There is one incredibly valuable life lesson I learned after I took up jogging; it is an activity that should never be done in the presence of someone you are trying to impress. I confess the main reason I started jogging was an excuse to spend time with a very attractive lawyer lady. Stupid, stupid, decision. My gasping, sweating, beetroot coloured face did not stir feelings of lust in her, I can confirm that sad truth.
But, interestingly, jogging taught me a second, additional, life lesson.
I continued jogging after attempts to impress the lawyer lady, and realised that I very much enjoy it. There is something very relaxing and motivating about being faced with a simple, attainable goal. In this case; run 3.2 kilometres in a time faster than the previous attempt. It’s a simple, uncomplicated task, restricted only by how far you are willing to push your physical limitations. I pushed harder, gasped and staggered my way up the hill faster, and felt incredibly satisfied when looking at my phone, seeing I had shaved a few more seconds off my time.
At the risk of sounding like an exercise obsessed jock, jogging, and the challenges it offered, put my mind into a healthy place. Having a goal, and being motivated to achieve that goal, without being distracted or swayed by outside influences, is a great platform from which to improve ones self. I decided to use my new found approach to challenges in another area of my life; online casino games.
That last paragraph did sound very jock-ish, in hindsight. But it all remains damn good advice. Now if I can just quit smoking.
Setting attainable goals is paramount to achieving progress in just about any aspect of life. Jogging for the sake of jogging can quickly get exhausting, boring, and feel like nothing more than a way to engage in self harm. But, pushing towards something that is attainable makes it all seem worthwhile. You’re not jogging because you enjoy gasping and sweating and crying and considering calling for a medical helicopter, but because 30 minutes can be cut down to 29 minutes and 30 seconds. And that is proof positive that you are better than you used to be. Cue celebratory fireworks, applause, and trumpets. All in your head, of course, unless you can afford an actual celebratory parade.
For the longest time I played my favourite casino games, Roulette, Poker and Blackjack, with no real set goal in mind. I played with the vague goal of winning, which is fair enough, but without any idea of how much I wanted to win, or how much winning would make me feel like I was getting better. The difference it made having a set idea of how much money I wanted win, and walk away from each game with was, honestly, enormous.
Simply saying to myself that when I had doubled my initial starting amount I would walk away, having achieved a set goal, made every game something more than it had previously been. No, it didn’t make me a magically better player, and I certainly didn’t use the approach as an excuse to play more recklessly; I still played as carefully and smartly as I ever did, but giving myself something to strive towards gave the experience more structure. And that made all the difference in the world. I wasn’t playing for the sake of playing; I was playing to achieve fireworks, applause, and trumpets. All in my head.
Plus, this approach had the added benefit of motivating me to walking away when the going was good, which sure helped a lot.
Since I started jogging a few months ago I have drastically improved my 3.2 kilometre time of about 36 minutes, to around 29 minutes. If you’re wondering what happened to the attractive lawyer lady, we have agreed I’ll jog with her again when I’m getting closer to her time of 21 minutes. We’re still talking though, so my gasping and beetroot coloured face didn’t put her off completely. High five.
In the casino game aspect of my life, I have had the longest, most successful string of victories and have more green in my account than ever before, simply by following the above mentioned approach. Set goals and walk away when the goal is achieved. I use the balance of my online casino account as an indicator of how well the approach is working, and as I watch the amount of saved cash climb, I have a fair amount of fireworks, applause and trumpets.
Now, that lady lawyer; fireworks, applause and trumpets. Hopefully achieving a 21 minute time is not the key to making that happen, because that may well be a few months yet.