What Running Teaches About Success

David Mulvaney Mindset, Profitability in Business, Self Help Leave a Comment

If you are like most people you probably hate to run. Running puts a lot of stress on the joints and bones and is frankly painful however it also burns a lot of calories and fat which is why a lot of people, including me, make it a part of our exercise regimen.

There are a lot of other benefits in addition to the effects on the body. Running has a deep impact on the mind and a run includes traits and emotions that lead to failure or lead to success. I feel running exposes weakness in the mindset and can be used as a tool to train your mind.

Let’s dissect running and how it crosses over into success in any venture.

Running starts out with a desire, or at times a lack thereof, a plan and a goal. The goal is usually distance or time. I’m going to run 5 miles today or I’m going to run for 45 minutes today. The plan usually includes the route and what tools might be needed. Tools minimally being socks, shoes, underwear, shorts and a shirt. Additional tools might be ear phones, smart phone, fit bit or Apple watch, a hat, and perhaps warmer clothes in cooler weather.

Now the run begins. If you’ve ever ran you understand that there are two people that go on every run with you, you and the voice in your head. No I’m not schizophrenic, when you run there is a battle that begins when you take your first step and does not stop until you finish.

It usually starts about 2 to 5 minutes into the run. The voice begins to tell the status of the body. Either you are feeling pretty good or oh crap, this kind of hurts. The person who feels pretty good might keep that pace for a while but might decide to push themselves near the end. For the sake of this discussion I will not be discussing the people who feel great when they run because I am typically not one of them. But the “oh crap” person has a completely different battle that has begun. Besides uneven sidewalks, cars, dogs and other people, their own body has become an obstacle to their success.

When their body begins to be an obstacle the choices are to walk, keep running or give up. So now the mind has to get involved to override the body and tell it to keep moving, stick to the plan, take the next step. The funny part about this state of mind is it will continue for the balance of the run. The mind has to use two success characteristics to continue, persistence and perseverance. It might even need encouraging words, I got this, keep going, it will be worth it.

This state of mind is the identical state that entrepreneurs are faced with most often in business. When business becomes a challenge the choices are to press on or give up and if press on is the choice it will take perseverance and persistence to do so.

So what keeps you moving? The goal. The goal is the finish line and the satisfaction that it brings. There’s a tremendous feeling of elation when you finish a run because for much of the run the mind had to control the body to get itself to the finish line.

The same thing occurs in business when it gets tough. The goal is what drives you on. If the goal isn’t clear there is no reason to continue. This is why I believe goal setting is of critical importance to every person because no matter who you are, what you are doing, or how long you’ve been doing it, life is going to put obstacles in your way and if you don’t have a clear goal and the right mindset you will fail. If your goals are not clear there is no finish line. Except for Forest Gump, who would go on a run without a time or a distance in mind before they start? More importantly, who would be in business without a specific reason to take the next step?

Clear goals are the number one driver to success. They make you persist and persevere when everything around you is telling you to stop. Make sure your goals are crystal clear. They will be the difference between giving up and pressing on to success.

To your lifelong prosperity,

David Mulvaney

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