Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Hurdle Race

I remember watching the hurdle race when I was in school.The hurdlers knew well their limitations and knowing also the consequences of a bad fall,they did not attempt the impossible.I not being the sporty kind,watched from the sidelines.

That was school.Adult life is different.We have to participate in many races.We cannot sit comfortably in shade and watch others sweat it out.And we also do not like the idea of others winning prizes while we are left bereft.Whether because of a dire need or spurred by the hope of winning prizes at the end of the race; we are slowly inveigled into joining many races and jumping over steep hurdles.

The hurdles in adult life are invisible but no less daunting.Joy overflows when we clear a hurdle.If we fall and scrape our knees we just smear an ointment and carry on.The problem begins when we scrape our spirits;when we allow a failure to define us,to fill our waking hours and steal our sleep.That is the time to sit up and cogitate.Was it necessary to cross that hurdle?Was the hurdle too high?Were we in the wrong race altogether?How important was it for us to jump over that hurdle and win that race?

If failing a race makes us despondent and miserable,clearing every successive hurdle and winning much awaited laurels too can sometimes have a negative fallout.

Some of us get so involved in running races and proving our worth that we do not pause to consider whether all those races are absolutely essential for us.This fact does need consideration because while we are running a hard race we have to put many other issues on the back burner and some of them might be equally important for our health and happiness.

If we go overboard with crossing hurdles and gathering prizes,nemesis may not be far behind.It might come in the form of physical exhaustion for one,physical or mental disease for another,and a broken home or relationships for the third one.

Take a look at what Dr Joseph Maroon,a professor of neurosurgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center says in his book"Square One:A Simple Guide to a Balanced Life" :

"I've had rather impressive success [and] cataclysmic failure personally," Maroon says. "I was intent on becoming the very best that I could in terms of my profession, neurosurgery. I worked extremely diligently. It became an all-encompassing pursuit for me in my life … with success, societal approval, writing papers, going to national meetings … Soon after becoming chief of neurosurgery at a major university hospital, I [cracked]. My father died, my wife and children left me, I had to quit my profession as a neurosurgeon due to the overwhelming stress … all within one week … The next week, I [was] helping my mother run a rather dilapidated truck stop left to her by my father in Wheeling, West Virginia, living on a farm. One day I was doing brain surgery and [the next] literally filling up 18-wheelers and flipping hamburgers in a rundown truck stop. It was a great fall. It was kind of like an Icarian metaphor of flying too near the sun. I got scorched and I plummeted into the sea — a sea of depression."

Personal advancement is a driving force of life but it should not be confused with a greed for name,fame and wealth.When our stamina is at it's peak it is possible to wear out our bodies to any extent.Our body and mind do give subtle signals that they are being abused but we ignore those signals.In this way we defy the very objective for which we labored so hard-a happy wholesome life.

The quote by Dr Maroon taken from
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/06/18/how-to-recover-from-burnout.aspx




20 comments :

  1. Life is indeed a hurdle race. We clear some and stumble against others. Yet, one has to get up and keep going.

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  2. Interesting comparison between hurdle race and life... looking at problems as invisible, difficult hurdles is very true.

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    1. Nimi welcome to jeeteraho.I am glad this resonated with you.

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  3. I am in complete agreement with the thoughts expressed herein Indu Ji.

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  4. Replies
    1. Thank you.Happy to see you here.

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. The hurdles in life are a test of our true grit!

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  6. Some are content with little, while some are insatiable and we all know who the happier one is.

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    1. True Purba and a very Happy Diwali to you and yours.

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  7. Some people take competition to the extreme. Like you rightly pointed out it only leads to misery.

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    1. Extreme competition as well as over ambition-both I think are harmful.
      Thank you Rachna.

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