Anthony Whelan 

Portal to The Thrillosophy Experience

Walking Like A Monk

Walking Like A Monk
I read "The monk who sold his Ferrari" by Robin S. Sharma last weekend. I thought it was a great read, sometimes entertaining and funny, but packed full of practical wisdom on how to transform our lives. It was so good, and full of so many tips and practices, that I read it again during the week. Then I realised that there is almost too much in it certainly too much to be able to take it all in just by reading it from cover to cover a couple of times.
And so I resolved to actually study it the way any great book deserves to be studied. To draw out as much of the wisdom as I can. To distil its essence into a simple guide that I can apply to my own life. I'll do that over the next few weeks, and I'll share it if people are interested.
But for the moment, there was one very simple practice that I wanted to share. This sounds extreme (at least, it did to me 'me not being the most 'exercise-friendly' person in the world!). But it is simple in theory, and I have found it to be surprisingly easy. And the results have been fantastic. I have been thinking' if I can get this much benefit from a single tip out of the many in the book, how much more can I gain if I truly apply its teachings to my life? Only time will tell.
So this practice, at least in my experience over the past week, is both simple and easy – two concepts we often confuse in our minds. To me, “simple� means not complicated. For example, giving up smoking is very simple – just don’t put another cigarette in my mouth. But just because it is simple, does not mean it is easy! “Easy�, in my mind, means not difficult to do. Solving quadratic equations is not simple, but once you know how to do it and have practiced it enough, it is easy. And I have found this practice to be both “simple� and “easy�; and it seems to have yielded great benefits in the space of a week!

So, I hear you ask, what is it? Well, it's about walking. Specifically, walking first thing in the morning. Regardless of the weather and where you live. That's it. That's all. Take a walk in the morning.

Now, as soon as I read that, my mind started to fill with objections straight away.

  • 'In Irish weather? You must be kidding!'
  • “On the roads around where I live? You'd be taking your life in your hands, walking on some of the roads around here, with the heavy traffic that's on themâ€�.
  • “Anyway, what possible good could a short walk do? That's not enough exercise to make any difference to your physical health, is it? And this Monk in the book says it will also do fantastic things for your mind, your heart, and your soul! Rubbish.
  • “And in any case, where would I get the time? It’s hard enough to get out in time for the bus-ride or drive to work, without trying to squeeze a walk in before it. Can't be done.

But then I read more, and surprise, surprise, the Monk had anticipated most of these objections. And he dealt with them reasonably and powerfully. So I decided to give it a go.

Let me tell you first what my morning routine was up to a week ago. On working days, I would set my alarm to go off about 45 minutes before I had to leave the house (so it usually woke me at 06:30 or 07:00). Then I would struggle out of bed, quick shower, get dressed, gulp some breakfast, and leave. So from the moment I woke up, it was rush, rush, rush to get out the door. And once I was on the way to work, I was already thinking about what I had to do that day. But in “The monk who sold his Ferrari�, the “Monk� makes a very good point. Essentially, he asks what kind of a way is that to start your day. From the moment you wake, you’re rushing, you’re under pressure, you’re conscious of a deadline.
On weekends, if I didn’t have to work, I would sleep until I woke naturally, usually around 09:00.

Having read this and resolved to put it into action, I decided the only way to do that was to give myself an extra hour in the morning. So for the past week (including Saturday and today, Sunday), I set my alarm clock for 05:30. I then got up, threw on some old clothes, and went for a 4K walk, taking about 45 minutes. Then when I got back to the house, I would shower and have a leisurely breakfast, and still have time to read or do something else before having to leave the house.

Has it yielded any benefits? Absolutely. My mornings have been much more relaxed and calm. As a result, my days have been more manageable. I have felt more awake, more alive, more in tune with what is going on around me. Some say that we live our lives like sleepwalkers – numbly doing, thinking and feeling whatever is conditioned into us by our habits and our experiences. These people say we need to wake up – that to come truly alive we need to drop habit and start to truly experience not just the world, but ourselves in a new way. It is far too early to tell if I can hope to walk that particular path, but I have certainly felt a bit more awake all week than I normally would.

And much to my surprise, it has been easy to do. I have felt less tired than I normally would, instead of more tired (the “Monk� says that 5 or 6 hours of “good� sleep is much more effective than 8 or 10 hours of “poor quality� sleep – maybe that’s why). But my personal experience (after only a week, I admit), is that taking a 30 – 45 minute walk in the morning is simple, is easy, and is hugely beneficial. So I have no hesitation in recommending this activity.

Let me know what you think. Do you think it is a good idea? If so, will you do it? If not, why not?
And let me know if you would like me to post a synopsis of the book when I have that done (although I would certainly still recommend that everyone read the full book).

Thank you for taking the time to join me on my Blog – be sure to participate and let me know what you think.

A quick note if you are not reading this on my website, you can find more at www.anthonywhelan.ie

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