My wife and I recently took a Caribbean cruise for her birthday. There was a moment where I was sitting in a hot tub, with fresh ocean air brushing against my face, and, as technology would have it, I was watching ESPN on a 42 inch LCD mounted above the hot tub while simultaneously watching the most picturesque sunset I have ever seen. I was talking to a man in his late 40s from Brazil who was in very good physical condition. He had a thin, athletic build, and because of that, I had instant respect for his level of discipline. Perhaps that makes me superficial, but it’s true. Anyone who can be in that good of shape has discipline, at least in the area of physical fitness.
During our conversation, I learned he is also a business owner, and he owns three restaurants. I thought to myself, How does this guy own three business with all those employees, stay in this great of shape, and seem so calm and relaxed? I put my student hat on and started asking questions.
“Do you have kids?” I asked.
“No. No kids.” He replied.
“What did you do before you owned your restaurants?”
He answered passionately, “I played professional football.” Remember, in Brazil, football is soccer.
No wonder he’s in good shape, I thought. In an attempt to validate my excuse for not being as fit as he is, I asked, “When did you retire?”
“30 years ago.” he informed me.
Ouch! That sucks! I have absolutely no excuse now. I’m nearly two decades younger than this guy, and his fitness puts me to shame. As if he could see my sense of turmoil, he offered, “I live 3 blocks from the ocean. Every morning, I run on the beach from 7:30 until 9 or 9:30. Then I get ready and go to work.”
“Wow! You run an hour and half to two hours a day?” I asked in amazement.
“Yes…” he said, in his laid back demeanor.
“What do you do with your mind for that long?” I asked.
He told me he listens to his music.
“I would go nuts – I can’t keep my mind occupied for that long.” I admitted reluctantly.
His next two words had a profound impact on me: “That’s crazy.” That’s it. That’s all he said. “That’s crazy.” And you know what? He’s right. That is crazy. What is so important in my life that I can’t be away from stuff for that long?
He didn’t offer me a 7 step process on how to quiet my mind so I could run and not go crazy. He didn’t offer me a book or a blog on runner’s boredom. Just two profound words, “That’s crazy.”
Here’s my point: sometimes we have a tendency to complicate things. Simple things become complicated for no reason. So next time you are facing a dilemma (or better yet, the current dilemma you’re facing), look for the simple solution. I’m sure there is one. And if you can’t find it, look for a disciplined, laid back Brazilian in a hot tub, and he might have some words of wisdom for you.