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The Running for Real Podcast

Jan 10, 2020

Do you believe that it is possible to be ultra-successful, dedicated to your craft, and still find time for joy every day? How much commitment, hard work, and suffering are necessary to be the best in the world at something? Is it possible to have big goals, spend time with family, and have a fulltime career?

These are some of the toughest questions to answer. It is hard enough to find the will power and drive to uncover your potential, but then the thought still remains, “Is it even worth it?”

Michael Gervais is a high-performance psychologist. His goals revolve around figuring out what great performers have in common that drive them to success. Specifically, he is interested in how they use their minds to unlock new potential.

Michael’s work is fascinating. He is helping world-class athletes perform to the best of their ability and showing the rest of us that psychology is for everyone that wants to improve, not just for those working through mental challenges.

In this episode we learned a bit about how we can use our mind to reach our potential, what is possible for us to accomplish, and if we can have fun while being great. This podcast will motivate you to be better and teach you how to set goals in a way that will have you loving life.

The Process vs the Outcome

If you want to be your best, it’s important to focus most intently on the things that you are doing to get you there. We all know that a goal without a plan is simply a wish. You can’t be a superstar by simply saying you want to be a superstar; you have to practice. You have to develop your craft, put in the training hours and all that.

This is bigger than the results though. When we are process focused, we forget about the outcome altogether. The process IS the goal, and the outcome is simply a biproduct. We aren’t dreaming of standing on a podium, but we are genuinely curious about our potential, which is discovered during the process.

The Outcome Isn’t Important

What if our goals had nothing to do with that fleeting moment of recognition? How would that change our mindset?  The balance between family, career, and personal goals would change. Time spent with family could be more genuine.

The most decorated athletes in the world understand this. Crossing the finish line, standing on a podium, and receiving a medal aren’t worth anything at all if you haven’t enjoyed the process.

When you focus on the process, your actions are based on emotions of gratitude, curiosity and excitement. You want to know what you personally are capable of, based on all the other things that you choose to do in life. This allows space for family, career, and a handful of other interests. With a healthy mindset focused on those things that produce results, your actual results are likely to increase as well.

What is Your Real Goal?

When deciding what you want to focus on, it's important to take a step back and think about what you really value. This is not an easy task. It’s an activity that requires some vulnerability and long-term thinking.

Dr. Gervais suggest asking yourself, “Am I better human because of this? Do I know more? Do I feel more?” He expounds by discussing the example of going on a four-hour weekend run. Whether or not this run is going to help you win a marathon, how is it benefiting you?

These are the questions we have to answer, regardless of a momentary victory or defeat. Are our actions making us better humans? Are we happier? Are we able to better connect with others? If you can answer yes to these, continue doing what you are doing, otherwise, look to make a shift in what you do, or how you think about it.

Get Quiet

A very hot topic today is being present. With media spreading the way it has, this will not go away. Michael says that in today’s world, it’s almost mandatory for everyone to meditate to keep a healthy mind.

In order to really set your best goals, focus on the processes, and be in the moment, take some time each day where you are alone with your thoughts. It doesn’t have to be much, but it will help you stay on a healthy path. You get to choose the life you live and the way you think about it. Make sure you are choosing it and not letting others choose it for you.


Michael on Twitter

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Compete to Create

Finding Mastery Podcast

Michael Gervais "Compete to Create" course spot giveaway go here for more details!


Thank you to my wonderful sponsors Generation UCAN, Athletic Greens, and Vital Farms for sponsoring this episode of the Running for Real Podcast.


Generation UCAN has been with me through a lot of my races and in my every day life. This product has been my go to nutritional product for marathon training and racing when I was getting all of my best times. It gives you a steady energy without the sugar, so there are no sugar high or crashes!

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Athletic Greens is a simple and easy way to get 75 vitamins, minerals, and whole food source ingredients. Just to help my immune system be stronger and greater! It is so simple to do and it taste good as well.

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Thanks for Listening! I hope you enjoyed today's episode.

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Thank you to Michael, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the show.