Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Good Life

Happiness is ....

What makes a good life .Not really the subject of a Triathlete Blog. Well Yes and No

We are but a subset of a wider community of society. We are part of the community .We are very social animals . Triathletes like anyone else interact daily with friends ,work colleagues and family . We are part of society and it is good to think about what makes us happy , What is a Good life.

I won't go into the topic but only in a shallow sense for Books are written about it (see Hugh Mackay's book the Good Life ) Or listen to the interview :

Radio National Australia interview with Hugh Mackay

But in his research , A good life has universally been associated not with comfort or wealth or prosperity  and not even trying to achieve it but a sense of achievement or being productive. We have the ideal of what our perfect life would be but it rarely ever works out as we imagine.

Social researcher Hugh Mackay has come to the conclusion that the pursuit of happiness is a very bad idea.
Broadcast date: Tuesday 28 May 2013
Hugh Mackay has spent decades researching how Australians think and feel about the lives they lead.
He's realised that the relentless pursuit of happiness, mostly confined to the western world, is likely to lead to misery and even depression.
Instead Hugh says we should be living a life that's useful and whole, where there's sadness and grief mixed in with the joy.

It isn't sufficient to want a Good life , We all  must have a plan and have at least thought out how to get there. Like preparing for a race. 

Below is another interesting piece on how not to consciously over achieve as parents and create unhappy kids in later life.Too much of a good thing can be bad.

How to Land Your Kid in Therapy

Why the obsession with our kids’ happiness may be dooming them to unhappy adulthood. A therapist and mother reports.
It is the reforming of our thinking as to what is a Good life , a good man , a Good triathlete is.
It takes having thought and walked through what it means and coming to a cross road. What we want , what makes us happy and what is it that makes for a good life .
Well there is no magic bullet. .But for me it has to be a road to Damascus feeling , a self exploration and realization. No mold fits all. For me , what is the good life now may not be what I foreshadowed 20 years ago. But there are common threads as Hugh Mackay suggest from a sense of achieving and being in community , which includes the difficulties which come with all human interaction .

Now older and wiser , it is a simple existence, it is a moral good. Like training for a triathlon , there is no better feeling or high than achieving  , be it helping someone or finishing a race or a particularly hard workout and achieving a good outcome. Putting in the hard yards and honestly reaping the results. hence some do get obsessed with exercise as a point of returning for that sense of worth .Again balance is critical , and not a Triathletes strong suit .

I remember when feeling really strong , I would  train to the point of really being sick ,but I knew I had given my all . My Tuesday 1 hour hard sessions on the bike were a case in point but the feeling of jelly legs and seeing the average speed going up were priceless. There was a sense of achieving something for the morning.
Not everyone's cup of tea. There are the disappointments as well but they make that moment all the sweeter.  

A good life and a good triathlete for me is one who pursues his life / his triathlon / his goal with a solid moral compass to do good and to do it honestly .Ultimately , the ability to achieve , interact and contribute is really a Good Life