Lessons from Cycling

I have been cycling for 2 months now and I must say it is one of the best habits that I have gotten myself into in many years. I have had my bike for more than 8 years, but I doubt that before now I had even ridden it for more than 8 hours. I started riding that old mountain bike first on a nearby multi-use paved trail, then on the road for short distances, then I pushed myself a little further and soon I realized I needed a road bike, so I went and bought myself a road bike. When came bike month, I had an extra bit of motivation to keep riding. I did the “Bike the Creek Event” in Brampton, organized my own event and overall cycling has had a manifold positive impact on my life.

There are some lessons that I have learned from Cycling.

If it is important to you, you will make it happen

If it is important to you, you will make it happen, if not, you will find excuses. I learned this lesson when I started to invite friends to bike with me. Of course, some had genuine reasons to not come. Some were too busy to come, some had not biked in many years, some didn’t own a bike and either didn’t want to spend the money to buy one or wanted to wait for the season to be over so that they could get it cheap at a clearance event and the list goes on. These are all valid reasons, yet I find these same people are not too busy to spend countless hours watching reruns of their favourite and not so favourite TV shows, cannot wait to make an expensive purchase of things which they probably don’t even need,..so on… and you get my point. I’m not judging them; my point is, if it is important to you you will make it happen.

priorityOn the other end of the spectrum, I have a friend, who didn’t have a bike, had not ridden one in more than a decade, has a bad knee, and yet somehow managed to come ride with me on a 40KM+ stretch with multiple hills with me. He asked me if I had a spare bike which I did, he went and bought himself a helmet, put a knee sleeve to protect his knee and showed up way earlier than his usual saturday morning wakeup time. Why? In his own words: being active is important to him.

So the next time you find yourself wanting to do something, but it is not something that you are actually doing, maybe it is just not that high in your priority list, and instead of beating yourself for not doing it, just figure out where your priorities lie and question whether they are justified?

If you do what you love, you’ll start loving what you do

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Source: http://www.yalovalifeisgood.com/

Let’s face it; not everything that we do, we actually like doing let alone love doing it. Most people don’t LOVE their job, most might like it, but there are very few who actually love what they do. That is the reason people need vacations and they call it a ‘retreat’. Just google the words “meaning of retreat” and see what you get.

There might be things that you love doing, but you may not have been doing them because you have other ‘important’ things do do. If you just shifted your priorities a little and allocated some time and effort to do the things that you love, that joy and feeling of accomplishment will translate into a stress buster and sip into other areas of your life, whether it be your work, your health, your relationships, your spiritual life and more. When you make time to do what you love, you’ll end up loving what you do – I speak from personal experience! 🙂

If you push just a little more, you will go a lot further

If you push just a little more, you will go a lot further than your imagined. There have been times when my legs felt the burn, my back hurt, shoulders almost gave up, but in that moment I pushed a little more and then a little more and when I checked on my GPS, almost always I was greeted with an amazing and pleasant surprise. Sometimes I end up covering more distance than I had imagined and I usually get to something interesting.

Life is like that too. Most people give up and figuratively speaking get off their bikes or turn around and go back home to a place that’s comfortable at the sight of the slightest incline. Sometimes all it takes is a little push, a bit of hard work and we can accomplish things that you previously thought were impossible. You can apply this principle to sports and fitness, education, business and finance or any other endeavour that you can imagine.

Go the extra mile – it’s worth it!

To get something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done

I have seen and discovered more things about Brampton and the surrounding area in the past 4 weeks than I have in the past 4 years. I try to take different routes every time I go for a ride and every single time I’m greeted with new discoveries.

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Graffiti art under a bridge on the Humber River Recreational Trail

For the Bike The Creek event, I took my bike with me on the Brampton Transit bus which I had never done before. I used the presto card for the first time and I was amazed at how much better the bus ride has become over the past 7 or 8 years.

