By | Prabodh Sirur | In search of Postitive Intranets at In search of Positive Intranets
I always hated morning walks. I didn’t understand why people got up from their cozy beds to give pain to their bodies.
I am told that the morning walk has many benefits. Someone showed me some 25 benefits of morning walks for betterment of body, mind and soul. But I argued that the same number of benefits are possible when you sleep instead.
Anyway, at some point in life I agreed to start the morning walks.
Don’t know whether I got those 25 benefits. But I definitely got some great insights. Sharing the same with you.
Insight #1: Attach a purpose to a boring task; The task, then, becomes meaningful
It was the first day of my walk. The venue was a 2 km walking track around a beautiful lake. It was called Kaikondrahalli lake. It was maintained very well by the local residents.
I agreed with my wife that it will be only one round and no more. I tell you, it was a drudgery. I completed about 200 meters with difficulty. I had to walk nine times more. It looked an unsurmountable task.
I suddenly saw a big snail crossing my path. I picked it up, reprimanded it for being so careless and put it on the other side of the walking track. A few steps after that I saw another snail but it was crushed by someone.
Suddenly my viewpoint about this walk changed. I now had to walk to ensure that no snail roamed near the walking track.
The next day I got up early and started off for the walk to the amazement of my wife. I had to be there to save the irresponsible snails. I continued walking and saving the snails till such time I was in Bangalore.
Photo credit: Kaikondrahalli
Someone may ask me, “What about the snails crossing the track during the time when you are not there. Who will save them?” Some others may ask me, “What about the snails crossing the tracks around other hundreds of walking tracks around the world?” … “Why only snails? What about ants?” …. and so on. I don’t have appropriate answers for their queries. We will not sidetrack the discussion from morning walks to some spiritual journey.
Just want to say, I realised how a boring task can become engaging when you attach a purpose to it.
Insight #2: Make your whole self fit; to perform better
I moved to another city called Manipal a couple of years ago and my walk stopped. We have a beautiful garden nearby and an amazing walking track around a well maintained garden. I visited the garden and inspected to check if there were snails crossing the tracks; I found none so now I didn’t have to do the morning walks.
But my Doctor friend Dr Ganesh insisted that I walk everyday.
One fine day during these aimless walks (because I didn’t know the purpose of this walk), it dawned on me that I had to walk to keep myself fit.
The next question was, why should I keep myself fit? …. so that I can perform better during the day.
The next question was, what is better performance?…. oh, there are hundreds of definitions for what performance is and what performance improvement is… let me stick to a global definition as accepted by the Olympic Games – Citius, Altius, Fortius (Faster, Higher, Stronger)
So; now the purpose of my walk was to remain fit so that I can perform better physically, mentally and emotionally.
Before I start my walk, I reiterate this purpose and then take the first step. Before I eat my food, I tell myself that I am eating so that I can perform better today. When I enter the office, I tell myself that I am entering the place to perform better. My morning walk showed me this insight.
Insight #3: The 13th Round – stretching beyond limit is NOT a prerogative of a few; you and I are also eligible:)
My third insight was – it is not too difficult to become a super-performer.
Let me tell you more.
Three of us go for a walk everyday. One of our routines is to take four rounds of the beautiful park on the top of a small hillock. Once, two of my ‘walkmates’ had to travel on business and I was left alone to do the walking.
I had to just complete my ritual of four rounds and go back home. I had no intention to deviate from the four-rounds routine. I was capable of walking ONLY four rounds and no more.
Somehow I decided to test my limit that day and took a step for the fifth round. Then I proceeded to do the sixth round. I started feeling dizzy.
Then I forced myself to do the seventh round. You won’t believe, my dizziness stopped and I was ready for the eighth one. After eight rounds, I stopped counting the rounds. I went on and on and on.
I remember that the first step (round five) was difficult. Round six was terrible because of the dizziness. But once I crossed that threshold, super-performance became a routine.
I could never believe that becoming a super-performer was so easy. I could straightaway apply this to my work. You just have to tell yourself to do the extra round; and one more….