I was so wet you could wring my underwear out like a super absorbent sponge. About 30 minutes earlier I was asking Alexa for a weather update. “Light Rain” she said. I’d been running plenty of times in light rain, it had never bothered me before and it wasn’t about to bother me then.
It was 5.45 on an ordinary, dark, autumn morning when I headed outside. After a few warmup stretches I set off. I’d run about 2 miles away from home when it happened, the heavens opened and down poured a torrent of rain.
I was soaked through to the skin in seconds, I kept having to spit out the rain that was streaming down my face and filling my mouth. Within a minute or two the streets which previously looked only slightly damp now resembled fast moving rivers, washing away any dirt and debris that only moments before was laying motionless on the concrete roads.
The sidewalks we’re filled with giant puddles too large for me to dodge, forcing me to run through them with my feet squelching in the pools of water that had appeared in the soles of my running shoes.
If there’s one thing in this world that I can’t stand its wet feet. In that moment I knew I had a choice. I could spend the next 20 minutes battling through the rain to get home in complete misery or I could find a way to make it fun, so I started singing;
I’m singin’ in the rain
Just singin’ in the rain
What a glorious feeling
I’m happy again
I’m laughin’ at clouds
So dark up above
The sun’s in my heart
And I’m ready for love
I didn’t know the rest of the lyrics, so I just kept singing the same ones over and over again. As I approached an elderly gentleman huddled away in a doorway trying to keep out of the rain whilst waiting for a bus I noticed a smile on his face as he watched me singing and running. I smiled back, said good morning and carried on.
After 20 minutes of running in extremely heavy rain I finally made it home and surprisingly, despite my wet feet and wet everything else I felt like I’d had more fun on that run than I had in a long time, that got me thinking, what could be better? I’d had a good sing and made a few people smile, how cool was that!
I’m a naturally curious person and I wanted to figure out why this happened. It seemed odd to me that I had enjoyed running so much under such bad circumstances. The thing that intrigued me the most was if I could do it once was it repeatable.
What was it that made this experience different and how could I apply it to other bad experiences in the future? After a while I realised that I do this a lot with food.
I hate tomatoes but when I use tomatoes as an ingredient such as a base for a sauce, I love them. I’m not that overjoyed with cauliflower on its own, but I love cauliflower cheese with a sprinkling of paprika.
Another thing I hate is cleaning so I put an audiobook on whilst I’m cleaning, and I can quite happily clean the house for an hour or two. By adding things to an experience, you change the way you perceive the experience.
The next time you find yourself in a situation where you’re doing something you don’t want to, try the approach used here. Ask yourself “what can I add or take away from this experience that will change it enough so that I enjoy it”.Be Happy! By adding things to an experience, you change the way you perceive the experience. Click To Tweet
Life doesn’t have to be full of poor experiences if you don’t want it to be. I see two types of happiness, ‘present’ happiness and ‘true’ happiness. Present happiness is a fleeting moment in time that you get though experiences and true happiness is a general feeling about your life.Be happy! Life doesn’t have to be full of poor experiences if you don’t want it to be. Click To Tweet
Generally, people with lots of true happiness are healthier, have better relationships, they’re wealthier, more generous and better able to cope with trauma and stress. If you’d like to be truly happy you need lots of present happiness experiences in your life.
I’ve been doing these things for a few years and the difference it’s made to my life is amazing. I wake up in a much happier mood than I used to and this mood stays with me throughout the day.
I’m healthier, these ‘ways of life’ as I call them helped me start and sustain my running routine, but best of all they’ve helped me become a better person to be around at home which makes me a better husband and father, this is massive to me because I want to be the best version of myself for my family.Who else want to learn about the 'ways of life' that have helped me start and sustain my running routine, but best of all they've helped me become a better person to be around at home. Click To Tweet
After years of struggle, I’ve uncovered many ways to have more of these experiences and I’d like to share 3 of them with you now.