By Christopher Cudworth
The notion of our lives being “complete” is tantalizing. We long for that feeling of peace that comes from having everything in order. How we want it. So that we can think. Be true to ourselves. Love others.
But life is a messy thing. Just getting ready for work in the morning can put things out of order. Or worse, things are out of order already, and it’s difficult to find them in time to get ready for work. Round and round we go. Seldom do we feel truly complete.
Then you head out to run or ride and the nagging sense of disorder in your life goes with you. It’s hard to be “in the moment” when projects from work are cycling through your mind. Relationships too. Those can create messy places in your brain. So can being a parent, a business partner or a host of other roles in this world.
I often think about the lives of the pastors in our church. How many problems and needs flow their way. How difficult it must be at times to find peace for their own needs. That call to serve others requires a special person, someone who knows how to find completeness in a seemingly incomplete world. That is why people turn to God. Or spirituality. Meditation. Or running and riding.
Yes, our so-called “sports” rank right up there in the search for completeness. Physical effort is a portal to a more open mind, one capable of putting things in order so that a sense of completeness can be attained.
Really, what does it mean to be complete?
One definition starts us on our way.
1. complete: having all parts or elements; lacking nothing; whole; entire; full:
Another relates directly to our running and riding:
2. complete: finished; ended; concluded
A third definition speaks to the state of being…
3.complete: having all the required or customary characteristics, skills, or the like; consummate; perfect in kind or quality:
So in order to attain completeness, we should consider these definitions in order to help us plan our lives.
1. Be organized. Completeness starts when you have a systematic approach to your daily functions.
2. Have goals and a plan to achieve them. Otherwise you will never really know when you have completed anything.
3. Embrace creative solutions. The character of being complete embraces seemingly oppositional characteristics such as creativity, which is the source of new ideas. Many people do not feel complete without these challenges, which involve risk or change. Others prefer a more predictable way of existence, finding completeness through the manner in which their worldview is fulfilled.
When you take these characteristics “on the road” to run and ride, they are easily applied to your fitness goals. Being organized helps you be prepared for training and races. Having goals and a plan enables you to measure your efforts. Embracing creative solutions helps you cope with things like training challenges, injury or the very real pressures of putting your self esteem on the line.
Compete to complete
Many of us find a sense of completeness by setting out to achieve a fitness goal. We compete in order to feel complete. It’s part of human nature to compete with others, and ourselves. It makes us better. Pushes us to achieve more. Gives us opportunities for team-building and collective achievement.
Some apply this competitive dynamic to do good things for other people. That’s why so many millions of dollars are raised by people competing in events while raising money for charities. It completes the notion of self-betterment by pushing some of that effort into altruistic goals.
Obviously you can see how these principles apply to the business world and other activities as well. Seeking completeness is really a question of knowing yourself well enough to find satisfaction in doing things well. You can measure that any way you choose.
As for those of us who run and ride and swim, we know the clock does not lie. Not usually. So there’s always the ticking of time to consider as a measure of our success.
But there’s much more, and you know that. The feeling of completeness does not always fit into the confines of time or how others view our success. We are complete when we feel like we have done something that matters to us. There is no limit or measure to the value of that.
Want to hear more about what it means to be complete, and motivate your team to success? Author, marketing pro and motivational speaker Christopher Cudworth speaks to service clubs, running groups, cycling and business organizations. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.