All The Signs Point To The Need For Different Motivation

After a significant hiatus from writing here – during which some fucker registered my URL when it lapsed and I didn’t realise (the bastard charged me 10x what they paid to register the URL to get it back – nice, ethical business model there) – I have decided that I want to … nay, need to get back to writing a bit. Not necessarily about running. But about life (which includes running), business and anything else that rattles around in my head.

So first up is purpose.

I have to say that I think I have been severely lacking focus on my purpose of late. And by ‘of late’ I really mean the past five years or so. I have got all confused by years of failed fertility treatment that my wife went through which has ended up meaning that I am not going to be a biological father. I have been side-swiped by the stress of trying to grow a digital business that proved to be much harder – and I have to say less satisfying – than I thought it would be. I’ve been knocked on my arse by the loss of my wife’s father and her sister’s diagnosis of cancer. And then there has been all the other shit that has come along – Brexit, Covid-19, the environmental crisis we are facing and so on.

I know that makes me sound like a whinger and in general I have to say that I have managed to weather all these storms without being too needy and weedy. But they have all taken a toll. And one of the things that has been affected is my drive to remain aligned to my purpose; to inspire people to get (more) active and specifically to discover the joy of running.

I have regressed to what I guess are the base instincts that I have but which I try to paddle against all the time. So I have been obsessed with trying to earn more money from our businesses (which I think is partly in reaction to all the financial losses we have experienced in the past 5 or so years). I have been drawn to eating more crap and drinking more alcohol than I know is good for me. I have become lazier, certainly in terms of the amount of exercise I have been doing.

The list goes on and on.

But in recent weeks I have started to feel a shift; an upward momentum. As if I have started to pull out of a nosedive. I have started exercising a lot more and started eating much better.

Work has become much more satisfying and interesting. And we have been more successful than I could have possibly hoped. I am starting to see how we might be able to build a stable and profitable business or two.

And I have started to think about my purpose again. How with a better lifestyle, more positivity and a more stable financial situation, I can start to think about how I am actually living a life that is closer to my purpose, rather than just saying it and then doing nothing.

And of course as soon as these ideas and thoughts come into my head, I start to bump into coincidences all over the place. I was listening to a podcast on a run where a guest was talking about how their life had been utterly selfish until they went to prison and then they realised that they had to dedicate themselves to giving to others. Or an article on the BBC website about Elon Musk who says he’s motivated by engineering solutions – in his case to land people on Mars – not how much money he has or the value of the shares in Tesla that he owns.

Of course these are rather extreme examples and I am not about to go to prison or create a business like Tesla. But they do remind me that if I align according to my purpose rather than what I have been told I should focus on (i.e. making money – thanks Mum and Dad) then I will be happier and successful on my own terms.

Not sure how this will actually play out. I’m thinking that perhaps I can mentor someone as a starter. But whatever the actuality of focusing on my purpose is, I really need to act. Because it is only through action and movement that we can achieve anything or go anywhere.

And writing this blog post is the first step …

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