7 Life Lessons I Picked Up From A Simple Morning Run

Running in Singapore

I enjoy jogging and I jog every weekend. I use the time to get in tune with myself and at the same time keep myself fit and healthy.

While I was jogging last weekend, I came out with an idea for this post. I found that there are lessons for us to pick up in a simple morning run and I decided to come out with this article. Who says learning only takes place in school? Here are the 7 life lessons I picked up from my morning run.

1. Keep Moving Forward, Don’t Quit and You Will Achieve Your Goals

I believe many (if not all) of you have goals that you want to achieve. (If you have not set your goals set, please proceed to do it now.) Some goals will be harder to achieve and there will be many who fail to achieve their goals.

Most people fail to achieve their goals simply because they gave up too fast. It comes down to whether your goals are something that you really want.

I don’t believe that you will give up on something easily if you really want it badly. I don’t think Tony Robbins or Richard Branson treat their goals lightly. They see it as something that they really want and their goals are something important to them that they will not give up pursuing them.

To be frank, it isn’t hard to complete a marathon. I know, I know. Some of you may think that I am a little crazy to say that and not everyone is a runner. However, I saw people who didn’t train much for a marathon end up completing it. Completing a marathon is 80% mindset and 20% fitness. If you want to reach the finishing line no matter what, you will definitely reach it.

To complete a marathon may seem daunting. However, you can easily complete a marathon if you decide to show up on the starting line, keep moving forward and promise yourself that you will not give up no matter what. This is the magic formula.

This philosophy works the same for your life goals. If you have something that you want badly enough and you decide that you will show up, move forward and don’t quit, you will definitely get it.

Most people quit too early. Don’t be someone who quits, be someone who persevere and you will definitely achieve whatever you want to achieve.

2. There Will Be Obstacles – Choose The Right Thing To Focus On

Running Route

I ran from the north to the south of Singapore last weekend and it is a great experience.

During the journey, I met several obstacles.

– Lack of water checkpoints
– I got lost (I wasn’t particularly good with directions and iPhone saves the day)
– Aching foot
iPhone running out of battery

I understand that life journey is filled with obstacles. However, every obstacle comes with challenges that will help you grow and every problem comes with solutions.

I know that there isn’t any water check points that I can find in official marathon competitions so I got my own bottle and plan my own route where I can rest and fill up my bottle.

I’m not good with directions and there is always the possibility of getting lost. However, the GPS function in iPhone really helps me with my direction. I wouldn’t leave home without my iPhone if I were to go for a long run.

During my run, I also experience pain and discomfort with my foot. It may be due to the stress on my foot due to hours of running. I wanted to give up at the half way mark, but I didn’t want to fail what I set out to do.

I modified my running style a little to help alleviate the pain and I did some stretching to see if it helps. It did and I am glad that I didn’t turn back during the half way point.

As you can see, there are always solutions to every obstacles and problems that you face. However, you will fail to notice the solutions if you choose to focus on the obstacles and problems instead.

3. Focus On The Present

Whatever you focus on will expand. If you focus on finding what is good about a person, you will be able to find all the positive traits of the person. However, if you had a quarrel with the same person, you will immediately find all the negative traits of the same person. Same person, different focus. This is why relationship always seem great at the start (you see everything great about him/her) and it goes sour as time goes by if you start to focus on the negative traits of your partner.

Whatever you focus on is your reality.

We should always be aware of where is our focus and choose to focus on things that empower us.

If you are trying to complete a marathon, you can choose to focus on the future (how far do I need to go?) but it is disempowering. Imagine focusing on you still have 20 miles or 40 kilometers to go. Suddenly the journey seems so far and arduous.

It is the same if you are trying to achieve your goals. If you want to turn your life around and you choose to focus on the future, you will think about how much it sucks to be in the present. Negative emotions don’t help to inspire you into taking action.

What you can do is to focus on the present. Focus on the moment and think about what you can do now to improve your current situation instead of thinking about tomorrow, which isn’t even here yet.

4. There Is Always Help Along The Way – Just Ask

I lost my way a couple of times during my run and sometimes it is much easier to ask for direction than simply trying to figure it out with my iPhone map.

There isn’t anyone who refuses to help me until now and I think it is good to know this. Most people won’t refuse to help you if you ask for help.

It may be fear that holds you back. Perhaps, it is the fear of rejection. If you fear being rejected, think about this; if you don’t ask, you have a 100% chance of being rejected. Asking for help means that you have at least 50% chance of getting the help that you want.

Do the maths. The odds work in your favor.

5. Have A Destination In Mind

I don’t run without a destination in mind. I don’t feel good running aimlessly and it is hard to get motivated if I were to run without a direction.

Destination gives you clarity. It gives you something to work towards to and knowing the destination means that your mind will actively search for ways to reach it.

Similarly, in life, if you do not have a goal/outcome in mind, you drift aimlessly and it is hard to achieve anything.

If you are reading this article and you have not yet set your goals, please do it now. Go write down your goals on a piece of paper and the deadline that you want to achieve it. It helps you gain clarity and it tunes your mind to search for ways to reach it.

6. Reward Yourself And You Will Work 2X Harder

I reward myself with a good breakfast after my run. I think about my rewards before I begin my run and this helps to motivate me to reach the desired destination.

Sometimes I reward myself with a good walk at the nature reserves to enjoy the scenery or/and I will buy myself a good breakfast after my run.

I look forward to these rewards. This reminds me of a donkey chasing a carrot. It may sound silly to some but having a reward system helps you to stay motivated.

The next time when you are out to do something, always set a reward system in place. It can motivate you more to take action and reach your desired outcome. Tell me how it works for you. 🙂

7. Constant And Never Ending Improvement

There are always things that we can improve in our life. For me, I want to improve on my timing for my run and maybe my sense of direction. 🙂

Whenever I run, I find ways to improve my speed, timing and distance covered. The constant and never ending improvement attitude will help me get better, faster,  stronger and healthier.

I picked up from Tony Robbins this important philosophy. Having this attitude can help us to achieve breakthroughs in our life.

Think about how much difference it will make in your life if you always strive to improve 1% every single day. Each 1% improvement adds up and it can snowball into major breakthroughs in your life.

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  1. Hi Vincent! I love your post and I love especially the “reward” section. I personally find it difficult to reward myself, coz I always except me to achieve more than actually fits in a days work, what leads to never achieving my set goal. Well, it’s tricky business to set yourself challenging goals and making them at the same time digestable and manageable. Michaela

    • Hi Harry,

      Great to see that you picked up running as a regular exercise. It does wonder to your health and body. Keep running 🙂