Stopping to smell the roses

Something I’ve had feedback on in the past is that I don’t take the time to pause, reflect and enjoy an achievement or accomplishment. I’ve heard it at work, and I’ve seen it in myself in other parts of my life, including running.

To be clear, I think there is a lot to be said for not being satisfied, and pushing on for new, higher goals. If I didn’t have that mindset I would have stopped this whole running malarkey after one unsatisfactory half marathon last year, or maybe quit after my first marathon in May. In both of those cases, I did what I set out to do, but right away felt I could do it better, and wound myself up almost immediately to do it all again. These are the good side effects of being motivated, and having the drive and will to improve. Long may that continue.

However, under the filter of looking at weaknesses as overdone strengths, there is a flip side. On a individual level, not ‘taking a moment’ means you don’t get to fully enjoy what you achieved. You do not gain as much perspective, and probably don’t really assimilate as many of the lessons you may have learned along the way.

But I also think there can be an impact on the people around you. Using career as an example, how many of us knock off one goal, and rush headlong into the next challenge, especially in the ‘internet-time’ world we all live in today, without stopping, remembering and recognizing the contribution of others, without the need for comparison or qualification?

I remember a time earlier in my career where I had a boss who, while honestly a decent guy, would always meet my reports of ”we just beat target for the month!” with a response of… ”great, but you should have seen what the German / French / US office did this month.” As a manager, I am absolutely responsible for my own motivation, but regardless of that, I will always maintain it is better to have your boss cheerleading your wins, rather than cutting them down. I’m sure I’ve been guilty of something like that many times over the years myself. Let me say now, to all of the fantastic people I’ve worked with over the years, please accept my apologies for those times when we didn’t stop and appreciate the achievements du jour. One lives, and hopefully, one learns.

So, with that said, and in the spirit of wanting to celebrate achievements, I’m going to take a moment and share a milestone I reached a few days ago.

Last Friday I passed 1,000 miles of running for the year, which feels like a lot of miles. To put it into context, a thousand miles (as the crow flies) will get you from Seattle to Disneyland and still leave room for a few laps of the theme park. You could head north from Seattle and get to Southern Alaska, or maybe east and hit the western reaches of North Dakota (if you were so moved). You could go west, but then you’d just get wet.

I could go on to say that it’s no big deal and that an elite runner would knock out 1,000 miles in 6 – 8 weeks, but that would be the old, non reflective, non appreciative Rob talking. What I will say though is a big thank you to my inspirational ‘home team’. You know who you are – thank you guys.

I’ll leave you with this. Anyone reading this post will have done something really great today, or this week, this month or this year, but maybe you haven’t realized it. Stop, take a moment and give yourself a pat on the back. You did good.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s