At the most recent Casey Cardinia Business Breakfast I had the opportunity to hear Samantha Gash speak about her life and discovery of running.
Life beyond the comfort zone
From a high school student who was always the last one picked for a sports team, she was not renowned for her physical abilities. Yet she ended up running and ultimately running way beyond what most can imagine.
The Freedom Trail, the equivalent of 55 marathons in a month in South Africa, is an example of what she has done. It is always about the Why rather than What.
“A state of relative comfort creates a steady level of performance”.
Psychologists Robert M. Yerkes & John D. Dodson.
If you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done. The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them. A marathon seemed an impossible challenge. At the 32Km mark of her first marathon Samantha felt like pulling out. But her run partner told her to “suck it up” so she did. The finish made her feel stronger than ever before in her life, but it was also not the life changing challenge she had expected to be. So what now?
“The challenge of running is 90% mental and the other 10% is in your head”.
If you take a strategic approach and put your ego aside then you can achieve things you can’t any other way.
Show and accept vulnerability
In an ultra-marathon you have to take the long view. If you go out hard and hit the red line you probably can’t get back. Start slower than you think is necessary so you have it in you to finish. It is a marathon, not a sprint.
The armour of toughness
Things will happen that we have no control over. There will be times you feel like giving up. You might even stop for a time. But toughness means you come to a moment when you realise you can’t let someone else decide your future.Â We are more defined by our response to something than the action that caused that response.
PASSION + PURPOSE + PROCESS
Identify your passion – the root meaning behind passion is suffering. How much are you prepared to suffer for something you believe in? What are you prepared to suffer for?
Connect to your purpose – without purpose, why choose to constantly suffer? The purpose has to be bigger than the suffering.
Process – prepare, pick a diverse team, you need other perspectives, celebrate success.
From object to vehicle
The running used to be the objective. Finishing the race was the end goal. Now, for Samantha, it is the vehicle, not the end goal. The end goal is raising awareness through vulnerability and suffering. That is not how it started but is where it has led to.
What has this to do with Business?
There is a theory out there that business is all about money. The objective being to strip mine the economy of wealth so it is concentrated in a few hands while the rest wonder about how they missed out. This is not a theory I subscribe to. Business is a vehicle. As in the case of Samantha Gash the run was the vehicle. Business is the same. Once a business is profitable and running well, the game changes. Now you have a vehicle you can use to change the world. Now you have a vehicle that allows you to partner with others (clients, suppliers, staff) to do something bigger together than any of you could do on your own.
Watch Samatha Gash
Here you can listen to Samantha present her story and perspectives live.
Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development, focusing on products that are intended to be Made In Australia. Ray Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for more than 30 years. This post is Copyright © 2018 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.