Riding a bicycle

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.”  Albert Einstein

We need to keep going, that’s the most important thing, pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone to tackle the next challenge. If not, we get bored. That’s how it works.

We need to push ourselves, but not too hard. As the perceived size of the challenge increases, our response goes from the purely rational and objective, through something more emotional to something purely physical. Ideally, we want to be engaged ‘enough’ but not so invested that we become anxious or stressed.

The trouble is that the perceived size of the challenge depends on our outlook.

An optimistic outlook can lead to underestimating the size of challenge; a pessimistic outlook can lead to overestimating it.

Underestimating the challenge, and so being too detached or relaxed, can lead to lack of preparedness and will increase the chance of failure. Overestimating it significantly can lead to avoidance – just giving up before you have even started. So, we should be realistic about the challenge, but perhaps err on the side of overestimating it slightly. This ensures we are fully engaged or ‘fired up’, so ready for the fight.

But I think those of us who are at the cautious end – the overthinkers, the hesitant, the sensitive – deserve a medal, because even the smallest step forward for us becomes a major obstacle, so even the smallest achievement represents a great triumph. And more people should recognise that!

Note: photo from Scott Evans on Unsplash


Published by Peter Runkel

"Work hard and be nice to people." Anthony Burrill

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