SMELL or PUSH? Stop to smell the roses or push yourself hard?

In response to my last blog, Paul Lindsay wrote, “Ah, another example of ‘take time to smell the roses.’ If you were healthy and in full race mode, would you have enjoyed the temples of Angkor Wat as much?”

No, I wouldn’t have enjoyed the scenery and people as much if I was running flat out. Thanks to the slow run that was forced on me by injury, I ended up “smelling the roses,” really enjoying the experience, and getting some good photos. However, there’s also something I didn’t get, and that’s the satisfaction of pushing myself hard and seeing just how fast I could go.

Smelling the roses may bring “enjoyment,” but it doesn’t bring the kind of “fulfillment” that results from pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone, giving it all we’ve got, and doing our best at something. Richard Branson enjoys smelling the flowers on his private island of Necker, but he also told me, “Whatever you’re doing in life, just push yourself to the limits. I don’t like to get too comfortable. I like to push and see what I’m capable of, and I think people get more satisfaction if they live their lives in that way.”

I think he’s right. So, do both. Sometimes go for the “enjoyment” of stopping and smelling the roses. Other times go for the “fulfillment” of pushing yourself to the limits and knowing, “I did it!”

  • A healthy balance is important for most things in life. Finding it can be a challenge though!

  • Monica Arthurson

    I totally agree! It is so important to enjoy the moments and the important steps on the way towards a goal, not just rushing forward. On the other hand, I feel a good combination is to appreciate the small moments in life, and at the same time keep focus to reach your goal.
    Monica Arthurson, from little Norway, with a big heart and big goals!

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  • Agreed, Richard. Pushing is what keeps me moving and stopping to smell the roses is simply a nice respite. Remember, the roses had to be planted an nurtured first……

  • Enjoyment and limits both must be balanced.