“Every morning in Africa a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must move faster than the lion or it will not survive. Every morning a lion wakes up and it knows it must move faster than the slowest gazelle or it will starve. It doesn’t matter if you are the lion or the gazelle, when the sun comes up, you better be moving.”
― Roger Bannister
This morning I woke up and had such an amazing run, I ran in a light rain drizzle and just appreciated the gift of being able to put one foot in front of the other.
Most mammals, including Homo sapiens, were created with the ability to run. Not just to run for fun, but for survival. As Roger Bannister (the first man to run the mile in under four minutes) said – the gazelle and the lion had to run or they would not survive. In the same way for millennia our ancestors have had to outrun their predators as well as their prey in order to stay alive. The best runners survived, because they could escape danger and hunt to feed themselves and their young, those survivors passed on their genes to us. All of us therefore have the ability to run. So running was not only an ability but rather a necessity to survive.
Running in itself is such a primal and instinctive activity. We run towards what we want (in life) and we run away from that what we don’t want. We chase our biggest dreams and we run from our fears and nightmares. We pursue the life we want and we evade the dangers around us. We run to catch a partner, we run our lives and our businesses and our relationships in a ways that benefit us most, or at least we try.
Yet running is such a basic activity, literally just putting one foot in front of the other. And then again and again…
According to Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy , we first run to meet our most basic needs such as food, shelter, safety and security, then we run to satisfy our higher needs such as love, acceptance, spirituality, growth and self-actualization. We always seem to be on the move. This may be what makes us achievers – our drive to keep on running towards what we are pursuing in life.
In the same way for us to move forward towards our dreams and goals we have to run towards something or away from something.
In Neuro-semantics we use meta programs to describe different frames-of-mind, styles of thinking and emoting and patterns of behaving . We have a Towards/Away from meta program that describes people’s inclination to be motivated by moving towards a desired state or away from an undesired state. When in pursuit of your dreams and goals the trick is to understand how each of us operates, and use that to best effect. Are you mostly a “Towards” or “Away from” person in the context of pursuing life/your dreams? What gets you moving? What gets you off your butt to take action and maintain that action? The carrot or the stick?
The secret to success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of pain and pleasure using you. If you do that, you’re in control of your life. If you don’t life controls you.
What are you running to or what are you running away from? What do you want? If you become crystal clear about what you want in life, and how you are best motivated to get there, the journey is much easier.
Are you running away from stress, bad habits, atherosclerosis, diabetes, cancer, obesity and premature death or are you running towards vitality, energy, virility, mobility, strength and a thriving life?
Roger Bannister also said “However ordinary each of us may seem, we are all in some way special, and can do things that are extraordinary, perhaps until then…even thought impossible.”
What do you want this year?
I suggest you start running today.
About the author: Reinhard Korb is a thought leader in the combined application of nutrition, exercise, neuroscience and mindfulness. He helps optimize health, wellness and performance in his clients. As the founder of Thrive, he has facilitated and helped various organisations and individuals actualize their potential and achieve peak performance states. He is a certified Fitness & Nutrition Coach, Meta Coach, Neuro Coach, Stress Management Coach and Wellness Coach