Continuing our theme of wisdom gleaned from
Zen Heroic in the Art of Spartan Racing, let’s talk about spiritual obstacle course racer, Sri Swami Satchidananda.
Sri Swami Satchidananda was an obstacle course racer?
Satchidananda was one of the most revered Yoga Masters of the 20th century. He wrote a great book called The Golden Present. It’s one of those books that has a chapter for each day of the year so you can work through the wisdom and create your greatest year ever.
Guess what wisdom he shared in Chapter #1, January 1st?
… What wisdom do you think he thought was most important to kick off your year strong?
Quick answer: How to see life as one big obstacle course.
Longer answer, in his words: “Life must be a challenge. Only then is it exciting. In an obstacle race, you are forced to surmount all the obstacles: to jump over the hurdles, go through the barrels, crawl under the rugs, climb over walls.
What would happen if, to avoid all that, you went around all the obstacles and asked for the winner’s cup? Would they give it to you? No. They would say, ‘You must go back and face all the obstacles.’
… Make your life as exciting as possible, but always think of it as fun. The adversities as well
as the harmony should be enjoyable. Don’t become sober and morose and have a castor oil
face in the name of spirituality. Just be happy. Jump with joy. Even if you make a mistake, say, ‘Hey, I did this? Great! What a wonderful lesson I learned!’ If you really want to, you can make everything fun.”
Amen and high fives, Swami!!!
That’s PRECISELY why my sport-hobby involves me PAYING to go over and under and through obstacles so I really get the sports-metaphor that so perfectly captures the essence of life.
Two key things.
1. Make your life as exciting (and challenging!) as possible.
2. And always think of it as FUN!!!
Friendly Optimizing reminder: Life is one big, preciously brief game.
As India.Arie says (in one of our favorite songs!),
If you create the game then you create the rules
And if you just be you
There’s no way you can lose
Get out there and have fun.
Jump with joy—right over any and all obstacles you face today!