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CLARA SMITH represents Australia at the international level in athletics. Here she shares some personal tips for performance, including how to be motivated to exercise regularly, and how to create healthy habits.

The difference between being the person you want to be and the one you are now is strikingly small. All those who perform at their highest level have one thing in common – their attention to detail. They develop exceptional habits and discipline, while others remain in their comfort zone. They are better at making small positive decisions in their daily life. This may not make a difference in a week, but months or years down the track these habits will become stronger, and the effect can be phenomenal.

Since neither habits nor discipline are acquired from birth, it is not a question of talent. It is a question of choice. Discipline is the foundation of success in any domain. It is waking up early, it is treating people the way you want to be treated, and it is doing the tasks you do not necessarily feel like doing. When we begin to view discipline as training rather than a punishment, we will be traveling on a very positive pathway.

From my view, an endurance athlete is the perfect example of someone who unites the mind, body and heart into one. One of the reasons many people never get around to going to the gym is because they know the physical pain ahead and give up. If we take the approach from a regulated mind, however, we learn to fight the mental battle first which makes the physical one easier. In fact, many say the hardest part of a training session is getting out of bed and getting to the gym, whereas an athlete knows to be consistent. Once you begin, your body reacts naturally, and you push harder and harder until you reach 100%. An athlete knows that once you develop a routine it will get easier. Therefore, successful exercise starts in the mental ring.

So how do we achieve this mental stability?

One can have no greater mastery than mastery over oneself. For this we need two wings to fly, the spiritual and the material. By only mastering success in the material sphere there is one problem: success comes and goes. You may have a well-paid job, wealth and be a successful athlete. However, all of this can be lost. You might lose your job, your money, or you might get a career-ending injury. This is why many athletes become depressed after their sporting career and spotlight end, and they are left in a different space that is yet unknown to them, which is their inner self. Therefore we need to focus on who we are inside of us as well as our successes.

Heartfulness Meditation and other techniques have helped me to improve my physical and mental wellbeing. There is a beautiful quote by William Penn: “True silence is the rest of the mind; and is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment.” In addition to this, meditation actually causes our body to change on a cellular level. According to research published in Frontiers in Immunology, meditation has the ability to reverse molecular reactions in our DNA that lead to stress, poor health and depression. These new findings have created a shift, putting newfound power in our hands. By committing to 10 to 20 minutes of meditation every day we can improve our health, reduce stress, be more focused and have a greater sense of purpose.

My challenge to you is to step out of your usual routine and to try meditation to regulate the mind from thinking to feeling, and to unlock this untapped potential inside of you.

The world is like a mountain,
The echo depends on you,
If you scream good things,
The world will give it back,
If someone speaks badly about you,
Speak well about him,
Change your heart to change the world.

Article by CLARA SMITH


Clara Smith

Clara Smith

Clara Smith is currently studying at the University of Queensland and working as a civil engineer in Brisbane, Australia. Race walking is her passion and she continues her career as an elite athlete at the international level. She grew up i... Read More