3 life changing habits that the Yercaud Ultra Marathon can teach you in 2019
Happy summer season to all of you out there!
Last fortnight - February 17th, 2019 at 5:00AM on a chilly Sunday morning over 200+ elite runners participated in the second edition of the Yercaud Hills Ultra held in the beautiful hills of Yercaud, part of Servarayan Hills. While I have attempted a few trails in the past at Ooty, Srirangapatna, Ladakh, Coorg, Ramanangara and Nandi Hills - this Yercuad Ultra was a run to remember, a once in a life-time experience by itself to feel the nature under my feet!
What a better way to run a marathon on a scenic route amidst the foggy valleys, orange and lime trees, spice gardens, endless hairpin bends and more.
While running, a few things crossed my mind and I realized that the way runners think about, train for, and run marathons like these is very similar to how we should think about, train for, and accomplish some of our biggest ambitions in life. Be it marathon training or preparing for our lifes’ milestones, be it career, savings, or family, there are no two ways about it – its sheer hard work. If we stopped for a minute and psycho-analysed those experiences then we wouldn't take another step.
However, here are 3 life changing habits that I have gone ahead and inculcated in my everyday life and encourage you to look at it as well.
- Power of Self-Talk
As human beings, we are constantly talking to ourselves. The power of self-talk is an internal dialogue that can affect our confidence and self-esteem. It’s our inner voice that really determines how we approach something. If your critical inner voice starts telling you that you are no good, you aren’t going to make it, it will just highlight the fears and anxieties.
While positive self-talk isn’t just for sports athletes to reduce their pre-race jitters and performance anxieties. It is also just as important for professional and personal success. If you are getting ready for a big presentation or trying to accomplish a personal goal, positive self-talk will give you the right mind-set to do so. Using the right language dictates that internal movie you play in your head. So it’s very important to direct your language towards how you want to be.
So this year, encourage yourself to start being aware of your self-talk. Determine which conversations are helpful and which ones are harmful. Make it a daily habit to have an optimistic dialogue with yourself and master your own your thoughts. If you do so, the world is your oyster!
- Make every hour count
Today and every-day, I’m sure there are about 10 million things that are competing for your attention. Your phone is ringing, your to-do list is growing, and everything that pops up needs to be addressed NOW.
When you’re not sure where to start or what the most important thing to work on is, it can feel like you’re drowning in your to-dos. It takes patience to understand your own progression.
While running too, I had hundreds of these mini tornadoes in my head with no slightest idea of where to begin. Be it proper hydration, leg cramps or appropriate clothing during the run or be it my next training assignment that I need to meet my client or my kids PTM at school next week.
What I learnt is to get each of these out on paper (even a mental note helped). I was able to look at my to-do list side by side and figure out which are the most important and which i can put on the back-burner for now.
Once all my tasks were in order of importance, it’s time to apply the 80/20 rule. I wrote down every single task, commitment, and to-do list item that was bouncing around in my head and I was amazed to see 80% of my results came from 20% of my efforts. And that’s just an estimate!
So from now on, try to reorganize your priorities every morning spending just a few minutes. Write down a new list and get rid of all the tasks you’ve already completed. Seeing your priorities list get smaller can help with motivation. It’s great to get a visual reminder of how much progress you’re making!
- Quiet Time for Your Soul
Running these long distance marathons is a haven for those who often prefer to be alone. We could head out the door and retreat to our own world, unburdened by the pressures and obligations of social relations, free from the awkwardness and self-consciousness of company. The same is true for me: Running in those dense slopes and muddy trails was a time which paused the barrage of inputs, to hear the quiet sounds, drowning out the city’s cacophony - often to hear from myself for a change.
You might think it’s selfish or frivolous to indulge in quiet time, when you have so much on your plate and when you want to devote your time to other people in your life. But, solitude may be just as important. Studies show the ability to tolerate alone time has been linked to increased happiness, better life satisfaction, and improved relationship management.
So this year on, set aside a few minutes each day to be alone with your thoughts - just 10 minutes a day can help, sans all the social interactions and distractions. I promise being alone will help you become more comfortable in your own skin. When you’re by yourself, you can make choices without outside influences. And that will help you develop more insight into who you are as a person.
In our lives, a marathon is all our ambitions. It includes our goals, aspirations, and dreams. It's something the challenges us like no other and we strive daily to attain it. It could be running a company, or developing the next best solution for our client. We all have our own marathons!