"The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long." Lao Tzu

Updated: May 19, 2020

Too often, I take life too fast.


I feel like I need to be pushing myself at every opportunity, just so I can get closer to what I want.


A perfect example of this is my training.


There are always two situations when I go out for a bike ride.


One is the fast day. I hunker down to go a bit faster on my bike, trying to PB every time I go out for a ride. I look down at my handlebars, sweat dripping from my brow and I am tunnel versioned to achieve my goal.


Or, I back off and take a leisurely ride, enjoying the view, taking in the fresh air, and exert myself a lot less.


Whenever I want to PB I am in a comparing mode. I compare my previous best to now.


You will never be happy if you keep comparing yourself to others. There will always be someone better than you. You will always be better at something in your past.


Instead, why not just be in the present and enjoy what is going on right now?


Instead, accept who you are, drop the ego and take in the metaphorical view of life.


The funny thing is, whenever I went on those leisurely rides, I was very close to the times I got when I hunkered down and tried to go as fast as possible. But now, I’m relaxed, I can go again tomorrow, and I feel so much better by enjoying myself and taking in the beautiful countryside around me.


There is a place for pushing, for trying as hard as you can.


But it can’t be every minute of the day.


Pause.


Be your own best friend.


Know what you must do, and instead of treating yourself like shit, treat yourself like someone you care for.


This doesn’t mean sit on the couch and binge Netflix all day.


That’s being your own worst enemy.


It means instead of whipping yourself, you say “hey man, I know you're tired, but I know how good you’re gonna feel when you achieve this goal. So, when you complete this task, I’m gonna let you have a nice coffee and a brownie, how about that?”


It’s like running a marathon with a gun to your head. You’re going to get the marathon done, but it’s going to suck. Instead, there’s something you’ve always wanted at the finish line. A feeling of accomplishment, a reward set out for yourself, or a big hug from your girlfriend.


Both systems work.


It’s just one sucks while you're doing it and your body will eventually rebel.


You have the choice of how you set up your values and drives. Your values pull you and your drives push you.


What if life didn’t have to be a struggle? What if you could know yourself so well that you became your own best friend? What if you could forgive that little kid inside of you, the one that didn’t ask to be laden with all the issues society gave him.


What if you could love yourself?


It’s very easy to hate yourself. It’s very easy to push that part of you down, deep into your psyche, but I promise you, just like a ball into water, it will come flying back up and hit you with mental illness, pain, and suffering.


If you instead learned to love yourself, to forgive those parts of you.


Then my friend.


Then you can change.


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