to run or not to run…?

tube run steve
The other week I posted something about my NLP training in Hammersmith and the coffee experience. I attended the training with a friend, and at the end of each day we would go to the tube station – the Hammersmith and City line rather than the Piccadilly. It’s a terminus, so trains are usually ready in the station, waiting patiently at a platform for their fresh cargo.

Each and every day we would stroll up to the ticket barrier, move through and see the display board signalling which platform the next train departed from. Most days there would be a train at that platform.

Then something strange would happen.

My friend would quicken his pace and often break into a run. Sometimes a sprint. I would be left to saunter down the platform and find him in his chosen carriage.

After a few experiences of this we began to ‘unpack’ these two contrasting behaviours. Initially I mocked him, because I had never missed the train, but we were curious about what lay deeper in this behaviour.

There was superficial evidence that might support certain theories. My friend was a runner. He ran for pleasure regularly. I did not. He was, and probably still is, much fitter than me – so he had more capability to behave that way and running was a familiar activity. Typically I don’t run for anything.

At a deeper level though, time isn’t important to me. So the possibility of missing a train wasn’t a significant issue, but more than that, it presented an opportunity. I would have time to watch the world and the people in it. I would have time to sit quietly and ‘be’. My friend’s map of the world was different – he had many things to do, things to get done, so missing a train would deny him possibilities.

We still see this pattern today, not with trains, but elsewhere. He tries to fit a lot into his life. I’m more content to see what life offers in this moment.

There will of course be more depth, more detail in explaining our run/saunter behaviour at Hammersmith, but the joy is discovering that.

So be curious about what you do … every little thing, from choosing what to eat for lunch, to buying new shoes, to how you plan your weekend or even how you live your life.

It’s not about running or not running. It’s about knowing or not knowing.

If you don’t take time to know yourself, who else is going to?

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