Every time I tell people I run, they ask: “Are you training for a marathon?” Or they ask if I’ve ever run a marathon.
Somehow, most of us believe that running a marathon is the ultimate benchmark of running. I used to think that too.
The ‘Marathon’ story is probably one of the most well know stories in the world. The most mythical version goes like this:
The Persians were battling the Greeks in the fifth century B.C. And at the Battle Of Marathon, the Athenian army was outnumbered four to one. There was a full-on battle going on at Marathon.
Where you are in your life is a result of your habits. Will Durant said it best:
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
I think that’s also true for the opposite of excellence. It goes like this: Bad habits? Bad life. Good habits? Good life.
I used to be a complainer. I said stuff like:
Have you seen them? Articles and books that promise you the secrets to success? Save yourself some time and stop reading them. I’ll tell you why in a minute.
There are many kinds of those “success-articles.” The ones that suggest there’s a difference between winners and losers are my favorite.
Stuff like: “This behavior separates successful people from average people.” Or how about articles that list the habits of Millionaires or Billionaires? It’s so predictable.
Those type of articles and books are designed to give you a good feeling about yourself. “See! I have all the traits of successful people. I’m one of them!”
They always focus on the outcome. Not the process. Studying, learning, and stealing productive habits or tactics are all smart things to do. But that’s not what I’m talking about here. I talk about people who only focus on the outcome. I.e. success.
We live in a uniquely safe, risk-free, and good time.
Mortality rate is at an all-time low. Poverty is decreasing year over year. Diseases are treatable. You get to live longer. And technology makes life easier and safer.
Evolution is a beautiful thing (if you only look at the facts).
However, that’s not the full story. People are still miserable. Suicide rates increase. People have more depressions and burnouts. More and more people are on meds. I’m not going to flush you with all the hard statistics. It’s not pretty.
But there are also soft measures that show the ugly side of today’s world. When you walk around on the streets, go to restaurants, parties, festivals, or take public transportation, you see a bunch of zombies instead of happy individuals who are celebrating life.
Life is complicated. And I find it fascinating that people tend to make it even more complicated by not thinking practically.
One of the things that we never think about is the way we think. We waste a lot of time trying to solve problems that are not even problems.
Have you ever considered that?
For instance, one of the questions that I get asked often is: “I don’t know how to distribute my time. There are a lot of things I want to do in life. What’s the best way to do everything?”
I think: Why do you even want to do everything? By wanting that, you’re fabricating a problem.
From a practical point of view, you can only do a few things with your time, and that also means you can only do a few things in a lifetime.