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eredmény futás výsledok behanie result running

Result matter to everyone, but no one wants to work

Last week I conducted an experiment. Nothing too serious, I just shared a picture on Instagram. It wasn’t particularly pretty or interesting, just sharing the results of my run. I was interested to see how my friends reacted to it because they saw something unusual. But their reaction was not too surprising.

I have to say right from the start that I did it in a mean way. For me, too, it was a great result that I managed to achieve and I shared it with them in the same spirit. I could say I provoked their praise, but that would not be the whole truth. Rather, I only showed a slice of the whole, and they filled in the missing details with whatever they wanted.

There is a result

I ran more than 7 kilometres, it’s true. My friends know I’m not an athlete, that’s true. But the key moment is that I have never posted about my run before. I’m sure many of them don’t even know that I run regularly. So for them, these 7 kilometres were incredible. They know me as something and they got something completely different. Their expectation was maybe marketing, my family or a trip, but definitely not running. As soon as they saw it, they congratulated me because they saw it as some kind of great result and it was obvious to them that I was proud of it.

eredmény futás výsledok behanie result running

No work 

The other side of the coin is completely different. I should be running 9 kilometres every week. Last Saturday I managed to go over 7 kilometres, but I haven’t done one step all week. Nobody knows that. My friends only saw the result, which was good. They didn’t know the goal or what kind of work it would take to reach it. Because in reality, I didn’t do the work last week. I just achieved the goal. Sort of, just like many businesses. 

I have or could have a thousand excuses 

My goal may sound completely insane. I want to run from Gabčíkovo to Košice bit by bit. The point is that the distance is 426 kilometres. I would do all this without ever having run before. I was in a car accident which left my legs unhealthy. I can’t put the company into sleep mode just like that, I often don’t manage my time. At the end of the day, I usually like to wrap up work at 5pm and become a dad from there. It’s cold in the winter, hot in the summer. I could go on and on with excuses why it can’t be done. It sounds much crazier that I actually have to walk just over a kilometer a day. But somehow no one has ever thought of that. 

SMART goals 

I used to have a year-long goal to move more because I usually sit while I work. It didn’t work, no results. Probably because my brain can’t move more. But it can run 9 kilometres a week. It breaks it down into two or three parts and then it’s digestible. But that takes work. I was outside in January in 4 degrees, I hated it. I’ve been outside now in the spring in the mosquito forest, I hated that too. Still, for some reason, I’m going out again next time, because the odometer doesn’t read 426 yet. Which means I can’t throw it behind me that I’m done yet. And because the goal is so measurable and analyzable, I can’t put it off either, because it outgrows me.  

We’ve done it before 

Many companies operate along similar “objectives”. I put them in quotes because they are goals, but you are not moving towards them at the optimum speed, you are just marching. Nevertheless, they are successful companies. Their practice is that they have always managed somehow, so they can do it again. We don’t need systems, optimized processes, because we didn’t need them before. These companies are dependent. They depend on the owner, on the employees, on luck. If somebody goes out tomorrow, you can’t put in their place anybody else that the system keeps. Because there is no system. If Kata is nice to the customers, we’ll be able to sell, but if Pali sits in her place, sales will immediately collapse. And that is not a strategy. They have their successes, but not because of the work done (or more accurately, done right). 

What is this doing on a business blog? 

Yes, this question may come up again. I don’t think I am better than anyone and I should preach, I don’t. I’m not telling you to decide on SMART goals, start moving or run away to the other side of the country. But for me, I have a lot of ideas and learning tied up in running. These “dead periods” give me the opportunity to listen to podcasts, think and maybe be “smarter” when I get home. It also works great as a stress reliever. That way I don’t argue with my colleagues or family over trivialities, but can even have constructive thoughts thanks to my better functioning brain.  

How did it start? 

The first step is the hardest, especially because that’s when you’re at your most insecure. You can almost hear yourself being pulled back by detractors or laughed at by critics. For me, it was a gift book (The Really Happy Pill) that gave me the final push. I realised that the goal of a shorter and more productive workday is not two more coffees or three more bars of chocolate. It’s more about the quality of the inputs. And the research results convinced me that it would work for me too. Of course, I can’t say that running is my favourite pastime, but it’s become part of my routine in nearly 6 months. Even better, I’ve already managed to “infect” several people with it. So now I’m somewhat responsible for us.  

eredmény futás výsledok behanie result running

What happens if it fails? 

Yes, I’ve thought about that. Right in March, before I got used to the system, I caught the coronavirus and I didn’t even have the strength to exist, let alone run. If on 31 December I find myself needing another 15 kilometres to succeed, I’m certainly not going to be the biggest New Year’s Eve party face, but I’ll do it. If I don’t make it, it will still be a good experience. True, I’m not planning on it, ideally Santa Claus will bring me 100% satisfaction. But if I don’t make it, I’ve still achieved a lot more than where I started. I’ve moved myself (and therefore my brain) out of a completely passive lifestyle. And I’ve also become a better entrepreneur as a result of the materials I’ve consumed. And if I hadn’t been characterised before, I now have the opportunity to practice patience, consistency and step-by-step progress. And next year I can set a goal of 500 kilometres! 

Andris and the bunny slipper 

Why could I run 7 kilometres? Because I started training in January. I’ve put on my running shoes 34 times so far this year. I wouldn’t be able to repeat this result any time, but when I start I can run 3-4 kilometres without any problems. When I started, my personal best was 2.5 kilometres. If you look at the whole year, it’s all the work I put in that has led to this outstanding result. But just because I did it once, doesn’t mean I’ll sign up for any race tomorrow.