All In The Mind

"In life, if you give yourself a concession, you'd take it" -Alvin Poh

As part of my exercise regime when I was younger, I made it a point to have a run around my neighbourhood as often as I could. Although when I say "as often as I could", it usually meant only once every week, or none at all. But I was still proud of the fact that I ran. The route was pretty tough for me, with slopes and small hills, and finishing every run gave me a sense of accomplishment and made me feel healthier and fitter.

Anyone who runs knows that you will always have the urge to give up, or to cut short your route. When the going gets tough, you go home and relax. It's human nature. And this is what is going to be the main topic of this article - Overcoming human nature.

The fact really is that many of us have the potential to perform, and to excel. What do you think of the quote you see at the top of the page? Do you agree with it? This quote was actually invented during one of my runs. I remembered that the day was exceptionally hot, but I had missed a few days of exercise, and the sedentary lifestyle was getting to me. So I went to put on my running shoes, and started on my usual route. I was like a caged-up dog finally let loose, and practically pranced down the stairs to the street. My mind was full of high-energy, positive thoughts:

"This is great! I'm finally going out ? Time to work those legs!"

"I'm raring to go! Lemme have 'em!"

When I hit the pavement, I let go of my pent-up energy, and really ran. I was fresh as a daisy, and ran with the wind in my hair. It felt really good. I was f-r-e-e!

Ten minutes later, I couldn't have felt worse. The heat was getting unbearable, and the humidity was horrible. I was sweating profusely, and my legs felt like lead. The initial freshness had all gone away, and I was feeling like hell.

This was when little specks of negativity started to appear in my head.

"I shouldn't be out here in this weather. I should be resting at home."

"I'm risking heat exhaustion here."

"I run a lot anyway ? what's one run less?"

"That hill in front's so long?I should probably just turn back."

With every one that came into my head, my perseverance dwindled. Every negative thought that came into my mind seemed to take root, grow, and multiply. And with every negative thought, my steps grew smaller, and slower. My lungs felt constricted, and I had an overwhelming urge to stop.

Interestingly, I think I felt almost like how those cartoon characters would, with a small devil and angel quarrelling above my head.

This was when the realisation suddenly struck me though. The thought hit me square on the face, and I could have sworn that there was even a loud "wham!" when it connected.

I was letting myself become a "quitter". And it was because of a simple fact: I was letting negativity enter my thoughts. I was letting them permeate and grow. I was encouraging myself to take the easy way out.

As I pushed myself and tried to move on, I started thinking about this. The funny thing was that, after a while, I realised that when I wasn't paying that much attention to my run ?it was actually getting easier! Meanwhile, I came up with this line that described the realisation that I just had:

"In life, if you give yourself a concession, you'd take it."

If you focus on doing something, and keep telling yourself that you can do it, you'd more likely than not succeed. If you let even just a wee bit of doubt creep in, you'll soon start to be complacent and you'll take whatever easy way out your mind's offering you.

Case Study 1: The Runner

You are running your third round on the running track. You intend to complete six rounds, your normal distance. You feel great still. You push yourself, telling yourself that you can do it, that you can beat your previous time. But suddenly, you start to think about why this is so important to you. It's like a floodgate's been open from this point onwards. You no longer tell yourself that you can do it, but ask yourself why you should do it. You begin to slow down. You are more observant of the pain in your legs and the difficulty you have breathing. Soon, you even start to harbour thoughts of cutting your run down to only five rounds, because "what's one round less".

Case Study 2: The Student

You are three days away from your exam. You have your book out in front of you, and you have to study a total of nine chapters. You've completed two chapters, and you intend to finish at least five at the end of the day. You know you have the determination to do so, and you begin reading through chapter three. After five pages, your mind starts to wander. You start pondering. You think about how tired you are, and you soon convince yourself that it's true. You yawn. You think about how long three days is, and figure that it's too much time for just seven chapters. You start wondering why you are studying so soon. Your eyes begin to feel heavy. You are tired. You decide to take a nap, and go to sleep for two hours, and you do so.

That's why I think letting yourself even think of a concession is dangerous. If you are really intent on doing something, you shouldn't be thinking of anything else. When you start to let your mind drift and think about the easy way out, you immediately start losing your determination, drastically. I think the best way to overcome this is by instantly stop, and remind yourself of your true goals and objectives.

Alvin Poh has been specialising in web development, content distribution, advertising and marketing strategies since 1995. His goal is to provide practical information based upon his years of experience to help webmasters, website designers, and self-employed people achieve their goals in today's competitive Internet. At his site, you can learn how to make money online.

