You're not special.

Warning: Watching or listening to David Goggins gets me all fired up. And a podcast with him came out yesterday, so I am pretty fired up right now, so reader discretion is advised.

Right. After David's podcast yesterday with Joe Rogan (here), I realised something. Well, it hit the final nail in the coffin for something I had been thinking for a long time.

I work hard, I train in inhumane conditions and when I was passionate about the job I was doing, I went above and beyond. And then I write about things to motivate people to get out there and ignore warning lights and be a little different.
My most sarcastic writing bits are about people, who are trying to be something they are not, or are lying on social media. But why am I so mean to them? Is it because something I fear i'll become?

Since I was a child, I never had the desire to fit in. I always wanted to be famous, I used to dream that one day I would go to the Olympics and carry the Indian flag on my shoulder. I used to think how Roger Federer's kids must feel when they're asked about their dad and I dreamt that my kids would speak about me in a similar tone. Every goal in life has 2 faces, it is never purely selfless. We are human beings, even the best of us like a little bit of flattery, it makes us feel good about ourselves. People do weird things to fit in. One of the people I really hate in Lausanne, speaks in a fake accent to others just to appear "cool", which is great, but mate atleast be grammatically correct.

When I used to put running posts, day in and day out, I liked the attention I got. I enjoyed the fact the people considered me "fast" and it drove me to run faster. But then I stopped, but I took a step back and looked inwards and realised that the reason I am running fast is not because I want to run fast, it is because I like the attention I am getting. I wouldn't post slow runs, just the fast ones. I began fall in the trap of social media world, where all is good. Everyone has a flat belly and everyone is killing it in workouts. And when I stopped doing that, but the people around me continued I began to fear it. I don't want to fall in that pit again.

If you follow my posts, you know I have been stressed out because of being unfairly pushed out of a job and because I risked it all to come to Switzerland, I am on the edge. I don't have people to talk to because all they do is tell me to "relax" and "keep at it". Obviously I try to do that, but in the end they are just words. You cannot not feel stressed. All I have is running and because I am hanging on to it, I have become increasingly insecure about it. I don't want people talking to me about it or asking about what I am doing because I feel like people's perceptions would impart some sort of negative energy and then I would have nothing left.

Recently I did something in training I hadn't done in almost 4 years, and i was proud of it, so I shared it with my family, my girlfriend and my coach. And then I thought of sharing it on social media because it bothers me when people who haven't achieved anything in life, tell me "Bro you have become so fast since going to Switzerland". (PS: The achievement had nothing to do with speed, I run very slow these days and I am not going to tell why).

Everybody these days has become a philosopher, a coach, a super athlete. Even if they run a 1:40 HM or never done a full marathon in their life. You look at Instagram and it is full of people faking their way through life, being things they are not. The whole social media experience is based on the fact that "You scratch my back and i'll scratch yours". I remember a "friend" who stopped talking to me because I stopped "liking" his Facebook posts.
Everyone in the world is just telling everyone else that they are "great" and they are "special", no matter how mediocre they are. And so what if you perform well in 1 race or even for 1 year, it is about consistency. Michael Phelps performed consistently for 16 years. He continued to better his records for 16 years. That is great. That is special. You are not.

Quoting Fight Club here:

You aren't special. Your shit smells bad, same as others. When you die you become the same bag of bones just like others. But if you want the rest of the world to tell you that you are special, you post workouts just to garner "wows" and "likes", then I am sorry to burst your bubble son, it is just an inflated sense of ego which is making you feel good.

Real happiness and joy don't come from likes. They don't come from other people telling you that you are great. It comes when you pull through tough times and come out the other side a better person. It comes when you, as a person become better than who you were.

If you ran a minute faster in a 10k than your PB in race, that's real happiness. And I know people will try to justify, sharing builds happiness and so we posted it online, but if the 1st thought in your brain was "This would make a great Facebook/Instagram/Twitter post", then mate, you're fucked. Be happy with what you did for yourself. Others don't really care.

Don't get me wrong, I love to respond to other people's PB posts. I enjoy seeing improvement around me and I like the happiness. I recently became the fan of an Australian doctor who ran a 2:50 marathon debut, then ran a 50k in 4:10 a week after and another 50k in 4:14, 2 weeks after that. I really admire that, it isn't something I thought I could do and it opened my mind for these possibilities. I am a big fan of a British guy who runs a 2:35 marathon and his training on Strava is so intense, I take inspiration from him. And an Austraian swimmer, who just as a long training swim, swam a Half marathon while preparing for a 48k swim. But these people, atleast in my perspective, are not boastful. They do what they do and they move on. They didn't do it for accolades, and what they did in life is special (Atleast for me because I am not there yet). Infact, the swimmer is a really really wise man. He considers it ordinary (I know right, swimming 21k just as a training and he calls it ordinary). But he said something to the tune of "If you redefine your goals, what seems extraordinary now becomes ordinary" and that's so true. If you have to swim 48k in 1 go, then you need to swim 21k, there's nothing special about that, it is a necessity. If you are training for an Ironman, you need to bike 150-160k and run 20k off the bike, it isn't special, it is what is required. And in this social media world, we have a tendency to put bells and whistles on everything, when 1 out of 100 posts actually deserves that, just because it is the "mutual admiration society". All i'm saying is, it lowers the standard of what is special and it is ruining our society.

Anyways, so when I did what I did, I sat down and thought "Should I post this to social media?". I had thoughts like "It would shut them up", "It will show them that real hardwork doesn't mean being fake and creating content for Instagram". And then I thought "Why do you want to post?". It would get me adulations from people and put me back in the public eye, which would feel good for a minute or two and then my insecurities would kick in. Am I not doing exactly what I blame others for? Am I not becoming the same person I hate?

When we get angry (and I have had a lot of time to think about this recently) about someone's behaviour, it generally stems from the fear that we might become that someday. And then we begin to blame everyone else around us.

Look at me, for example. I didn't get the job and so I began to blame people who denied me the opportunity and I began to feel bummed out. My world view changed and it became negative. I began to question why I am here? And I forgot that I wake up to this view everyday:

I live and train in a much better place. And I am the one who chose this path. I am responsible for everything that is happening to me, directly or indirectly. No matter what the reason was, I still am the one responsible for being in his path. I am still responsible for feeling bummed out and not taking any action. I just felt more comfortable pinning the tag around and feeling sorry for myself, but I am not the 1st person to which this happened and I won't be the last. And it no way means I should give up.

Yes I have the right to be angry, but to play the victim? No.

I am not special. Or unique. I am the same as many who came down this path. And if I feel sorry about myself and don't take any action, then I just remain the same person. If I fight through and make something of myself and continue to build on it till the end of my life, then yes, maybe, just maybe I would become someone special.

So i'll get back to my life. Thank you for reading!


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