GMTF: To be independent you have to make decisions and be able to stick to them. Both in the present and in hindsight. Some decisions will be good and some will suck, but you cannot be held back by the emotional equivalent of sunk costs. Take responsibility for your past actions, but don’t stress over what you can’t control. Your decisions made, and it’s time to move on.
Snap, Crackle, Pop.
I hear a crunching sound beneath my feet as I head down the quiet road of my neighborhood. The sun isn’t up yet, but even if it was, I’m not sure I would be able to see any better. There are clouds of white around me as we push our way through the mass of white, my dog leading the way.
Snap, crackle, pop.
The sound beneath my feet are like the Rice Crispies I used to eat as a kid. It’s almost meditatively soothing as I run along the trail behind my house.
Never Trust Selfish Thoughts In the Moment
I slightly pick up the pace as the cheesy words from Muhammad Ali float through my head “I only start counting when it starts hurting because they’re the only ones that count.” My body wants to take off, but it’s too early. It’s hard because I can feel the energy building up as I run along. But, I already made up my mind about the workout. Can’t change it now. I know from past experience that I can’t completely trust my thoughts about comfort at the moment. Concerning other people, ok, but never for my own well being. It’s usually the wrong choice.
I start to feel that strange sensation of hot and cold as the 45lb weight vest starts heating up my back while the cool air supercools my sweat. My workout today is broken down into segments, alternating between jogging and sprinting.
Upcomes the next pole and I surge forward. I start feeling a sense of elation as my legs pound the ground. And then, just as quickly as it came, it fades. As the ground flashes by, my legs turn from a caged animal finally released, into lead weights. There is no way I would be able to keep this up if it wasn’t for that small goal I have in front of me.
Don’t Back Out Of Your Past Commitment
I pass the next pole and let my legs slow down to a jog. I’m gasping for breath as I fight my mind telling me to stop, but that’s not the workout. Jogging it is. I have to start a mantra in my head “Decisions Made, Don’t Stop, Decisions Made, Don’t Stop”, drowning out the weaker thoughts in my head. The clear-headed version of me already made a choice.
Up comes the next electric pole, time to start sprinting again. I internally groan. My forced mental state slips for a second and I start thinking what an idiot I am for subjecting myself to this pain. But as the pole breaks even with me, I regain my composure. Turning back or stopping is not an option.
Thudding rejoins the Rice Crispies below my feet as I speed back up.
Thud, snap, crackle, pop. Thud, snap, crackle pop.
I soon clear the fog as I get lower down on the mountain.
Snap, crackle, thud.
I reach the next pole and slow down to a walk. Time to start my cool down, I’m at the bend before my house.
What Is That?
I let my breath return to normal, I start looking around and finally take the time to see the sporadic houses around me and the winding street through the trees.
As I regain mental coherence from the workout, I look down to see the Rice Crispies I had been running on during my 30-minute fartlek run. The sight was both slightly disturbing and amazing.
Snails, hundreds, and hundreds of snails. I’ve never even seen that many snails before and having just bought the house, new to this snail paradise. Or, what was a paradise.
Now it’s carnage, straight carnage. I’m like the Genghis Khan of the neighborhood (minus the thousands of wives). I start wondering how I should feel about this.
Remorse over innocent lives lost?
Glee from the power over the small creatures around me?
I’m not really sure, I suppose that means it’s the indifference route. Not the kind of indifference where I would do it on purpose, but the kind of indifference where I can’t change what happened.
I can’t change the past, and the decision that I made to get to this point was a simple one. And it’s really no different than the hundred other decisions we make, whether that is choosing the right route for a convoy, or deciding if someone should lose their career due to violating a military order.
We plan, study, and make decisions in the right frame of mind and then we move forward. Sometimes we are given the tools to change a decision based on better news, but unless you are highly trained. Rarely is it going to help. At the moment we are often stressed, tired, hungry, thirsty, or a litany of other uncomfortable factors that affect us. And all of them try to make us take the comfortable route and not necessarily the right route.
Make a decision and stick to it. Whether that be in business or in your life plan, there are always going to be ups and downs, don’t let the downs pull you away from the course you set.
We Can’t Always Control The Outcome, So Influence The Future
There are a lot of other questions this brought up. Mostly about life.
Is my snail carnage just a metaphor for life? Get crushed or move out of the way.
Or is it saying don’t worry about it, you can’t do anything about it anyway?
Or is it just making a comment on the survival of the fittest and how it sucks to suck?
It’s probably a combination. Life moves on regardless, no sense in worrying about the past, just make sure you learn from it. Regardless of what happens, accept what you did, own it, and make it a part of you. There is no reason to try to change what you cannot control. Your decision was made. If your lucky, you will remember this to help inform the decisions of the future.