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What I learnt from this morning’s dilemma

I was up late last night and subsequently didn’t wake up at 5:30am for my morning exercise. I very rarely use an alarm clock because my body generally knows when I ought to get up – and I usually wake at the same time every day, give or take 10 minutes.

Today I didn’t wake until 7am, but I decided I still had to get my morning run in; so I put on my gear, plugged in my iPod and headed out the door.

Four kilometres down the track I started to feel a pain behind my left knee, so I slowed to a walk. I could have turned around and headed back but this would have made it a total of 8km and I had set out to do 10km. So I slowed to a very slow jog with intermittent walking.

The pain was getting worse, but now I was 5km from home!

There was no point turning back, as the distance was the same, whether I went forward of back – so I pressed on at a brisk walk – gradually slowing to a pretty ordinary stroll. I couldn’t jog without tendon pain, so I had plenty of time to reflect on the physiological state I was in.

The problem was caused because I started running too fast when I was cold because I was subconsciously aware that I was running late. In fact, at the end of my morning exercise, I discovered the my first mile was my fastest for the year.

In hindsight, I should have turned back and saved myself 2km of unnecessary walking.

How often do we do this in other areas of our lives?

It made me think:

Have you ever had a job that you pressed on with, hoping that it would get better – hoping that if you just stick with it a little longer you will get the big reward – only to find that you stayed too long and now can’t get the career change you want because you are too experienced and too valuable in your current position for the company to let you go? (or you’re too old)

Most commonly, I often have clients who are in or have stayed in a relationship way past its use-by-date; only to find that the road ahead is much harder now than if she (or he) had left years earlier.

The lesson:

Stop and look at your life and your work with a subjective eye. Then make a decision and take appropriate action. The sooner you act the better position you will be in.