“You don’t surrender your dreams, you surrender the one thing that you never had and never will – control.”
Peaceful warrior Dan Millman said that while it’s important to set goals, it is dangerous to impose time constraints on them simply because you don’t know what life will throw your way at any given moment. Millman trained four hours a day, seven days per week, for 52 weeks out of the year with the goal of qualifying for a particular gymnastics event (the Olympics, I believe) and while he ultimately got there, a terrible motorcycle accident delayed the process by several years. He spiralled into depression when he didn’t meet his goal on his schedule and soon realized the problem wasn’t the goal, it was his arbitrary timeline.
I heard this a few days after I set my resolutions and thought, “Greeeeat”. Running 100km in one month, fasting 24 hours on Tuesdays, etc, etc – I had set up my first month of resolutions in a manner that was exactly contrary to what Millman advised. Maybe due to the fact that I was now focusing on this, life fulfilled the prophecy. “Run 100km in a month, you say? How’s about we reintroduce that knee injury,” – I chipped my knee cap about six years ago and have been paying for it since – “Fasting on Tuesdays? How about an infection so bad that you have to take nasty antibiotics for the first time in four years which, of course, must be taken with food every few hours?!” Thanks life!
As I saw it, I had two options – throw in the towel and sulk away, deeming my project a failure after just a week OR learn from the situation and reset. Through some tiny grace of wisdom, I chose the latter. I’ll run as much as I can, and when it hurts, I’ll walk. When I reach 100km, whether it’s at the end of August or sometime in December, I will celebrate the accomplishment. I may not be able to fast for a few more days, but I can be very, very conscious of what I put in my mouth, especially since my body needs to heal. Interestingly enough, by not resisting what life threw at me for once, I learned a great lesson about happiness. Happiness depends, in great part, on one’s ability to accommodate, to be malleable to whatever obstacles may come your way. This is not the same as acquiescing; it’s far stronger. As opposed to bowing down and given in, you can choose to change your behaviour so to preserve your values and integrity, however challenged they may be.
And so, while the first week was nothing like I expected it to be, today I am smiling from ear to ear for no particular reason. Week one of my happy, healthy year was a big success.
Thanks loads for stopping by. I hope you all have a fantastic long weekend! 🙂