The other day I was running an errand when I noticed someone sprinting towards the bus stop. He was about a block away when he saw the bus pull in and gave up. Now bus drivers generally don’t wait around for you, so I understood why he stopped. But here’s the thing, he gave up too soon. Had he kept running, he would have caught the bus.
It made me think about my own life. How many times have I been sprinting towards a destination, only to give up right before success? I’m not even sure I want to know the answer.
I continued watching this young man who turned his back to the bus and threw a mini-tantrum from the way his arms were swinging and lips were moving (I was too far to actually hear what he was saying, but I’ve missed enough buses to fill in the blanks). He probably didn’t even realize his mistake because he was so busy throwing a fit. But the bus stayed at the stop for at least a good minute or two because the people getting off the bus, did it very slowly.
Stopping Too Soon
He chose to stop, a moment too soon, and pout over his misfortune. He didn’t look forward or even backwards, because he could have turned around and raced to next stop. He chose to do neither. And when the bus finally passed him, he was still having his tantrum.
It’s been a few weeks since I witnessed this and it has stuck with me. People start so many new things and quit shortly thereafter because success doesn’t happen fast enough. I am guilty of doing this too.
And now I wonder … what if.
When Do You Give Up?
That’s the dilemma, right?
We’re all familiar with Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. And there is a lot of truth to that definition. I’ve found myself making this mistake where I am stuck on a never-ending loop. And I need to find a different approach, such as how I look at food and exercise. I want to be healthy and fit, but I keep replaying the same loop, thinking this time it’s going to work.
I am both guilty of doing the same thing over and over and being the guy throwing the tantrum while missing the opportunities in front of him. Too busy feeling sorry for myself and wondering why it can’t be easier.
And you know what? I am the one who is making it hard.
I sprint towards good health, then experience a set-back and give up. I do this again and again. And it’s weird. Normally, I’m the person who finds the solution or figures a way out. But I feel stuck lately, both with my health and life in general.
I’m the hamster spinning and spinning and spinning and spinning. I’m thinking and thinking and thinking but never doing. And therein lies the problem. While I do consider myself to be both a thinker and doer, I remain stuck in think mode when I should be doing.
I Don’t Have the Answers
And that scares me. I’m the person with the answers, but here I am a bit lost. How do I move to doing. Obviously, the answer is just do it. Unfortunately the obvious answer isn’t always easy to do.
Because something is holding me back. Something keeps me from sprinting until I reach my destination. I keep self-sabotaging my efforts. And I’m going to make it my mission to figure it out why and change it.
I don’t want to be the one who quits too soon or is stuck eternally spinning on the hamster wheel. There are too many things that I want to do and see.
And I have a fully loaded bus pass.
Bus stop photo courtesy of Stuart Herbert via flickr.