Studies consistently find that people in developed societies tend to be pessimistic about their country and the world but optimistic about their own lives. They expect to earn more and to stay married longer than they generally do.
A selection of quotes from Natural Born Heroes: How a Daring Band of Misfits Mastered the Lost Secrets of Strength and Endurance by Christopher McDougall.
Empathy, the Greeks believed, was the source of strength, not softness; the more you recognized yourself in others and connected with their distress, the more endurance, wisdom, cunning, and determination you could tap into.
Heroism isn’t some mysterious inner virtue, the Greeks believed; it’s a collection of skills that every man and woman can muster so that in a pinch , they can become a Protector.
You are fit if you can adapt to the demands of your environment with ease and imagination.
The primary story is about resistance fighters on Crete battling the Germans during World War II, but McDougall weaves in the stories about Greek mythology, parkour, paleo diets, British historians, and his own experience visiting Crete.
The main story is really interesting, but overall the book is kind of a mess because it jumps around so much. And as you can glean from the subtitle, the stories seem a bit exaggerated.
Those are the three types of risk mindsets in the world:
• Those who know stuff breaks and attempt to survive the breaks long enough to experience the eventual growth that occurs when people learn and improve from the breaks.
• Those who think stuff doesn’t break and are broken when it does.
• Those whose experience being broken leads them to believe there’s no such thing as eventual growth.
Optimist, complacentist, pessimist.
One of my biggest fears in life is getting too comfortable and having every day be the same. And I think I sometimes go to unhealthy extremes to keep that from coming to pass.
We tend to grossly overestimate the pleasure brought forth by new experiences and underestimate the power of finding meaning in current ones.
Gratitude is what allows you to feel that same sense of wonderment about your day-to-day life as you would if you were walking the streets of a faraway city.
While travel does expand and stretch the horizons of what we know about the world, it is not the answer we’re looking for in times of unrest. To strengthen the health of the mind, the venue to do that in is the one we are in now.
If the big marathon story of 2017 was the Nike-sponsored Breaking2 Project, a meticulously controlled, closed-to-the-public attempt to get a few superstars to run obscenely fast in perfect conditions, Boston 2018 was the perfect foil for such elitism.
It was as though the marathon gods summoned a mid-April tempest just to remind us that the event isn’t supposed to be about the sterile pursuit of arbitrary records.
For a publication that is infamous for articles with titles like The Best Valentine’s Day Gifts for the Runner in Your Life or 10 Mental Tricks That Will Make Your Runs Even Better, it was refreshing to read Alex Hutchinson’s last article with RW — The Seven Pillars of Running Wisdom.
The bottom line?
- Run more
- Slowly increase your volume
- There are no shortcuts