The way in which one understands life is merely a matter of perspective. That perspective is defined by the circumstances one is dealt. For some, life is great. They have grown up in a supportive home, do what they love, and enjoy their life. For others, life is difficult. They have encountered loss and suffering or maybe they have experienced and unfortunate series of events. Regardless, their can be two people, sitting on the same couch, breathing the same air, eating the same food, but have radically different understandings of the world in which they live.
Fortunately, as people, we can work to change our perspective. Ultimately, this is done by changing our behaviors, which will then change our beliefs about the world, which will hopefully result in more positive outcomes. It rarely works out as smoothly as the simple equation described above, but with hard work we can learn to see the world in a more positive light.
In addition, we can also use our past experiences to understand the world in a different way. I want to briefly discuss a way in which my view of the world changed while on the bike.
My friend and I are currently exploring Austin,TX by way of bike. We rode here from Houston,TX (more to come about the trip). The trip was about 190 miles and took 2 days. In all honesty, the bike ride was not fun, it was not scenic, and it was not easy. Our first day we spent 2 hours fixing flat tires, became lost countless times, and experienced a world of danger after the sun went down.
We underestimated the amount of time it would take us to ride from Houston to La Grange. By the times it became completely dark, we were about 30 miles away from our campsite. Our cell phone service had cut out and we got stuck on a 2 mile stretch of dirt road we could not ride on. A can confidently say this was in the top 3 most terrifying experiences of my life. As we started to walk our bikes we could hear gunshots in the back. We also walked by a house with two rabid german shepherds clawing at their fence so they could take a bite out of us. We had nothing, but out bikes and a small light. We were defenseless. In that moment, my view of the world was completely negative “holy shit, how could this happen?” “I am going to die” “This is bull shit” “This shit always happens to me” etc, etc.
After a series of more disastrous events, we eventually made it to Austin. Our time here has been amazing. I truly believe our positive experience in Austin was strongly influenced by the terrifying experience we had in the back woods of Texas. In that moment, I thought I would die. As I ride through the streets of Austin, I am happy to be taking in the sites. I am happy just people watching. I am happy just breathing in the Austin air.
If we had not experienced the rabid dogs and the shotgun blasts, their would have been much more pressure to have thee “ideal vacation”. We would have based the value of the trip on how much we could accomplish, or how many tourists spots we could check off our list, but our perspective changed.
Perspectives can change so that we can live more fruitful and meaningful lives.
HEALTHY BIKE HEALTHY BRAIN!