Bloomsday was a couple of weeks ago and it was an awesome run! Great weather and great people!
After the race, I ran into a whole bunch of people who kept asking me the same question: “What was your time?” The was literally the first question every single person asked me after seeing my Bloomsday shirt. In my opinion, this question raises an equally valid question: Why does it matter?
People would be super impressed if I told them that I ran Bloomsday in under 50 minutes. They would probably make me feel pretty awesome about myself. On the other hand, people would be pretty judgmental if I told them that I ran Bloomsday 2 hours. They would probably make me feel pretty bad about myself. But why do they care? And why do I care?
Now let’s say that I was trying to hit a personal goal of Bloomsday in an hour. If I ran it in 1 hour and 1 minute, I would feel like crap. But 59 minutes? I’m a total boss! But why??
Here’s my point in all of this: People have a tendency to associate themselves with results instead of who they actually are. The reason that 1 hour and 1 minute feels like crap is that I chose to associate myself with that label. Somehow I subconsciously attached who I am with how fast I ran. Have you ever thought about how weird it is that we are able to think about ourselves? That’s kind of a strange question, but I encourage you to explore it. The part of myself that is able to observe me is literally able to choose whether or not I am associating who I am with that label. Instead of saying to myself I’m a loser because I didn’t hit my goal, I can say to myself I had fun running Bloomsday because the weather was awesome and I had a fun time with friends. Suddenly, the observing part of myself has detached the label from my worth.
This is going to sound weird, but when I think about these parts of myself, I think in terms of “I” and “me”. “I” is the observer and “me” is the one who is experiencing the world. If I was to hit my shin on a table it would hurt “me”. “I”, however, is unchanged. With this perspective, it is not the table that is causing my pain but rather the fact that I chose to associate “I” with “me”. Similarly, “I” is unchanged when someone hurts my feelings. I’m only hurting because I attached “I” with “me”. Results may affect “me” but it is “I” who chooses whether or not this is attached to my self worth. I hope that makes sense …
For the most part, I don’t think people understand that who they are is different than what they do. If they did, they wouldn’t ask questions like “What was your time?” If Bloomsday was run in a perfect world, I don’t think that anyone would time it. I think that we’d all just run it and enjoy it for what it is!