Twitter Instagram Pinterest
Run Eat Repeat

Do goals = happiness?

Do goals = happiness?

Clock5th December 2016

“Does your happiness depend on achieving your goal?”

That was the question posed during a meditation session on training motivation.

Up to a year ago my feelings would have responded in the positive. I was forever measuring myself against past performance. Getting frustrated at my inability to reach previous levels – be it a 5k, 10k, trail run or track session. Everything was a battle. Fighting Lyme Disease. A mindset of ‘beating’ chronic illness. That it won’t ‘defeat’ me.

All of this was counterproductive in the extreme. Not least because I became so focused on me and in some denial as to the extent of its impact on me and my family. I became a self-centred pr*ck. Behaviour never to be excused.

Turn to daily meditation and appreciating what we have in life resulted in a totally different outlook. A far more productive outlook and appreciating little things that matter. I use Headspace btw.

So the feelings that came when that question was asked were that happiness is not dependent on my goals. Being content comes from appreciating the life we have. The constant flux. Saying goodnight to those we love. A simple smile πŸ™‚

Related to training and running. I have learned to appreciate the joy of being active, whenever my body and time allows. So to smile when out running rather than being driven by times. Appreciating the beautiful off-road routes on our doorstep. Running mindfully when jogging with the kids – who are both getting quicker!! Truly appreciating the fact I can still be active when lots of chronic illness sufferers cannot.

You might be returning from a long spell of injury, frustrated at how hard you now find training. Be kind to yourself and remind yourself of why you do it. Is it for views and fresh air? Wellbeing of mind & body? For the simple fun of exercise?

Autumn parkrun Winter trail run Winter morning

All the best


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Sharon says:

Welcome back to consciousness Jeff! It’s a whole lot brighter and lighter over on this side of the fence… all that battling and resisting is exhausting and totally futile… but you needed to go though the process (at least to a certain extent) to learn that lesson and find your way across to the pathway of contentment! I’d be interested to know if this lesson is ever one that we flawed human beings can ever really learn the ‘easy’ way…? Anyhow, a challenge for you to test this theory even more rigorously: how about trying a run without a watch or any other timing device whatsoever? Just you interacting with your environment without any goal related agenda…just running for running’s sake? X

jeffmclfc says:

Thanks so much Sharon πŸ™‚ You’re absolutely right and I’ve recently done more running without any gadgets in tow and it’s a real help to simply enjoy running and surrounding environment.
On the much bigger question, I fear it’s through experience we gain such wisdom. Actually, maybe if we all genuinely listened to each other more, we’d learn through the experiences of others too. xx

UK Ultra Running Blogs