So yes we are at the second post of the seven post series that is participating in Bar-A-Thon. I am sharing my experiences from the two Half Marathons that I ran last season. Most importantly I am making an attempt to draw some analogies from my experience and see how I can use them to live a happier life.
Marathon Lessons To Bring More Happiness Into My Life
So here’s a peep into how after running two Marathons I was able to derive seven relevant lessons for a happier Me.
- Plan Your Energy Expenditure
- Be Better Than Yourself
- Run Together
- Cheer For Others
- Don’t Give Up
- Practice Discipline
Why You Should Plan Your Energy Expenditure
This is the most common mistake amateur marathon runners make. They begin their run as if it were a sprint. Within minutes they burn themselves out and find it impossible to continue.
I too made the same mistake first time around. Despite the fact that I had not trained properly, I chose to begin my run by going full throttle. As expected within minutes I was out of breath and was struggling to even walk. As I held my stomach and braved some steps ahead, someone walked past me saying,
“Hey, you are not here to win the race. Just manage to walk and jog your way to the finish line. Get that finishing medal. It really is a fancy thing to own.”
Now this advice changed a lot of things for me. But here in this post, I’ll focus on the phrase ‘walk and jog your way’ and try and superimpose the same in anyone’s personal life.
The thing is, you can’t run at the same speed throughout a marathon. You will surely burn out and may not even make it to the end. Similarly, if you are in the same mode in your personal life all the time, you may lose the focus.
For me, I spent my adolescent and young adult years being extremely idealistic. I would pick up arguments and fights at the slightest deviations from the norm by others. I would refuse to bunk classes when everyone suggested a mask bunk. I would go very hard on my juniors who wouldn’t follow the protocol. I don’t believe today, I expected everyone to have 100 % attendance in the club meetings then. Basically I was a pain in the a** for others who took life easy.
Trying to be idealistic and a perfectionist I was doing no good to myself either. For starters, I was becoming extremely unpopular. My juniors resented me (oh! Some of them really loved me too, for the support and inspiration that I was. I know that for sure. But still!) But the worst thing was that I was burning myself out. I was frustrated and unhappy most of the time. I couldn’t continue to live in denial of the reality of what my always-on-fire attitude was doing to me.
I had to do something. I did some things. You could do the same things.
How To Plan Your Energy Expenditure
- Use Pareto’s Rule when planning your day
As per Pareto 20% of your tasks will consume the 80% of you. So do not put too many high alert emergency tasks on your day task list. Plan ahead and make sure you do not have more than one or two high ask tasks in your bucket list for the day. If you are a parent, life would be a little too difficult, as your one or two tasks will be over and above the task of parenting.
- Choose Your Battles
When in a conflict situation, introspect if there is nothing else that would make you more angry or irritated. If the answer is yes, let the argument pass. It’s good for your energy reserves. It’s in your interest to let bygone be bygones in certain matters. So inconsequential arguments with parents or spouse should be put in this ‘Bygones’ list the first thing. You know what I mean right?
- Give up on Perfection
As a mother and home-maker, this is the single most significant reason for my woes. Untill some time back, I would need the home clean with everything in its place all the time. I would not allow my kids to make a mess in any condition. Now coming to think of it, how are toddlers expected to spend any independent time with no mess to make? So this summer vacation, I gave up on my OCD and let the kids be. Some relaxation on meal times, some allowance for making a harmless mess in the porch or verandah did the trick for me. I came out of it clean and sane.
The time that goes, goes away forever. The opportunities that come now, may not come back again. Focus on being a happier person. If your quest for perfection and idealism is making you over-whelmed rather than happy and satisfied, please have mercy on yourself and be somewhat flexible on these virtues. In the long run, you will not regret it.
This post is participating in the 15 day Bar-A-Thon Challenge with Blog-A-Rythm