Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Why I'm not watching the Commonwealth Games

I love running. It truly is one of the most fulfilling things in my life. You might expect then that I'd be an avid watcher of the athletics events in the Commonwealth Games. After all, what could be more motivating than to see people, who have trained long and hard for many, many years, compete on the world stage?

But that's exactly it. Watching elite athletes compete has the very opposite effect on me. I become less motivated to exercise, not more.

Why is this? Neuroscientists might have the answer: mirror neurons. By sitting in front of the TV watching people tear round the track at insane speeds, my brain gets tricked into thinking I've done a workout myself.

So I've decided then, to be a doer, not a spectator. This philosophy, "the action habit" applies to everything in life, not just exercise. I have far more fun, and learn much more, by going out and doing something rather than watching others do it.

While I may be able to avoid TV, I am very prone to substituting action with reading. I love nothing more than to lie down with a personal development book. But thinking about it objectively, I'm at the point where I'd gain much more from actually going out and practising. This is something I aim to change!

How do you fare? Are you a spectator in life? Or are you reaping the rewards of taking action?

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