How Long Rides Improve Focus

I’ve always had a thing for long rides. For me, there was nothing really more satisfying then choosing a destination really far off on the map, planning a route and then heading off as far as I could get.

I never picked places that I knew I couldn’t make it to, but I did push the limits on some occasions. One of those was my longest ride ever, which was 200km and there is nothing more exhilarating than the feeling of pushing through the utter exhaustion you start to feel after a few hours.

But during those hours, all other worries are gone, and the complete focus is on the here and now.

Which allows my brain to truly relax.

Sure, my body is being beaten by the sun and the road, but that focus lets my brain relax about everything else.

Even this last Sunday a short, slow ride with Christina went on to almost double the time it was supposed to because I lose most of my sense of time.

Back to my friends house.

So on my way back from my friends house I took an old, time-tested route up the hill through the graveyard. This is a twisting, narrow road, well known to me and my friends that rode it for the tight squeezes when cars come careering around the corner on a road only one vehicle wide.

Although for the first time ever, the ride was on motorbike, it was still good to get out, and almost as relaxing (of course I was going a little faster so needed to pay more attention to the road).

The payoff is the awesome view of the hills around Taipei from the top.

By getting totally relaxed, my brain is ready for all the other stuff that comes.

Despite putting in all that time, the rest of my time can then be well spent.

And the strange thing is that I still manage to squeeze it all in.

Just like this article.

Gotta get up for a ride tomorrow.

3 Lessons Learnt From Getting Slammed in a Door

So my colleague almost closed a door on me, while I was still in the doorway.

I decided I would try to see the humor in it and what, if anything I could learn from the experience.

Here are the results of my torture.

Don’t Get Stuck in Repeat

I got slammed in the door because my friend was solely focused on moving onto the next activity, super-focused.

Everyday we go about our activities, like we did the day before, the day before that and all the days before that. And tomorrow will be much of the same.

But it doesn’t have to be.

Keep things fresh, don’t stop thinking about things around you, and for those things that come automatically, question them every once in a while to see if they are doing you any good.

See The Funny Side

Stupid mistakes happen everyday.

That’s just life.

Very few events will lead to tragic consequences, so don’t sweat the small stuff.

It hurts for now, but even in those situations there may be a chance to make a new friend.

Watch Out for Doors

So I was stretching it a little for three ideas.

Just don’t put your fingers in the doorway.

And by the way, I came out unscathed in the end.

The Story of the Rainbow

So I’ve started to try and tune in to things a little better from day-to-day and yesterday something caught my eye, which opened my mind a little and reminded me of what everyone else is like.

Just another day… almost

It was just another coffee break.

The hill was slightly hidden by the soft mist of light rain.

And there was a very clear, very near rainbow, as often happens in this neck of the woods.

Unlike the other times, there was a second rainbow right nearby, not as bright, but there none the less.

The three of us in the kitchen saw them and thought they looked interesting enough and made a few comments like “Now there’s 4 pots of gold at the ends,” “It’s probably going to Taiwan bank at the other end,” and “that’s quite unusual.”

But we obviously weren’t the only ones who had seen it.

The deluge

In comes one of my colleagues and comments on how amazing it is, looks for a little longer and leaves.

Then another comes by, on her cellphone, telling her friend on the other end that she sees it.

By the time I got back to my desk, at least four other people had seen it, and probably many others. My other friend who went out to see it after I got back had gone to see it because someone else had told her, and it wasn’t one of those who I knew had already seen it.

We’re all different

I was reminded, just like being reminded that Firefox is not the only browser (just the current reigning champ), that everyone is different.

The rainbow that I didn’t pay too much attention to was very exciting for many other people, and created a small viral effect of people passing on the message to everyone else.

You never know what will make people excited

Although I take these little things for granted, there was enough appeal to get at least a few of my colleagues out of their chairs and out to the kitchen.

For marketers, having a complete understanding of your target market and what makes them excited and happy and can get them to take action in the way you’d like them to requires more than just the mechanics of the same old boring marketing efforts.

You really need to know them like a good friend would. And then maybe they’ll trust you, and even tell others.