe it. The power of visualization is amazing.
Now the old saying, “seeing is believing” comes into play. Many of us have faced difficult situations that might seem impossible, but if we have that power to see things in a positive light, we can actually alter the way things might be. Confidence is key in so many aspects of our lives, and certainly pushes us to gain results. Intense focus and belief in yourself can be a powerful tool in achievement. Wanting something so bad, being able to feel it when we close our eyes, that ability to visualize victory is the spirit that really drives winners.
Visualization is actually training your brain to experience a situation the way you want it to be. Our brains respond to continuous stimulation, it is constantly adapting, changing, and adjusting. Repetition is also key, the more often we experience a situation, the more we visualize how things will be. Just as a runner trains and prepares the body for a marathon, the brain has to be trained and has to visualize the race. Every athlete uses visualization, to not only reduce anxiety, but to remove stress from the race. Removing obstacles is what allows us to be successful, in running, in sports, and in life.
Using visualization as a tool to succeeding allows you to be in control of your mental game and allows you to control the situation instead of letting the situation control you. You manage the stress, you manage the energy needed to run the race, you manage your mind. So in training for a race, or preparing for a presentation, remember that writing down your goals, visualizing the results, seeing how the race unfolds in your mind, that is the key to victory. Author and speaker Brian Tracy says, “you have to see your bull's eye before you can hit it.” See it. Feel it. Believe it.
Healthy Desserts DeStress Physical and Mental Well Being
If you can remember desserts – you can remember de-stress – and that is key to physical and mental well being; and well, it can also be delicious! Like with any journey, this one begins with a first step, and as Martin Luther King Jr. said “Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase.”
Physical and mental health go hand in hand and helping us to get control of our emotional health, allowing us to deal with the wonderful challenges life provides us, giving us resilience and bringing more joy to our daily lives. Not only does our physical and mental health make us content, it also provides us with a zest for life, gives the ability to deal with stress, and helps us balance work and play. Exercise and positive physical and mentail health is not going to remove our hard times, and will not remove the stress we face in life, it just provides us the outlet for dealing with it all.
Adding exercise in our lives can also be a challenge, but look for ways you can, sometimes exercise is right in front of us, we just have to embrace it. Take the stairs, park further away and walk, sit on an exercise ball, do squats while on the phone, find just a few minutes in your day to help you gain physical and mental well being. So we all need to have our daily dose of De-sserts, because they help us feel sweet. Never miss your slice, and write down what you do each day, sometimes you have to see what you have accomplished to realize you are making headway, all it takes is that first step, so go ahead, have some faith. Afterall, we have to run a minute, in order to run the marathon.
Life is a Marathon
Stress is something we all face everyday. We all have deadlines, people expecting things from us, work and family obligations, financial hurdles, and more. Stress can consume us, and yet it can also motivate us, and in the end, how you deal with stress is key to also making you successful. Learning how to run your life, learning how to use stress to your advantage, and learning that your response to what life throws at you are the keys to finishing a successful marathon of life. Self-compassion is a first step, the warm up that we all need. Looking at your mistakes, recognizing that failures are not the end, but simply lessons to your growth, then you can improve your performance and have the optimism to get past the warm up. Humans make mistakes, so take a deep breath and soak it in. Now, the next step is to think about the race, plan out your exercise routine, develop the how and why of what you are doing. Set challenges for yourself, they will help you to stay on track, and keep you focused on where you want to end up. How many decisions do you make in a day? Simple ones, hard ones, everyone adding a little stress that you are unaware of, but it doesn't have to be that way. Establish routines in your life, schedules that let you do certain things at the same time everyday, helping you put some structure in your chaos. Little decisions you make on a daily basis can be organized, put into a schedule, a routine that will in the end reduce your stress. Set aside just a few minutes everyday, five or ten to do one thing for yourself, something that is interesting or important to you, allowing yourself that small pleasure will re-energize you, it will fuel your soul to move forward. Remember though it needs to be not just something fun, it needs to be important to you. Take your to do list and add specific deadlines, place a where and when on each item, not only will it help you to do it, but it will help you to focus on accomplishments. You can actually cross things off the list each day, and move forward, taking another step in your marathon. Remember you are in training, so progress is what you are striving for, not perfection. Goals allow you to develop skills, or fine tune ones that you have, and you need to focus on your ability, not others, your goal is to finish the race, not necessarily win it. However it also lets you see the improvement, you see day to day, month to month, year to year how your goals are coming to pass. Seeing progress and results are motivating and help us to take another step forward in our marathon run. Along the journey, we all have to decide our style, what makes us run faster, run longer, what helps us stay positive, what makes us an optimist or a pessimist? Each of us has a style, and understanding what your style is, that is key in running a successful race. We can all reach the finish line, but for each one of us there is a different goal, and a different strategy to get there. Embrace your style, understand your focus, that will help you deal with stress in a more positive way, and keep your performance levels at their best. We are just beginning to train for this marathon, we have to pace ourselves, we have to identify our path. If you have read Marathon Fit to Lead then you have tools that you can apply, if not, hopefully these key points will get you started, and stay tuned because we are going to help everyone get started training, we all want to run our best life.