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Ride and Bike, using the Presto card on the Brampton Transit for the first time en route to “Bike The Creek” Event.

To get something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done – If you think about it, isn’t this true for life in general. Why is it that you have never had the kind of house, car, income, relationship, body, spirituality that you truly desire? If you keep doing what you have always been doing, you will get what you have always gotten. A great definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over gain and expecting a different result.

If you don’t want to fall, you gotta keep moving

Just recently I taught a friend in their 20s how to ride a bicycle. Most people learn how to ride a bicycle early on in their life, but it’s never too late to learn anything new. I noticed that this person was afraid to fall and so was trying to move slowly. I told them the key is to keep moving, if you stop or slow down you will fall, you have to keep pedalling if you want to stay up.

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Picture taken on Humber Station Road en route to Albion Hills. (Photoshoped motion blur)

Then it hit me! Isn’t that a great lesson in life? You have to keep moving, whatever happens in life, good or bad, you have to keep moving forward. If something bad happens to you whether it is a heart break, divorce, someone dumps you, someone betrays your trust, you are faced with financial difficulty, you are having health issues, you got fired from work, you end up in an embarrassing situations, or whatever the case maybe, you have to move on with your life sooner or later. If you stop and keep thinking about the bad things that happened, you’ll fall deeper into depression, negativity, anger and it’ll be harder to get back up again.

Likewise if something good happens in life, a promotion, graduation, you achieve your health goal, get married, fall in love whatever the case may be, you still have to keep moving to the next step. If you stop and spend all your time wanting to stay in that same moment, life will pass by and you won’t even realize and you will fall. Celebrating your victories is an important part of life, but wanting to stay in that moment forever is merely wishful thinking.

What is the opposite of movement? Stagnation. Stagnation is death. Think about it. How do you know if someone is dead. You identify it by them not moving, their pupils won’t move or react to light variations, their heart won’t move – no heart beat, their brains seizes to function, blood doesn’t flow through the body.

Life is movement.

What Should you write about?

Recently I was asked for some advice. This person said that they were always interested in writing, but never could really figure out what to write about. After following some of my blog posts, they asked me for some insight into how to decide what to write about, how to plan their writing, how often write, how to determine who the target audience is? etc…

First and foremost, I was flattered that someone asked me for advice on writing. I also felt some pressure to give appropriate answers to their questions. However, when it finally dawned upon, I realized that the real answer was very simple.

The question as to what you should write about is like the question “How Should I live my life?” The answer really isn’t that complicated. You just do. You just live. That is as simple as it gets and as complicated an answer as it gets, there is nothing more to it. Likewise, if you want to write, you should just write, there is nothing more to it.

You may ask, but don’t I need to know what to write about? Don’t I need to plan? Don’t I need to learn the different styles of writing? Don’t I need to be interesting? Don’t I need to know who I am writing for? Who is my target audience? What is my purpose for writing whatever it is that I am writing?

No… Don’t think about all that – Just write. In due time, you will discover the things that you are passionate about, in due time you will realize what your style of writing is, who your target audience is, who you want to write for, what message you want to send across the screen, or the glossy pages of a magazine, or whatever medium you choose.

The best way to learn anything is to start doing it.

How do you learn to ride a bike? How to you learn to swim. How do you learn to play a guitar? How do you learn to drive a car? Never mind that, how do you think you learnt to walk? Too often we ponder upon the result of our actions for too long and never actually see any result because we never really try to do that thing.

The biggest price that you pay for an action is the price of not taking it.

In Pursuit Of…

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If every action is performed in succession, then the consequence of those actions is inevitable. There is basically a formula to life. There is no mystery, it is simply mathematics. Action and result. Cause and effect.

This video is both funny and deep, if you really think about it. This is the conclusion to  the coyote and the road runner, the never ending chase. We have always been led to believe that the coyote is the bad guy and the road runner is the good guy who is smart, fast and funny.  But this video tells a different story. Yes, it is funny, but think about it again and you will see a different picture emerging behind the humour.

