Wishful thinking.

Critical thinking.

Objective thinking.

Realistic thinking.

Rational thinking.

Irrational thinking.

Logical thinking.

Negative thinking.

There are all different ways to do it. Each moment a choice and every situation presents an opportunity to look at things from a different perspective.

I spent almost ten hours in the woods on Saturday trying to finish a 31-mile race. For eight of those hours, I was all combinations of the types of thinking listed above. It was magnificent. I daydreamed, I wondered, I calculated, I achieved, I was down to earth, I was on cloud nine, I was grounded in reality, I was completely lost, I knew exactly where I was, and I was in the moment.

Then came the last 2 hours….

It was me, my friend Brian, and a whole lot of bitchin. Everything was a struggle. My physical feelings of exhaustion had not changed significantly (hell, I had been exhausted for 20 miles already). My mentality changed. I couldn’t let Brian get in 30 yards of travel without dropping some sort of complaint.

“My feet hurt.”

“We will probably DNF.”

“These rocks are killing.”

“We still have a long ways to go.”

“Who put all these goshdamned rocks here?”

“This entire course leans to one side.”

“Do we have to go down to creek level again?”

“We still have to make it through all of those rocks, you know.”

“Crawling down to that creek is gonna be a bitch.”

“They are probably gonna be pissed that we are taking so long.”

“There is a 90% we will die out here and no one will make the effort to deliver our bodies out of the woods….like they do on Mt. Everest.”

Brian and I were arguing like an old married couple.

Very little had changed in my thinking. I was logical, rational, realistic, objective, and critical. But one thing was missing. Wishful.

I don’t have to walk around denying that there are discomforts in my life and I certainly don’t have to like everything that is thrown my way. However, I do need to be aware that if you strip away the part of me that possesses the wishful thinker, what is left is an oversized bitchbag of negativity that is capable of dragging down anyone within earshot.

Some people are naturally pleasant people- they don’t need to be hyper-aware of their attitude and their thoughts. Some people will never be aware and will just carry unpleasantness and a critical nature with them everywhere they go. I, on the other hand, must be vigilant. My attitude takes practice, effort and hard work.

If I don’t combine “wishful” into my arsenal of thoughts, the result is insufferable. By default, I am not a pleasant person, but with some effort, I can alter my disposition. I’m not sure why sometimes I choose not to.

It’s a choice.

Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,