Monday, July 25, 2011

Tunnel Vision

Felt inspired to write what's on my mind, so I hope you guys find some inspiration.....

Every successful person (or anyone who accomplished anything lol) will tell you that when reaching their goal, there was a period of time when they turned off all distractions. S/he focused on the task at hand and eliminated all outside distractions until their goal was reached....sort of like tunnel vision....

This is such an easy concept to follow, but why do so many people fall short and become "unsuccessful"? Even myself, knowing how important and effective this is, am at times victim to losing track of my goals , letting frivolous things become larger than what they really are. Before you know it, you miss the mark.

Here I'll use my morning run as testimony to the power of tunnel vision...enjoy!!

Mile 1-2 - The Decision

No not Lebron James, but the beginning of your journey. "The Decision" is infamous around New Years. This is usually the easiest part of the process. You are generally motivated, full of energy and have a feeling of invincibility. Your goal is clearly stated and there is no doubt that you can get there. While running I say my "good mornings" to familiar faces and was my usual jovial self when I run. Breathing and pace was in sync and I thought this run would be a breeze. Looking around and talking to others isn't a distraction to you because you are running purely on energy and adrenaline.

Same as in life, this part is the easiest. You jump out the blocks with the task clearly defined. You and your mentor (as you should have one) are on the same page and you hit your marks without a problem. Optimism that you will have a 4.0 this semester, make X amount of money this year, or finish that project seems like a cinch.

Mile 3- Staying consistent/enduring

At this point in my run, I still felt good but had to start changing gears in order to stay at a consistent pace. Humidity started play a factor, as I had to take a couple of deep breaths to bring my rhythm back in sync. Still very optimistic, but that voice in my head started to say "maybe just get to the hill, you don't have to run to the top of it." This is a point in which a decision has to be made. Do you listen to your conscious, or do you turn it off and endure?? Growth is obtained at this point.

Again, in life this is a defining point. "Obstacles" start to present themselves more prominently and you have a decision to make. (I put obstacles in quotes because YOU decide if they are obstacles or not) Do I submit or do I endure? A lot of times you have to move out of your own way in order to get where you want to be. We start to listen to your conscious and find excuses to stop, slow down or do something else. Same with exercising, this is a point in growth, where you have to move out of your comfort zone and endure.

At this point some results are seen, but the goal isn't quite reached. For a lot of successful people, this is the point where they went "ghost" and you rarely saw them. Objectives become more routine and fluid, almost like you are on auto-pilot. I've heard that to make something a habit you have to do it consistently for 30 days straight.

Even friends and family can be obstacles if you let them. Intentions may be sincere, but it's on you to say no, not now, maybe later.

If your goal is to have a 4.0, do you miss a couple of parties, or do you study instead? If your goal is for your business to be at a certain point, do you stop when a few proposals are rejected, or do you make adjustments and endure??

Mile 4-5 - Tunnel Vision

Here I continued to remind myself of the end goal (Half marathon in September), and knew that I would have to focus and relax to get to the end. One of my mentors calls this period where you "slow down to speed up." Marathons aren't won by running full speed in the beginning. They are won by keeping a consistent pace. Gathering my wits, I had to take more deep breaths and relax myself, developing a rhythm that essentially made finishing the run a lot easier.

My eyes were looking at the road in front of me. I wasn't as eager to say hi to everyone I passed or look at the trees around me. Although I enjoy being social with other people who exercise (seeing grandpa running with his two wristbands and headband is really inspiring), I had to remain focused with my target. I knew if I looked up and around at people who were running faster than me (distractions), I would likely become discouraged and possibly stop. It's happened before! Why do you think racehorses have those blinders? Eliminate all distractions and see only the goal. Michael Jordan going off in the 4th, Derek Jeter game 7 in the World Series ,or Tiger Woods in the Masters will describe it as an out-of-body experience, where it's only them and the goal.

Final Stretch & Reflection

As I went around the last corners and prepared myself for the hill, my goal started to become more clear and attainable. I found energy from somewhere and found a bounce in my stride. When I got to the top of the hill and caught my breath, I realized how easy the run was when I eliminated myself as a distraction.

Anyone who knows me can tell you that I love to set goals. I don't reach them all the time, but regardless it's important to have something tangible to strive towards. I am far from perfect and wish I could say I've succeeded in everything I've set out to do, but that's far from true. But the more mature (hate to use old lol) I am becoming, I realize that having "tunnel vision" is the only way you are going to see significant results in whatever you want to accomplish.

As I embark on plenty more goals throughout my life, whether I hit or miss, I will always keep the concept of tunnel vision in mind.

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