The Journey – 432.5 Miles:
The A2B Route left Boulder City, Nevada heading towards Hoover Dam and Lake Mead. The course followed trails and service roads through the desert. The attached picture gives an idea of the terrain.
I was not feeling well last night. The soreness that I experienced yesterday with my knees turned into general all around achiness. I may be coming down with a cold or something. I made sure to go to bed early last night.
When I woke this morning, I felt good. I decided to run 4 ½ miles at an easy pace.
It took a lot more time and distance than normal for me to fall into a comfortable rhythm. My stride, arms, and breathing felt out of sync. But finally, they all found the same cadence.
When I crossed my finish line, I checked my watch out of habit. As planned, my time was slow. Almost disappointingly slow. I was quick to remind myself that my slow time today is roughly the same as some of my best times from exactly a year ago.
During my pre-run stretch, I often skim through Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, etc. It is not unusual for me to find something that fuels the thought-mill throughout the run. Such is the case this morning.
On Google+, I came across a post titled #ThingsToLiveBy which suggested the following.
- Free your heart from hatred.
- Free your mind from worries.
- Live simply.
- Give more.
- Expect less.
Nice words. But then I started thinking about it. It didn’t feel right. So while running, I started making revisions.
I do not disagree with the first suggestion to free your heart from hatred. I just believe that it falls short. Most of the time, hatred rises from hurt. In every life, people get hurt by others. Sometimes the source is from people that we love the most and/or love us. Sometimes we are the source of hurt. When this happens, the choice is to 1) harbor and nurture the pain and anger or 2) forgive. One choice requires no effort or courage. The other is a pure act of will that calls for tremendous strength and, quite often, help from higher powers. Only one brings any real peace.
As for the second thought, years of personal experience has taught me that worry is wasted energy. It is easy to say free your mind of worries. But you have to give your mind something to do. You have to give it a new thought to grab on to. So I would suggest that a person focus on desired results.
Regarding number 3, I have to ask. Live simply? Really? Why? Living simply implies something “less than.” I don’t want that. And I absolutely do not want that for my children and those that I love. Rather, I say, “Live fully!”
Next, to “give more” by itself sounds noble. My experience has been that giving solely for the sake of giving is hollow. The best that I have ever given (or that has been given to me) has been the direct result of love for a person or cause. So much so that it could hardly be called giving. Instead of saying give more, I suggest going straight to the source and Love deeply.
Finally, where is the inspiration, the thrill, or the joy in “expecting less?” For me, there is none. I say, “Expect everything!!” Will there be doubts and disappointments? Absolutely! No one escapes failures and setbacks. But the biggest dreamers, world changers, captains of industry, leaders, and other heroes will ask you what does any of that have to do with expectation. You get what you expect.
After thinking through all 5 points, the list still seemed incomplete. So, I added the suggestion to Laugh Everyday. Laughter eases worry, fear, and other burdens. It can reduce contention to a resolvable size. It creates and enhances memorable moments. It strengthens. It adds joy to daily living.
So to the author of #ThingsToLiveBy, I proudly and boldly submit the following radical revisions. I suggest they be adopted, distributed, and applied ASAP.
- Focus On Your Desired Outcomes.
- Live Fully.
- Love Deeply.
- Expect Everything.
- Laugh Everyday.