RYC 012 – Mind Your Mind

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I try by all means not to sound like a typical motivational speaker. Those guys have a proclivity of contradicting themselves and the consumers of their content are wary in questioning the discrepancies in the messages they get to hear. I must issue a disclaimer: I am not a motivational speaker. If you happen to be motivated by my talks in this podcast, good for you, but that is not my intention. My aim for writing and speaking is to inform, nothing more and nothing less.

Today’s topic is going to make me sound like a motivational speaker. If not, I will sound like a psychologist or a philosopher. Don’t mind what I sound like, pay more attention to what I am going to say. I would appreciate if you would be so kind as to drop me comment at the end of this post.

The Greatest Opposition Is In The Mind

Have you ever been in a situation where you had to do something and deep down in your mind you thought it cannot be done? Your mind would imagine all sorts of possible unsavoury events that might follow after attempting to do that thing.

This always occur when we are dealing with something we have never done before. Sometimes it would be something that we have done before but under different circumstances.

You may have guessed it. Our minds can either allow us to move forward, stand still or move backwards in life. If we can convince our minds that something can be done, we could summon enough courage to actually attempt it. When our minds are not convinced about something it becomes a battle to accomplish it. I think our minds prefer to be in a comfortable position and if they are challenged they resist. I do not know the details of how that happens but I know that our minds will work hard to keep things on the familiar avenue. It is only when we go against the calculations and recommendations of the mind that we are able to grow and attempt new things.

I remember when I was a kid and I could not swim. It took me time to convince my mind that I can swim without holding on to something. I started swimming in shallow and inactive waters. Then as my mind got comfortable with the idea of swimming, I moved on to deeper waters. As I became more confident, it was time to attempt swiming in moving waters. Overtime, I and my crazy friends enjoyed swiming in the river when it was flooded fresh after heavy rains.

You see how my mind was shaped into believing that swiming was easy. I just had to try it and then go an extra mile. I had to ignore tons of warning messages from my brain and convince myself that I can make it. My mind had to be silenced and then proven wrong. In that way it is re-educated and learns to enjoy finer things that life has to offer like bungee jumping off the tallest bridge in the world.

The Mind And Running

Because of the bad experience I had with running when I was young, I avoided it at all cost. When I got into running again in 2016. I had to convince my mind of the benefits of running. I had to convice it that I can run. If I can walk 14 km how would I fail to run the same distance. I had to prove to my ever calculating mind that my body was given an ability to run.

When I ran my first tracked run in 2016, I was sure that I can do the same distance again and maybe add a few meters on top of that. The next run I did, I ran more than I did in my previous run. Tracking my running activity changed my perception of distance. There are places I thought were very far and in my mind had estimated over 10 km, only to find that they are under 5 km. The truth is, my mind was wrong about the distances and needed a good deal of correction.

So starting a run for many people is a mission. You hear people saying: “I am not a fan of running” or “If I start running now and then stop I will get fat.” These are just excuses which the mind would manufacture or which we would borrow from other people who are of great influence in our lives. The excuses we make when we are challenged to run only comes from a mind that is satisfied with being in a comfortable position and not be tested.

Running is not just a physical test but it tries the mind too. The battle against the mind begins before one sets the foot on the road. There are many reasons the mind will bring up so to keep you away from doing your running session.

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