Yesterday, while running on a treadmill at the gym, I realized something: I do not like to run on treadmills. It’s repetitive and boring, and unlike true sports where there is someone playing defense to overcome, all I have is myself. I looked to my left and right and everyone else running on treadmills looked just as sad and bored as I felt. Not a smile among the 2 dozen people racing away, without moving anywhere, like hamsters in a row of hamster wheels.
But then I noticed something on the wall. A little digital clock, slowly counting away the seconds of my run. And as I watched the clock count away I realized as long as I continued, time was working for me. I just had to keep doing what I was doing and my goal of running 4 miles would take care of itself.
Left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot. As long as I didn’t think much at all, I’d achieve my goal. We don’t like the idea of not thinking being useful, but there is repetition in all important things. Sometimes, during some tasks, not thinking about it and letting time take over, can improve the odds you’ll make it to the finish line.
Studying for a college degree, practicing the piano, going for a daily run, these are all ways to let time work on our behalf, if we just give in. Passion and pleasure have their place, but sometimes that comes only after we’ve put in enough time at something for the payoff to come back out.
Woody Allen once said 80% of success is showing up. Perhaps that means 20% of success is showing up at the right thing and staying there?
Let time work for you is the mantra I’ve been playing with in my mind all week. Does it mean anything to you?