Little Victories

Earlier this week, a friend and I were trying to figure out how to move closer to the ideal day: the day you have in mind at the start that doesn’t quite get completed. That conversation sparked off another conversation about motivations, and today, on a Sunday where I felt a wee-bit lazy around the afternoon, I needed a reminder about it myself. Its safe to say, that’s good enough reason for me to make this blog post a little motivational – something to read when I’m struggling with motivation, or generally trying to figure out whether an endeavour of mine will yield results.

I began to run a little more seriously this year. Again, I’m three years late to the party. Most of the things I’ve been trying out in my life are things I’ve been trying to make a habit of for three years, but things I’ve struggled to do on the daily. An advantage of having time on my hands as I prepare to catapult myself into the real world is the fact that I’ve got the opportunity to diligently and religiously put myself into the habit of formulating these habits. As part of this running gig, I decided to employ the Nike Run Club application on my smartphone a little more. I had used it previously, but never really exploited the full functionality that the application possesses. Over winter, when I met with a friend, he told me about the guided runs on the app – which I began to use once I got back to campus.

On one of those guided runs, there’s this entire 3-minute stretch where the Coach, Coach Cory, talks about looking for the little victories even when you think that what you’re doing is going terribly. He explains that running is one of those things that is a continual process – and so, seeing results is not something you can expect instantaneously. Just because you ran once, doesn’t mean running tomorrow is easier. You need to go through that entire process of starting a run and putting in the hard yards all over again. That means some days will be good days – where you find runs easy, and you’re able to go long, but some days will be bad days – shorter runs, tougher runs. On those off days, Cory basically says that it’s important to find those little victories: the fact that you got a run in – no matter how long, or how short, how slow, or how fast, is a victory. Thinking about it in that manner, and tuning your mind to think about it in that way changes the way your brain perceives the activity. It stops looking at the event of the day – in this illustration, the run, as a failure, but begins to look at it as a success.

Throughout this semester, and arguably something I want to do throughout my life, is to ensure that I search for those little victories. This doesn’t mean that I’m scared to admit my own failings, or be realistic about when things go awry. I’d just like to be in a position where I continually acknowledge that small, tiny silver lining, or that victory in something I’ve done, irrespective of how badly it’s turned out.

I was struggling a little today because I couldn’t identify where the hours in my weekend had passed by. I started off the weekend with this massive to-do list, and I seem to be ending the weekend with the same number of things broadly left there – which was horrible. Breaking it down though, I found those small things I used my time in, which gave me some solace.

Gotta look for those little victories a little more.

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