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The way we do anything is the way we do everything.

My whole childhood and teenage years I grew up with the belief that I was not sporty. I played a little bit of squash and was okay at that, and I really enjoyed surfing, but I never considered myself to be an athlete of any kind. I’m now 36 years old, which is crazy because in my head I'm not a day older than 16. Anyway, it was only when I was about 27 that I realized I was working too hard, getting overweight and unhealthy, and if I didn’t turn things around fast it would be difficult to pull it back later in life.

I decided that the best thing to do was to start running, just short runs to start with, but eventually I worked my way up to a half marathon, then a marathon, then some really long trail runs. I realized that I loved being outdoors, and my body was rewarding me for the effort I put in, so I kept pushing to see what was possible. When I was 33 I decided to put myself to the ultimate test, to complete an ironman triathlon.

An ironman triathlon is a 3,8km swim, followed by a 180km cycle, followed by a 42km run, all in one day, and you have to finish in less than 17 hours. It’s a massive effort, and I trained very hard for a long time to prepare for it.

I’m thrilled to say that I finished my first ironman in 12hrs30mins, and have since gone on to complete 5 half ironman triathlons, and 2 full ironman triathlons. It’s been a wonderful journey, and I hope to complete more of these amazing events in the future.

One of the things I found remarkable was that the discipline I developed in my training started crossing over into the discipline I had in other areas of my life, such as work and family.

For example, every week I had to put together a comprehensive training plan, and as part of the process, I also started doing a weekly planning session with my wife. We would plan the week ahead together, prioritize time for our date night, chores, shopping, my training, her work, and much more, and we scheduled it all in our diaries. The discipline I was developing in my training to plan my weeks was spilling over into my family life, and the results were very positive.

“The way we do anything is the way we do everything.” Martha Beck

I love this quote from Martha Beck, a well known life coach and author, and I’ve found it to be absolutely true. We tend to think of our lives in silos, i.e. work, friends, family etc, but the truth is that we are whole humans, and if you develop a skill or good habit in one area of your life, it almost always will spill over to another area of your life.

The opposite is also true - if we develop bad habits in one area of our life, these will often spill over into other areas. As an example, I can to be quite messy. You can be absolutely sure that if my kitchen is a mess, then my desktop on my computer will also be a mess. It’s amazing how when I clean up the kitchen, I feel compelled to carry that positive momentum into other areas of my life, such as my desktop.

When you think about effecting change in your life, it can often feel overwhelming. Usually when something is too big and intimidating, we end up not starting at all. The good news here is that you don't have to change everything at once. Start in one area, and that way of being will naturally spill over into other areas of your life.

Are you scared of public speaking at work? Start by standing up and saying something you appreciate about your mom or dad at the next family gathering you go to. Keep doing this in small intimate settings with people you trust, and one day you will realise that you're standing up in front of the company and confidently talking about something important.

Are you feeling uncertain as to where you stand with your partner at home? Engage thoroughly with your performance reviews at work, and carry that momentum back home to have the conversations you need to have with your partner.

The silos only exist in our minds. Wherever you go, there you are.


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