In The News:


STLtoday.com

Matheny kept positive attitude despite doubters
STLtoday.com
But he said, “You're always trying to figure out what the next positive thing is that can happen and let these guys know that I truly believe that with everything I have, and I think it helps create a better atmosphere that helps shelter them from all ...

and more »

The Indian Express

Manchester United playing with a positive attitude this season, says Jose Mourinho
The Indian Express
Mourinho believes the key to United's success has been his forwards playing with a more positive attitude this season. “I think everybody in attacking areas gave a good dynamic to the team and especially happiness. We look happy playing football in ...
Martial's attitude has impressed MourinhoManUtd.com

all 1,123 news articles »

Redmond Reporter

Defending state champion Overlake possesses talent and a positive attitude
Redmond Reporter
Defending 1A girls soccer state champion Overlake is off to a hot start and the squad is looking forward to seeing how things go the rest of the way. The Owls were 2-0 in Emerald City League play and 4-0 at press time, and coach Sally Goodspeed said it ...


The Columbian

Positive attitude vital in aging | The Columbian
The Columbian
Anne McKinley battles a host of health issues and, four years ago, lost her husband after 59 years of marriage. Yet she remains positive, active and thrives on ...

and more »

Ghanasoccernet.com

'Revived' Albert Adomah delighted with positive attitude at Aston Villa
Ghanasoccernet.com
Aston Villa winger Albert Adomah is pleased to return to the team after refusing to sulk following his bench tole at the club. The 29-year-old took being left out of Steve Bruce squad in his stride- responding with a winning performance against ...


Bryan-College Station Eagle

Potential Marine officers tested in obstacle challenge
Bryan-College Station Eagle
Instructors will evaluate how Gregory performed during the fire team challenge and determine whether he is prepared to take that next step. "I think today will be fun," Gregory said before the start of the first ruck march. "I'll take what it is with a ...


Iceland Monitor

Most inhabitants of Reykjavik have a positive attitude to tourists ...
Iceland Monitor
A new survey conducted by Maskína shows that a great majority of Icelanders living in Reykjavik feel positive towards tourists, or nine out of every ten people.

and more »

Bryant University Bulldogs

Offensive outburst leads Bryant past Vermont
Bryant University Bulldogs
"The team has done a great job of continuing to create chances and continuing to keep a positive attitude in front of goal. There were a lot of alert players in front of goal to take advantage of those chances today. Hopefully they continue to do that ...

and more »

Tips to be Fit: Variety is the spice of reader's health questions
The Philadelphia Tribune
Keep a positive attitude. Believe that you can quit. Get rid of all cigarettes and matches and have your teeth cleaned. Change your habits. After a meal go for a walk. When you want to go to go out, go to places that prohibit smoking. When the urge ...


St. Augustine Record

2017 Football Preview: Positive attitude No. 1 as FSDB looks to ...
St. Augustine Record
T.E.A.M has been an acronym bandied so long the cliché could probably collect Social Security checks. While that is the motto for the Florida School for the Deaf ...

and more »
Google News

Fear Is Nothing To Be Afraid Of

Several years, I was listening to a radio talk show... Read More

Dump Those Negative Tapes

Every time something doesn't go quite right (rather frequently for... Read More

Dealing with Criticism and Rejection

Whether it's the other kids making fun of you at... Read More

Eight Simple Anger Management Tips

"The other night I ate at a real family restaurant.... Read More

7 Steps To Change Your Life

The quality of your life is directly related to your... Read More

The Art of Jiu-Jitsu

Using an opponent's force against them is the fundamental teaching... Read More

Shifting Your Paradigm

What is a paradigm? In my own words, a paradigm... Read More

New Attitudes-New Possibilities

I AM SO GRATEFUL for meeting challenges head-on. We see... Read More

How to Change Any Belief

I have studied the idea of changing thoughts to create... Read More

The Rat Race and Smiling Over Spilt Coffee

As if choreographed and rehearsed the night before, one lays... Read More

Your Mental Attitude is The Key!

As a being of thought, your dominant mental attitude will... Read More

Define Yourself With Confidence

As a trainer of coaches I often teach my students... Read More

Do You Believe What You Think?

If you work toward what you dream, the dream can... Read More

Does It Really Matter?

We are all involved in this game called life and... Read More

Start Your Day on Your Terms

Most of us start the day like we're trying to... Read More

When Laughter Does Not Come Easily

The surge of emotions.During the middle ages, the court jester... Read More

Stepping Into Possibility Thinking

Our thoughts really belong to the collective consciousness of the... Read More

Positioned For Success - The Refined Art Of Taking A Chance

ARE YOU IN... OR OUT?Are you in or out of... Read More

Quick Fixes: Happiness In A Bottle

This is the age of the Quick Fix - the... Read More

Fear -- Feel It and Keep Moving

Many of us allow our fear to stop us in... Read More

Start Living Your Dreams Today With a Positive Attitude

"Those people who think they can do something and those... Read More

From Stress to Adventure

Ten tips to transform your move into a creative life... Read More

The Power Of Appreciation

As we enter this holiday season, and this time of... Read More

Be Selfish and Save The World

Why do we help others? There is a whole lot... Read More

The Top Ten Ways To Be Positive In The Workplace Of Life

There is a growing volume of research that shows' staying... Read More