I used to be really good at running. I remember winning a lot of the races at school and was so proud when I was chosen to represent all the girls at my school in a city sports middle distance and sprint racing event a couple years on the trot.
I also used to think that the point of doing anything was to be good at it. To work on being the best or at least, the best you could be.
This weekend, I went running.
I went running because I know exercise is healthy for my body and mind. However, I still have residues of that mind-set around 'having to be the best' pulsing through me as every pound of my training shoe hits the muddy earth of the local park trails.
Today, however, something hit me (metaphorically of course).
I was having fun.
Sure my fitness is improving and there is joy to be found in being good at something.
However, what if the main purpose behind what we do is no longer to just be good at it or for the improvement of ourselves all the time?
(Another thing that is hard for me to forget being an entrepreneur in the personal development world)
But what if the main focus became to just enjoy it?
Sounds simple now I write it but for those of us with a high-achievement mind-set, it feels like something of an epiphany.
To actively pursue the joy in everything we do? At work, school, hobbies, relationships and any goal we have?
What if that is what life is all really about? What if joy was our measurement for success?
I'm not saying that we should not work to improve ourselves or work on being good at things. Yet, constantly working on trying to be the best, taking score of your own improvement, winning medals, gaining accolades, making more money, finding a better house, comparing yourself to others or ticking all the boxes we have for life, doesn't amount to anything happy unless we focus on creating joy in the first instance.
I love this quote:
"It's not the circumstances that create joy.