When the viewers who watch the cartoon think that the coyote is never going to catch the roadrunner, the coyote persists. Real dream chasers, the mad ones, the crazies, keep chasing their dream even when everyone around them begs them to stop and give up and pursue something else. When one thing does not work, they try something else, and then something else, they change their angle, their technique, beaten up, broken down they keep persevering. See they know a secret that most people don’t, or perhaps choose to ignore because of the pain it may cause.

If every action is performed in succession, then the consequence of those actions is inevitable. There is basically a formula to life. There is no mystery, it is simply mathematics. Action and result. Cause and effect.

If however, your actions do not get you your desired results, then it is not that you have failed, it is simply the result of your combined actions. Perhaps you have not performed an actions well or the timing was not right, perhaps there are some factors that you have not considered, maybe your approach is not optimal. Dream chasers, those mad ones know this and they change their approach, change their technique, change their angle, or whatever it takes to get them to where they want to be.

Eventually they do – they all do!

But we know that don’t know? We need only to look around us. But what happens after you get to where you wanted to be, what happens when you finally achieve ‘success’, what happens after you have made your dream into a reality?

Sometimes people keep chasing a dream and forget about everything else, their family, relationships, health, and instead they become obsessed about it, putting themselves on the line, risking everything and never giving up.

When they finally achieve their dream, they are sometimes left with a void and the question:

Is this all there is?

The chase is over, the task is complete, the chapter is closed, so now what? Sometimes people develop an identity crisis. The passion, the thrill of chasing their dreams leaves them hungry for more, but they don’t know what else there is to chase. Just like the coyote, they try different things, fall into a lousy state of mind, anger, depression, feelings of worthlessness. This happens a lot with very successful people. Even if people manage to maintain a healthy state of mind and do something else that brings meaning in their lives, they still miss the chase, they crave the process of converting raw power of their passions into their desired results.

We have seen many athletes, after achieving unimaginable level of success and retiring, return back to the game, or a businessman after retiring comes back, or a filmmaker keeps coming back because sometimes that is the only thing that brings meaning to their life.

But the question I ask is: Is it worth sacrificing everything you hold dear? Should you chase a dream at the expense of your health? Should you pursue success while sacrificing the love of your friends, family or your personal relationship?

I can’t speak for everyone, but perhaps they key is balance! But an even bigger solution is the answer to

WHY?

Why do you want what you want? The answer to that question is perhaps the starting point to brining balance. When you truly answer that question, either you will realize that it is not worth pursuing, or you will find that you can achieve the same ‘why’ by pursuing something else, something which you may not have to sacrifice the other things that are dear to you for, or you will realize that the WHY is what brings you joy and power in your life which you can directly inject into your work as fuel and move forward.

Take Stock

Another way to bring balance is taking stock of your accomplishments. Think about it! Many things that you now take for granted were once a dream, a goal, something that seemed so far fetched you couldn’t even comprehend what it would be like achieve it. Maybe it was graduating with a degree or a diploma, or owning your own car, getting a job, earning $X dollars in salary, owning a house, asking someone out, or getting married to someone that you love, travelling to a destination you always wanted to go to, starting a business, or getting that promotion. Just think about it?

Stay Thirsty…Keep pursuing…

If you’re not growing, you’re dying.

The human spirit needs growth, no amount of success brings as much meaning and joy as growth does and in fact that might even be one of the laws of nature. Companies need to grow, to invent, invest, innovate, people need to grow financially. One dollar 10 years ago is not worth one dollar today, and today’s dollar will not be worth that much in the future. Likewise with your dreams and goals. If you are in pursuit of something, keep at it, if you don’t have something to chase, go find something. Mind you, your dreams don’t have to be materialistic, it can be to better a relationship, it can be spiritual, it can be a health goal. Whatever it is, go get it.

I end with this video. It is one of my favourite scenes, a tear jerker, a real inspirational moment.