Most things we find ourselves doing in life can fall into one of two broad categories: those things we zone out when we do them and find ourselves just going through the motions, and those things we pay close attention to while doing them. Running is no different. Some runs are more exciting than others. So, how do you bridge the gap between the boring training runs and the exciting training runs all while making progress towards achieving success? Travis Macy’s Ultra Mindset #5 tells you to think about your thinking.
Thinking about your thinking means to make a mental shift in your understanding of the purpose of the activity you are currently performing. If you find yourself on a boring and monotonous training run you have done a thousand times, think about why you are doing that run. What greater purpose will doing that run achieve? As I have started to incorporate more technical terrain and winding trails into my weekend long runs, the flat out and back road runs during the week just don’t do much for my excitement level anymore. However, those midweek runs are just as important to my training as the long runs. They serve a higher purpose to help me be ready for my goal races. If I just tried to attempt long runs on the weekend, I’m confident in saying that I would not be ready to tackle the distances of my goal races. So what are you supposed to think about on those exciting technical runs then? Think about what you are doing. Pay attention to the details. Focus on the task at hand to ensure there aren’t any silly mistakes made. My trail runs require that I pay a little more attention to where I’m placing my feet so as to avoid twisting my ankle or tripping over roots. I’m forced to focus on what I’m doing way more than if I was just running on the road.
This concept is applicable to life in general as well. Got a boring menial task you are performing as part of your job? Think about why you are doing that particular task. What greater purpose will it serve and what will it ultimately help in achieving? Got a really important report to pump out that will be distributed to hundreds of people with your name and the companies name backing the accuracy of it? Focus on what you are doing so no detail goes without being triple checked. By utilizing this easy to follow formula of shifting your thinking to what or why you are doing something based on the task at hand, you are likely to see a positive impact on successfully achieving your goals in life.
Don’t forget to check out the first four segments of the Ultra Mindset series.