The Secret To Doing Something You Love Every Day
And there it was. Bliss. Leaning my body into the turn at the third mile, looking ahead into what was a moody skyline sprinkled with gentle rain, I felt it. I breathed deeply and let it all sink in.
I had reached runner’s high, something I find when I’m defiantly plugged into the present, when every remaining worry or thought had been pounded into the muddy trail, and when my commitment to the run rewards me with new colors, sensations, and ideas at every mile. My heart expands and my mind finds stillness. Naturally, it’s no coincidence that I found this peace on the run where I chose to listen to an audiobook narrated by Oprah Winfrey, the Queen of accessing bliss and mindful living. So it was here, in the company of Oprah’s soothing narration of her book, “What I Know For Sure”, that I knew for sure I felt bliss.
I hadn’t regarded myself as a runner all my life, but I had recognized that I was a student of running from the very beginning. Whether I was trudging through a dreadful mile run during PE class, nursing shin splints from pounding the treadmill during college, or nervously warming up for my first full marathon, I somehow always saw through the pain and recognized a patient and all-knowing teacher instead. I knew it was there for me, not against me. This teacher paced behind me closely, to help me process my experiences, to challenge my potential, and to expand my mind, especially when my spirit was reduced by loud voices to conform or to give up.
So, I kept with it. I chose to run, even when I didn’t always want to. I chose to run in whichever environment or pace that best suited me at that time in my life. Through corporate life, travels, rain, sickness and health, and new relationships, I chose over and over to go out and run, no matter what. Over the 5 years where I’ve engrained this as a daily practice, my body, mind, and soul has evolved significantly, and I’ve begun to experience the incomparable rewards of consistency and intention.
Just to give you an idea of what I mean, some of the rewards include: strong legs, strong appetite, ability to eat donuts without guilt, confidence in outrunning harassers, ability to impress dates on difficult hikes with my cardio, estimating mileage accurately… And so on.
But more specifically, over the last 5 years where I ran consistently, I’ve accessed just about all the emotions I’ve been gifted. I’ve come up with my best ideas, cried through my worst days, and flown through the full spectrum of my human experience. I love the mobility of running and that I’m in incredibly good company when I run. Even when I’m halfway around the world in Asia or Europe, I can lace up and find other running friends with smiles plastered on their faces finding their own bliss. I love that I get full control over my course, pace, and length of my run. I love that the most difficult and open-ended runs typically are the most fruitful, leading me to hidden landscapes, overlooks, and beaches. I love that even on the boring and hard runs, I somehow go home with a second chance at my day. I love that I bring this renewed energy to people around me and the work I do. I love that running is a trusted experience, as long as I start.
What I’ve discovered in all this is quite simple. The secret to doing something you love each and every day actually has nothing to do with finding the bliss and being the best. The bliss is always there for you, hidden in the right moments to access. But the secret to doing something you love each day is to do it no matter what. And to do your personal best each time. Eventually, your best expands and you hold yourself accountable. That is when the journey becomes the destination and when you can realize that all good things and bad things come to an end anyways. So the only way to get the lesson is to go on the run in the first place and to cultivate a practice that you truly enjoy, even on the days where the bliss ends up buried under a pile of bills. Eventually, you can access that bliss anytime you want, and know exactly how to get there, because you’ve found deep awareness for your self and trust in the process. I’ve found that this principle can positively affected every aspect and pursuit in my life. And it can for you as well.
What do you love that you want to do more of each day? This secret can apply to anything you want to do, whether it is running or not- writing, creative work, business development, meditation, reading. Start today and don’t stop until your intuition tells you you’re learned everything you needed to learn. My guess is that, if you’re doing something you love, that you can keep it up for longer than you expect, especially if you find bliss playfully sandwiched one day between other days of learning. I promise you will savor it that much more. Things you love won’t let you down if you love it no matter what.
So, go find your bliss.