advice

HFT / Metaphor

12:00:00 AM

A few months back, I had coffee with my college friend, Bianca. She's a full marathoner, and I'm really proud of her! On that date, she told me that running is a metaphor for life, and I couldn't agree with her more. There are plenty of ways to interpret this, but because Bianca was one of the people who taught me to see the glass half-full and not half-empty, I'm going to focus on the positives.

How smart!
(image from the internet)
Running is basically getting your ass from Point A to Point B - basic analytic geometry. On the Cartesian plane. Whether the distance is short or long is irrelevant. These are two different coordinates; it is mathematically impossible for them to be the same.

Each step away from A, the beginning, leads you closer to B, the goal. More importantly, each stride takes you to a point that isn't A anymore, even if you're still far from B. It doesn't matter that you're not there yet for as long as you're no longer where you started.
Tough competition
(photo from the internet)
At some point, you will find yourself competing with other people who are after the same goal. You'll win some, you'll lose some; that's just how it is. You can feel bad about not getting what you want, but you know that won't get you anywhere.
Well, it's just me and... me
(photo from the internet)
More often than not, though, you will have to compete with yourself. Your insecurities, your hangups, your limitations. You can cut corners, or step on someone else's toes, but deep down you'll know you cheated. It's always hardest to fool the self.

There will be times when you will lose sight of whatever it is you're after. If you're tired, you can take a breather until you find your second wind. If you're thirsty, you can take a water break until you're satiated. If something hurts, you can just walk to the finish line.
Pause, if you must, and run another day
(photo from the internet)
Or you can quit and just run another day, if the pain is intolerable. Everyone has limits, and you should know yours. There will be other marathons, other opportunities; there's no point getting hurt in one and permanently keep yourself from running other races.

It's not always a bad thing to throw the towel in. Some battles are meant to be fought, others are not, and you need to choose well. Evaluate which prizes you need to have and which you can live without, and save your strength for those that matter.

But even for the goals that matter, it's not a bad thing to retreat temporarily if you're overwhelmed. Sometimes you need to stop and regroup, study your pace, your path, and/or your competition, and come up with a new gameplan.
The path is almost never straight
(photo from the internet)
The way to the finish line is likely to be full of twists and turns, especially if you're in for the long haul. There is always something to be learned; all roadblocks are there for a reason - good ones, at that.

When you encounter a fork, you have to decide which road to take. It may or may not be easy, but you can't stay in the limbo forever. There is a goal to be reached, and the rewards are sweet for those who take a risk every now and then.

Savor the journey. Love the people who are running with you, even those against you. It's not a bad thing to focus on the prize, but sometimes, the things we learn on the way turn out to be more valuable than the goal, itself.
It never ends
(photo from the internet)
The end is only the beginning. Don't let yourself get stuck on a victory, or a defeat, for that matter. When you finish one race, rest a bit. Reward yourself, even. But don't let your running shoes gather dust. Life is an ongoing race and it won't stop for you, so keep running.

isawisay

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