The most important question in life

Last time I think about long-term goals in my life and what I really want to do, to achieve. These thoughts caused I decided to write a post about some of them. You will find sport-based examples in this post, but these are just analogies, and you can translate it into other views. The most important question is:

What do you want from your life, and how do you want to achieve that?

Even this year, I was a “bike-mech” geek. I really liked to read about cycling technical, new groupsets, different and proposed solutions, watch reviews and discuss with people about that. I have been in such point for few years, and it was fine for me. During that time, I also tested some things to form an opinion: I had about nine different bikes (not in the same time of course), tried tubeless three or four times, changed bike shoes, experimented with HR straps and bike computers… Whow, it was a ton of gadgets and bike parts. Of course, it was fine then, but right now when I think about that… it was a bit crazy. To be honest, right now I feel tired and do not want to join that “rat race” anymore. Because of COVID, some markets gone mad – and bicycle market is one of them. Prices are high, there are not enough parts, and it looks like situation will not be better in 2022, or even in 2023.

So, what choice do I have? What choice do other cyclists have? Can we only buy new things for higher prices? No, we can quit that race and stop doing that, we can look for something different, something simpler and more effective at the same time. In reality, I found something like that, and it is running. Much simpler, much more suitable for countries like Poland, when only max four months in the year are surprisingly good for cycling, without tons of gadgets and available to do in many unusual places: if I will go for business trip, holidays, to close family. No problem, I will only take shoes and clothes and I will be ready for that. With bike, logistic is bigger problem and it causes you must be “more stable”.

I live with my wife in the apartment. It is not big, but it is also not small – we have separate bedroom and two additional rooms, so for two people, it is enough place. Living in such apartment has disadvantages: your neighbors may be too noisy sometimes, you have limited space for all your things, you cannot decide about some matters like for example additional, independent power source. From my perspective, also cleaning bike is sometimes problematic and in effect, I avoid riding in bad conditions. But it also has advantages. I do not care about snow during winter: there are people hired for that. I do not care about grass around the building (and I really hate mowing), about heating, electrical or water systems or communal waste. I know that because I’ve lived in house for over 25 years. In apartment, a lot of things is included in rent I pay every month and it is extremely comfortable, I can spend the same time for more interesting things.

Last time I thought about my own house. A lot of people decide to loan a credit and build their one house to avoid some apartments disadvantages. I think some of them – not all of course – forgot about all new work they will have with house. All additional costs, all time spend for mowing, painting, gardening etc. Yes, of course you can hire people to do that, but in such case, you will have to earn additional money to do that so… you will spend more time in job, or in creating additional funding sources. I read article about people how won big lotteries. After a year, about 90-95% of them were… complete bankruptcy. Why? Because they were not prepared for such money, they do not invest that money, just spend for things which generated costs: new house with pool? Nice! But you will have to pay for cleaning that pool. Nice, fast car? Why not, but every inspection, every part will be more expensive. And these things will not earn additional money for you, they will only generate costs.

I think a lot of people want many things without real reasons. Just because other people have these things, because these things are fancy. In Poland, still some people think that iPhone is luxurious, a kind of social status symbol. It is bullshit. It is just phone, mass gadget. In the USA, iPhone has something about 50% of market. Are all US citizens rich? No. When are you rich? It is hard to say, because every time you can find people with more money, more things, more companies etc. It does not make sense to compete with different people. The only sense is to compete with yourself – if you really want to improve something in your life.

If you do not know, what you want and just look for other people, you waste a lot of energy, will power, money and time for something that does not bring you joy. I like competition, I like challenges, but sometimes I see, that comparing yourself with others does not make any sense at all. We can find exceptionally good example in sport, in any sport-social apps like Strava. It is fine to show your results, to share pictures from interesting events, to involve other people or be involved by them. But if we decide to train to be better than others on our feed… It is another bummer. It will be never-ending story because we can always find better people. And guess what – professional athletes do not use such apps! Why? Because social aspect is not important for them. They need raw training data, for trainers, to prepare better training and recovery plans, to prepare for the real competition.

The fun thing is that we do not need most of things we “want”. We spend time to earn money, then buy them and… after 2-3 weeks the feeling of novelty disappears. So, we want next new thing… vicious circle, which offers us only additional work, additional worries, time we spend for something we will not remember on our deathbed. So simple, but I realized that just recently and right now I wonder a long time before I buy something new. Life passes, and we are still in the race. We can win it, but for what price? Did you ever think about that? If no, it is suitable time to do that.

Do not get me wrong. I do not think about abandon personal development and endeavor – I am a type of fighter, warrior and I always have interesting goals – even if I think, that systems-based approach is much better. That post is not something like “it doesn’t make sense”. It is about “maybe something doesn’t make sense”. Thinking and changing your mind is never bad. Aimlessly going one road never makes sense