I have long overlooked the benefits of long distance running. I mean with proper shoes and technique; the physical benefits are pretty obvious. However, there is something about setting a goal, pushing through the urges to stop, to ignore the heaviness in your legs, arms and in your breathing and to come to the end changed. I call this the 'Grind'. This grind is something that to me, is a constant important reminder that to achieve goals I set out I must be willing to do the work needed to get there.
A lot of the time, we are focused on only the end goal that we set for ourselves, for example: --
-Lose 10 kilograms
-Have a successful business with financial success
Where we are focused on the destination instead of the journey. I haven't been around too long, only 24 years, however I'm learning that goals that we make are only a figment of our imagination, a mere snapshot of the rolling movie that is our lives.
Be conscious of the metrics we use to define success. Metrics I mean, such as kilograms lost, time taken for a run, amount of money made are good indicators on short-term progress, however I would advise to not get too caught up on metrics - as they're only snapshots and do not tell the full story. Instead of checking the scales every day, or timing every run you go on; prioritise check-ins for metrics once a week and focus on establishing routine, as that is much more important from my perspective.
My advice is: Learn to love the journey toward the goal, learn to love the grind as much (if not, more) than the goal itself. This will ensure two things: 1. Longevity of success 2. Mental & physical stability/wellbeing. A good anecdotal example is of how people lose weight and after they reach their goal, begin to put on weight and fall backwards on their progress, or other stories you may hear of people 'falling from success' I did say: learn to love.
The grind itself is not going to be easy, but then again, when do things worth having (or keeping) ever come easy? Something I realised when running was - when I ran with track pants, or if I had a different pair of shoes on, I found the run much more difficult and taxing. Muhammad Ali said famously that resonates with my own realization "It Isn't the Mountain Ahead That Wears You Out; It Is the pebble in your shoes."
My experience tells me that if I must learn to love the grind, I need to be as efficient as possible when putting in hard yards. This allows me to maintain and to effectively streamline, so that I am not spending unnecessary energy to complete tasks.
It is a matter of trial and error, be introspective when grinding - what drains you (physically or mentally) unnecessarily? Is it something that can be removed, or managed in a way to make things easier for yourself while you work?
Living a balanced lifestyle helps identify these pain points - do not dwell, or spend too much time on one goal. Have many goals you constantly switch back and forth from on what I call procrastinating efficiently (write up coming soon). I learnt all of these valuable lessons from my long distance running.
It continues to teach me and keep me humble in my pursuit of my goals. Just because I have come to this realization does not excuse the fact that I too am a human being, and I too need to continue loving the grind I finish this article on this conjecture, we all need to start enjoy our goals like we enjoy our music.
We don't listen to music and wait for the end of the song, because the end of the song is just silence - it is uninteresting. We listen to music and enjoy every element of the moment.
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