The Ultra Mindset: Principle #2 – Be A Wannabe

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Last week I spoke of Ultra Mindset #1, “It’s all good mental training,” from Travis Macy’s book, “The Ultra Mindset: An Endurance Champion’s 8 Core Principles for Success in Business, Sports, and Life.” This week’s discussion is around mindset #2, “Be a wannabe.”

Being a wannabe typically carries with it negative connotations. Macy instead suggests that it is a very positive thing to be if you want to achieve your goals and be successful in your athletic pursuits or daily life. By surrounding yourself with those that you aspire to be like and those that are achieving goals you hope to achieve, you open yourself up to an opportunity to become inspired. If you haven’t watched the documentary about the Barkley Marathons, you should. I feel you will walk away with one of two different mentalities after watching it. Either a) you will think, “Those people are awesome but there is no way I would ever dream of attempting something like that” or b) you will find yourself saying, “How do I sign up?” It’s amazing how quickly we can become motivated after watching a two hour film. Now, imagine that you were constantly surrounded by that same type of inspirational source. You might start out only living vicariously through those people, wishing to someday be like them. But if you keep at it, if you keep them close and continue to feel that desire to someday be like them, eventually you might start to find yourself taking action to actually do the things that make you be like them. Inspiration is a powerful tool to have in your quest for success.

Personally, I’ve started to be a wannabe by following other trail and ultra runners on social media. Their daily posts and pictures leave me inspired to go out and be better. I WANT to be like them and in doing so, I take more actions to be like them. Books are a great source of motivation and inspiration as well. Some great ones that come to the top of my mind are “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall, “Eat and Run” by Scott Jurek, and “Running Through the Wall” by Neil Jameson. I challenge you to read any of those books and not want to immediately go out and run.

An additional source of motivation for me is the notion of wanting to be someone else’s wannabe. Lately I’ve found myself wondering if I could be an inspiration in someone life. This in turn has led me to being more consistent and successful in my current training. By wanting to be seen as successful in the eyes of others, I have actually in turn become more successful. To help with this, I have started publicly documenting my workouts via social media posts. While I initially worried I would be annoying to my friends and followers, I quickly shook the idea out of my head. I told myself if I can inspire even just one person it would be worth it. Running is such a huge part of my life as it is, the last thing I should feel in publicizing it is shame. I believe it has been working too. I’ve already had a few people reach out to me and tell me that I’m inspiring them, which is honestly one of the best feelings I think I’ve ever had.

My new year’s resolution was to inspire at least 3 people to become more active. I may not achieve it, I may blow that goal out of the water, or I may never truly know. But I can try. Many others were inspiring me as I found myself being a wannabe and I want to pay that forward. They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery. So, go out and flatter someone so you can achieve your goals. Who knows, in the process, you just might end up getting flattered yourself.

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