If you are regular reader of Build Discipline, you are probably already aware of the depth and variety strategies that can be used for increasing your own self-discipline. As a personal friend, I commend Seph’s work and feel honored to write this Guest Post on the unique relationship between Building Discipline and the Art of Running.
Many of you may be regular recreational joggers, but behind this art lies a tradition and history spanning millions of years into human history. Human hunter gather nomads such as the Neanderthals have been running on planet earth for millions of years. They have proved natures forces wrong by surviving and being the most successful and skilled predators to walk this planet.
Their survival is a testament to the importance of running. Without their incredible running skills, as a species they would be long instinct and so in turn would be the human race. You may have often wondered how a human body could possibly run out other species such as lions, gazelles etc. The answer funnily enough lies in our body structure and endurance.
Unknown to many, humans can cover more distance in one go than any other species on this planet. We are able to run in conditions no other animals can run in. If you do not believe this statement, do the research yourself. We may not be really good at endurance running, but we are good at it for a remarkably long time. Our endurance and energy levels are the most efficient of all species. The evolution of the human body throughout millions of years has made us the ultimate killing machine.
You may be thinking, what has the development and conditioning of the human body got to do with self-discipline. The fact is that building discipline is all about training, optimization of your work ethic and seeking new ways to improve, motivate and exceed your limits.
The art of running is directly linked to your mind, and your mind in turn your body.
The mind is naturally adapted to optimize its activities and actions to make the body as efficient as possible. However, what your mind is incapable of doing is passively pushing your body to the limit. This can only be done through actively and consciously building the discipline to push yourself to your real limits. Running being the most natural of all sports, allows you to train your body and in turn your mind.
“You don’t stop running because you’re old; you get old because you stop running.”
The stronger and more physically resistant your body is, the more benefits you will reap in your daily life. Having the motivation, drive and discipline to run a marathon or ultra-marathon of 160km reflects a character which is driven to strive, show dedication and commitment. Training on a regular basis to meet your goals and aims will in time reflect your work ethic outside of the sports arena. As a marathon runner myself, I can only confirm this.
Unfortunately, the new generation of young people is becoming more and more interested in all sorts of cognitive exercise, which mostly involve technology and the internet. Physical exercise is often ignored. Even if they do choose to practice a sport, running is often shunned upon by the younger generation as unpopular and unattractive. Nonetheless, running is still one of the most popular arts of exercise. However, there is a great misconception and ignorance towards the art of running. You may have had the feeling of not being bothered or motivated to go out for your weekly run and dreading the feeling of running. This is a typical characteristic and the prime difference between a casual jogger and real running athlete.
Running should not be a source of pain and stress. Instead you should embrace running as a part of your daily life and your own mind and body development. If any of you are having difficulty managing to feel this happiness and enjoyment while running, then just use the simple smiling strategy. Running and smiling at the same time will in turn transform your running mood from negative to positive. Try it out yourself and see. Imagine the sun beating on your head, the wind blowing through your hair and the breath of fresh air. This is the core essence of the art of running. Find a way to build your discipline through fulfillment and enjoyment in not just running, but everything you do in life.
We have been running on a daily basis for millions of years, so why should we stop now? Embrace running as a source of motivation and way of building discipline and you will reap the benefits in your private and working life.
Now Seph and I have been greatly inspired by Christopher McDougall’s book: Born to Run. This book was a worldwide bestseller and one of the most interesting and inspiring books that I’ve ever read. If you’re into running, or you’re thinking about going for a jog more often, read this book!
Thank you.[addw2p name="guestpost"]