In my free time I love cycling outdoors. I wake up early in the morning, get into my skin tight cycling shorts and have a blast in the country side.
Do I enjoy this process? Sure! Of course! But recently I noticed a very strange thing. Being an engineer I like collecting and analyzing data. Is it enough for me to just have a ride? No! Of course not! I need to collect all the data. The time, the average speed, my heartbeat and so on.
I need to know how good or bad the tour was, right?
Well, recently I had a little incident with my knee and needed to rest for a while. After one and a half weeks without cycling, I of course started very slowly. Just rolling around, to be precise. Sure, from time to time I increased the intensity, riding longer and harder the better it felt. But two days ago I ended up cycling just for fun, not looking at my data after all while being on the bike.
Did I pushed? No! I did not. In fact, I have enjoyed the tour much more compared to all those others attempts where I would constantly check my time, the speed and stuff.
This time I was just enjoying the nature while listening to a Tim Ferriss Podcast Show Episode.
Reaching home relaxed and without any kind of stress, I couldn’t resist to check my data afterwards and figured out that in fact, I was performing well! Even though it did not felt like this after all.
Two very similar situations, but two completely different effects on my brain.
Why do I put myself in these high stress situations, when in fact, I could also just enjoy the process much more with nearly the same results?!
Sounds like I have been doing something wrong all the time. Looks like I put myself into these high stress situations by myself.
But how can I change this in my current life? Dismounting my board computer? Leaving the sport tracking tools at home? Could be possible! But for sure, I realized the same effect with other things as well.
Give me a time limit for writing a blog post and you will see what effects this has. It may be the same process, the same situation, but I wouldn’t be able to focus, my mind would block the process.
No chance that I will really enjoy this process!
Another thing where I realized this is when being on the racing simulator. Sure, I could really focus on having good laps, going to the limits and give everything I can. But well, I could also just enjoy the pure experience of driving and having fun, blasting out some laps online and most likely end up with very similar lap times.
But how is this supposed to help you?
Think about situations and moments in your life where you do the very same thing. Where are you turning the situation upside down in your head? Where do you increase the pressure on yourself unnecessarily? Where can’t you enjoy the process anymore, just because of your head?
Maybe you will have a job interview next week, or a presentation? Whatever it is. The situation itself is just how it is, there is no need to change that! But you can change the way how you react to it. You decide if there is a need to freak out about this or not.
In life, there are the breaks that are so important, right? The moments when you can reconnect to your own body and soul. Where you can forget about your daily struggle and just have a moment for yourself.
Do I make progress on the meditational side of life? Honestly, not really. Sure, I realize the things that are going on in my head way better, but still can’t just send them away the moment they occur.
Time, a funny thing. Sometimes it feels like flying by, sometimes it seems to stand still. Can we change this? Can we stop blaming other things and in fact start with ourself? It’s just our perception, isn’t it?
Forget about time, numbers and data sometimes. Your mind will very much appreciate it.
See you next time!