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The Mountain and the Treadmill | Mission Blog

By Ev Eric

Photo Francois Schnell

There are about as many reasons for failure as there are people who fail. Most of those reasons exist right inside our heads.  Learn some tools for tricking the mind, and some tasks become easier, or at the least, bearable.

Several years ago, I was running on our treadmill. I put it on a decent incline and just kept going. I was trying to think how I could enhance the experience instead of just sitting there staring at the wall in front of me. The thought came to mind that I could imagine the hill on which I could be running: BAD IDEA!

What happened!?!? Why did the running all of a sudden become more difficult? The reason why is because I was focusing on, not necessarily the goal of my running, but on how much further and how much higher that goal rested in front of me. Once I realized that my workout had become harder just by mere thought, I had to shift gears and see what else I could focus on.

I then looked down at my feet. One foot, then another, then another. Simple, and effective. Things became easier as I associated what I was doing with something that is a natural part of our daily living: placing one foot in front of the other.

Some people can keep their eye on the goal with tunnel vision. This allows them to see what they want without seeing the obstacles in their way. For me, this time, it was a matter of just focusing on what I was doing at the time, but still, the same result: keeping the mind away from the obstacles.

Don't stare at yourself in the mirror thinking about how long it's going to take to get where you want... just do the work, then get up and do it again.

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