Greatness and Happiness?

It’s Saturday night now. I wrote this last night and I hope it makes sense. The article was interesting and I thought it was worth sharing. Today was Tour de Cure – it was a great day. I will write about the event and my ride tomorrow.

Today I was reading an article titled “The Six Enemies of Greatness (and Happiness)”  in preparation for a work retreat that is coming up in June. The article made me think about what I do in the gym, the pool and as a triathlete. I’m not pretending that I a great athlete. I’m not. I keep trying though and pursuing my multi-sports makes me happy most of the time. We all have our days, after all.

At least five of the six enemies seem to apply. The sixth one may but I can’t think of how tonight.

The five enemies I think that apply are:

  • availability
  • ignorance
  • comfort
  • momentum
  • passivity

I can’t figure out how committees applies to what I am thinking about, but, as I said, it may.

So how do these five things that do not really sound positive apply?

According to Hagy, the author, we often settle for what is available instead of trying to discover what’s  best. She applies this to settling for a job. There is a difference between what is right in front of us and what is best for us. Where the two meet is where we should be looking.  I’ve been thinking about goals – where I want to be not just at the end of this season, but in two or three years. I don’t have to settle for what is available, though. I can look for more information, the right races, opportunities to add to my training that will all make me better.

Of ignorance, she says that “if we don’t know how to make something great, we simply won’t.”  True.  If I don’t know how to improve my swim stroke, or my run, or performance on the bike, I won’t.  Fortunately I have Sam to help me become better. Ignorance is also accepting “good enough.” There is always room to improve though. Another way to look at this is one of the things Sam said to me last night when we were running hill repeats. “The only one that matters is this one,” not the next five I still had to go or what would come next. Focusing on that moment and that sprint helped me consider my form and speed and to keep going.

Committees is the one I can’t figure out. I agree with her though. Mandatory consensus certainly destroys a good idea.

Comfort, the next enemy, often butts heads with the desire to change. Desire, I think, has to be coupled with will, persistence, and consistency. Remaining in my comfort zone or comfortable is not going to lead to change or improvement of any kind.

Momentum is just moving forward.  She describes  doing the same thing as just being in a rut. The tried, the true and tired lead to dangerous habits. So if I just keep doing the same thing over and over then I won’t necessarily see progress. True,you have to practice the skills to become better but you also need to shake things up every so often as well by changing a workout or trying something new.

Finally, passivity, or not trusting your inner voice can lead to doing things you simply hate. I always find that when I ignore my inner voice I just get in trouble or something bad happens.

About millie jackson

I am a librarian, a yoga teacher, a storyteller, an athlete.
This entry was posted in challenges, change, choices, exercise and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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