How Entrepreneurship is connected to Triathlon & Mindfulness
Two years ago, in 2017, a friend of mine proposed me to compete together to my first Triathlon: a wonderful swim-bike-run “Spetsathlon” race at the beautiful island of Spetses in Greece. I could not imagine how mindfulness and my experience as an entrepreneur could assist me in the process of training, as well as on that specific race day.
Patience, Persistence & Discipline
We can not expect quick results in Entrepreneurship, Mindfulness & Triathlon. There are no quick shortcuts. It’s a series of small sprints, where dedication and commitment to ourselves are rather imperative. But unfortunately, in today’s fast pacing world, we are used to “quick fixes” and immediate solutions.
These three activities are a process. It’s what you do every single day that matters. We build habits to plan and train for our goal. We have to build rituals and routines, arrange our schedule, prioritize, be dedicated and sometimes sacrifice some choices. We have to design our days and life every single day. These single daily habits are what lead us to our goal. While building my latest venture, BookPanda, there were many times I preferred not to go on holidays, or not attend a social event in order to stick to my morning routine and be dedicated to the launch of my new business.
Combining passion with perseverance for our goal is what is often cited as grit. Grit can help us in achieving long-term goals, together with a growth mindset, an intense focus in our goal and intrinsic motivation to move forward.
Belief & Determination
We have to believe in ourselves and believe in the possibility of what we are becoming. We are works in progress. We need a high level of courage to continue to push towards our goal. We need to cultivate relentlessness. We have to build an attitude to overcome challenging moments and drive forward through setbacks and failures. An obstacle in Triathlon might be an injury while training, a challenging moment in Entrepreneurship could be a sudden technological change and a difficult moment when cultivating mindfulness and practicing meditation might be temporarily increased anxiety. If we are able to work through the obstacles that stop us from practicing, our minds also become more focused and resilient to external and internal influences in the process.
When meditating, when training for a Triathlon or when building a business, we spend a huge amount of effort is isolation. Its what you do in the “dark hours” that show up at “race” day. Those “dark hours” might be when we are working late at night for a specific business presentation, or when we are waking up before sunrise just to have enough time to go for running or swimming. Even in meditation, where there isn’t a tangible goal, we have to practice for hours in order to receive and feel its basic essence and precious gifts: starting from stress relief and present moment awareness to transcending the mind and experience expanded consciousness.
Entrepreneurship and Triathlon require multiple capabilities and strengths in various disciplines. We need to develop a strategy to balance these skills through constant practice. For example, someone might be great in running and less capable of swimming, or in the business world, someone might be great in financial management but less capable in marketing skills.
Focus & Awareness
Mindfulness is not about deleting our thoughts, but rather to focus on the present moment without judging. Meditation can help us control our mind, train our focus capabilities, our attention and concentration. We then can control our minds and be more resilient and focused when distractions pop up.
Visualization is an opportunity to practice situations before they really happen. Mindfulness can help us in visualizing a big race day or an important business presentation and put things into perspective. Through mindfulness, we can take time to open our awareness of our mind and body every moment. We can be more conscious about our thoughts, feelings, and sensations throughout the day, as well as our attitudes to others. This helps us meet the challenges from a greater level of mind. In the case of Entrepreneurship, mindfulness can help us step back and gain the presence of mind to become aware of thoughts and impulses before acting on them.
Experiencing our body’s movement in Triathlon can help us tremendously. Focusing on the here and now by paying attention to the sound of our breath, the cadence of our feet on the bike pedals or the feeling of the water when swimming, we can experience our body’s movement. When we focus all our mental energy on the present moment activity, we leave no room for self-doubt based on past experiences or fears about our chances of success.
Learning is a continuous, daily process. We can reflect after a meditation session to notice what thoughts or emotions popped up, we can reflect after a running session to think of what we could do differently and we can also reflect after an important business meeting to analyze feedback from stakeholders. In the process of reflection, as an entrepreneur, we can analyze data that can be an indicator for improvement or for additional possibilities. We can track performance in Triathlon and maybe in our next meditation session try to be less judgmental of our thoughts. In this process, we can discover what we can change and optimize. It’s the small daily improvements that lead to stunning results.
I would love to hear your thoughts, let’s continue the conversation on social media!
Learn more about Stefi Vasilopoulou on her website StefiVasilopoulou.com, get inspired with her inspirational podcast in Greek “The SomaPnevma Show“, see her latest venture “BookPanda“, read her latest thinking on Entrepreneurship, Branding, and Wellness, or see how you can work together on Marketing Consultancy Opportunities.