Thursday, July 06, 2017

What you Do, How you Do it, and getting out of a Rut

Foreword: Respecting Difference
We all have different preferences.   Marcus hates the Sun  (well I have an allergic skin reaction, can you blame me?).  Agata loves the Sun.   Our ideal pavement might be one that is half in the sun and half in the shade.

That being said this short article is about considering What you Do,  whilst respecting How you Do it

Anti Rutting
Especially as one gets older you might feel more set in your ways.  But often these ways can lead to stagnation and unhappiness.   Sure, if you are very happy doing exactly what you do then stop reading now, else continue.

Some of the excuses for not trying new things are:

- I am too old to try something new
- I an not in good health
- I am very busy
- I am afraid it will make things worse
- I am really so happy  (when in fact you are not)
- I'm just not spontaneous, leave me alone
- It is just too dangerous

Spontaneity vs Planning
These are 2 different ways to do something.  They should not affect you trying something new i.e. What you Do, not How.

A common grumble levelled against Marcus over some years is a lack of spontaneity.    To Marcus I can be spontaneous whilst looking for a petrol station or a fish and chip shop.  Although in 2017 I'd suggest it might be more effective to Google something rather than wander down the road hoping to find it.

Marcus would strongly argue that Planning takes over when the end goal or task is complicated.  This is especially true if you've ever worked in a large IT department or one with Enterprise scale projects.    You begin to see that to achieve the end result, example: the Building of that Power Station, the installation of SAP logistics software, hundreds of people have to interact with each other and dozens of different suppliers over multiple years to produce something that actually works, and a system that needs to continue to work safely and reliably for years.  

Planning Example
I have an easy to understand Spontaneity vs planning example. Yesterday Marcus and Agata went for a training cycle ride.

- Have fun
- Get exercise
- Explore new countryside and route

It was not spontaneous.  Here is all the planning that we needed

- Investigate a suitable 40 - 50 Km cycle route on computer accounting for road bike road surface, possible traffic and hills
- Make route and transfer it to Garmin Connect
- Download Route instructions to Marcus and Agata's watches and mount watches on bicycle
- Check Bicycle
- Get Audiobooks ready for journey
- Get Bluetooth earbuds read for journey so we'd have background music etc
- Check bike over pre ride
- Check necessary spare tools are there
- Check weather
- Suitable clothing and Sun protection
- Make sure high intensity front and back LED lights for Marcus and Agata are charged, then attached to bicycle

So what happened?
We had a great ride,  the Garmin routing worked well and with over 50 turns, down small roads we had never seen before. This would have been impossible with a paper map, or stopping at each junction.

Simply:  Hey darling, should we just go out for a Spontaneous Cycle  would not have worked at all

Furthermore we had a puncture, so using the tools we had checked were able to repair and carry on our journey

The Outliers

But what about that guy who smoked until he was 97, and that famous athlete that had a heart attack.

There may be some cases that can be thrown as evidence that a lifestyle change should not be attempted.  But statistically these are incredibly rare and are typically used by lazy and complacent people to justify their indolence.

Considering Cycling

Taking up Cycling is something that Marcus and Agata really recommend to many friends, the pre-requisites being that for an adult you already know how to cycle, and that you now live in an area where you can start at your present experience level safely.

Cycling is just one activity you can consider as something 'new' or rather something you can pick up again.

Other activities you might begin for the first time could include Walking, Hiking or Running

I never knew Syndrome
We've introduced some people to sports that we are passionate about.  Many times the response is, immediately or after a few sessions

This is amazing.   Why haven't I done this earlier?

So my advice to all is, if you are knowingly stuck in a rut, or suspect that you are, consider what plan you have to start something new. It could literally transform your life and improve your well-being.  For Marcus and Agata this was definitely sports related, and we suggest this is a good place to start.