On my first long run, I started with the knowing that I had 21 kilometers to complete. While I was running, I started feeling some discomfort in one of my knees because I was pushing myself too hard, concentrating on speed and forcing myself to obtain a result. A result I thought it would bring me contentment.
When I reached 18k, I started to feel the discomfort transforming itself into a dull pain that was increasing with each pace. I had to make a decision, either to stop running or to slow down a bit and stop clinging onto the time I wanted to obtain.
I decided to slow down on my pace and continue running.
I completed a 24k run in 2:15h and managed to save my knee from serious pain. But what really kept me going was just detaching myself from the initial plan I had made, to finish my race at a certain time. And this is what I have applied successfully in other areas of my life.
The main task I chose to do was to focus on keep running, even at a lower speed.
What I have noticed during time, in my own life experiences, is that whenever you encounter difficulties on your path to progress, the number one thing that is going to keep you on track and help you stay focused, is choosing one main task to keep your whole attention on.
Simplify and prioritize your activities.
Life doesn’t have to be a constant struggle. Things that are not under your own control, will always come unexpectedly and they will leave just as they had arrived.
The main thing that will keep you focused is moving your attention to the task at hand and even lower your pace on completing it, if necessary.
At the beginning of every month I have a small plan that I draw up, each month being different from the others, yet all of them being part of a bigger project that I always set for myself in the current year.
That makes my approach flexible and that is the number one factor that allows me to achieve my goals. Because with life being unpredictable you have to adapt fast to the changes that sometimes challenge you to react, even at short notice.
It has always helped me to focus on the current moment and responsibility that I have, to make a plan that guides me toward my goal, yet keep my awareness that at any given moment I might have to reconsider some small changes into my routine and target, to adjust anything that needs immediate attention.
We always have a choice to either stick to our goal and allow ourselves to be flexible in details to reach our target, or to be rigid and risk to fail when life decides to come stir things up a bit.
The difference is that when you allow yourself to be flexible, you enjoy the trip from your starting point to finishing line, no pain, no injuries, no risks, just satisfaction.
Now what’s your choice?