Outstanding Australian Alumni Association 2013

Outstanding Australian Alumni Association 2013

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Greatness - It's in You!

On 25 May 2014, University of Melbourne alumnus, David James Watson, blew our minds at our annual AGM with a sharing on a simple but highly effective approach to success with tips on running ultra marathons and handling life in general! Seven months on, his delivery on the same subject was just as memorable and inspirational - this time at the Australian International School before the year 11 students on 3 Dec 2014. It was a joy for me to join David and Teri on the day!

Here's some excerpts from the sharing - in his words (as best I can recall).

David: Success is arbitrary. You define it the way you want. There are three basic tenets of success that are working for me that I wish to share with u. It's important to not only think strategically but also tactically so we don't get caught out in the paths that we choose in life.

We're often stuck in a paradigm in a way of life that doesn't allow us to achieve what we're capable of achieving. But if you can harness what's right, you'll be able to do so much better.

There are three strategies in life that are symbiotic - that are dependant on each other.

1. Exercise
My diving experience began at Melb Uni which led me to training with Global Underwater Explorers who were very focused on science, safety and fun. What I picked up from the instructors set the stage for my approach to life...

To do it right.

I read up alot on running in the course of preparing for runs .. and I started to think scientifically. This made me think about mental training.

2. Meditation
I do quite a bit of meditation. Ultra marathon running is 99% mental and 1% mental!

Kids are so 'in the zone', so good at focusing on the one thing they're doing.
We get distracted when we get older. And that's where meditation helps.
It's all about the mindset...

It's about observing what you do in life as a third party rather than be so emotional in everything you do...

But when you start to observe, you start to pick out things and manifest the things you want to see happen...

Take a step back. Observe what you're doing. Think strategically. Don't get emotional about it, which is hard... because our ego is involved.
Always take a step back when you're emotionally involved.

But shift gears.
Be in the moment.

3. Nutrition

Switching your diet to whole foods and reducing processed food, and reducing dairy and meat, reduces the likelihood of heart disease.

When I'm healthy, and I'm fit, my mind can help me achieve sharper mental function, my immune system is so much better... I've got improved physical performance, I look better (which helps me) , and I'm happier.

When I eat well and when I eat right, I feel so much better.

We have to do everything we can to be happy because that will make others happy..


Questions from the AIS audience:

from left: Teri, David, Danny and Murray
Student: How do you deal with the boredom in the Gobi?

David: Dealing with the pain; enjoying the music on my iPod; taking in the scenery - which is often breath taking; and thinking strategically about where I want to be...

Student: What kind of training do you do for the run?
David: I run 100km a week, do weight training, strength training for my legs, core training, stretching, hit the gym 5-6 times a week, run the stairs in my apt...

Murray Higgs (AIS Staff): Do u have positive, motivational self-talk that you apply in runs?
David: F.A.S.T. Focus, alignment, stability and timing. When I hit a low, I think about my wife, the opportunity to travel, to be there...


The University of Melbourne Alumni Association (Singapore) warmly thank the Australian International School for the opportunity to feature our alumnus as a motivational speaker to the Year 11 students - they were a great audience! Many thanks to the AIS staff - especially Stephen Bhogal (who mooted the idea and made the arrangements with the help of the resourceful and lovely Rhonda Vink and her IT support staff). We also thank Teri for her support on the day and even Murray Higgs and his other Health & Sports Science colleagues including Ian Forbes, who were present to hear David speak. And finally we thank David for taking time off on a work-day week to be with the students and spur them on to greatness!

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