Why It's Important To Be Proud Of Yourself

Why It's Important To Be Proud Of Yourself

All too often, when we accomplish something, it's easy to let it get lost in the business of everyday life.

Being home for Christmas is a time for relaxing, spending time with family and friends and, of course, pigging out on lots of wonderful food.

However, it is also the time during which final exam grades get posted and you find out whether you passed or failed your class. This can cause major stress, which I know is the case for me. The worry stays in the back of your mind and makes your whole body tense up as you hold your breath waiting for your email to load.

We're all familiar with the feeling of your heart sinking in your chest because you didn't do as well as you'd hoped, but there also the much better, yet much less talked about, feeling of relief that comes when you do well.

All too often, when we accomplish something, it's easy to let it get lost in the business of everyday life. We feel as though there's not a moment to lose and we have to move on immediately to the next thing. I do this all the time, especially since I started college.

Once that one project or paper or test is done, I force myself to immediately get started on the next one without a moment's break. I have recently realized that this, at least for me, is not healthy.

This past semester has been the busiest time of my college career thus far. Granted, it's only my sophomore year and things are only going to get crazier, but I just want to point this out because I managed to make some major changes to my thinking over these past few months.

Instead of going directly from one thing to the next, giving my brain zero time to rest, I have started to find little times to let myself be proud of the task I have just accomplished. As I said, I was very busy, which means these periods of reflection did not last very long, but it only takes a little.

This semester consisted of my turning in one paper after another, sometimes more than one per week. I'd feel drained after having been writing for was felt like days straight, so, Instead of researching for my next paper while I ate dinner, I'd just put on a chill show on Netflix.

This allowed my mind to take a break and me to be proud of what I had accomplished. The next morning, I'd wake up ready to take on college and not feeling like I want to live in my bed the entire day. My mind, as well as my body, felt healthier and more awake. This is why it's important to take time to rest in between tasks, as well as to reward yourself for what you've done.

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10 Shows Netflix Should Have Acquired INSTEAD of Re-newing 'Friends' For $100 Million

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Netflix broke everyone's heart and then stitched them back together within a matter of 12 hours the other day.

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Running a Marathon Taught Me Gratitude

And how much I can actually eat in one sitting


Last May, just four days before my senior prom and one week before graduation, I ran a marathon. Born from a hasty commitment in December, I completed those 26.2 miles on a misty summer morning. It seems to me that as I move forward in time, I feel the need to complement the shift with movement through space. The space I chose was a relatively flat expanse in Cleveland, Ohio. Along the course, I witnessed the water of Lake Erie and buildings fade into the cloud cover that lasted for the duration of the race. It was very challenging, and I was very afraid I would fail. I completed the race.

My months of training have revealed the strength of my body to me. On every long run, and every time I become lucid of my feet hitting the pavement and the absurdity of it all, I become more grateful that I have a body capable of dealing with my mind and a mind capable of dealing with my ambition. I knew little beyond my own life when the concept of mindful gratitude was introduced to me, and I could not comprehend my luck. I had no perspective on life, mine or otherwise, therefore I do not think I came easily into gratitude. Good things felt normal and bad things felt undeserved. I consider my journey into gratitude one of the most important transformations of my teenage years. While I came to this realization before my marathon training ensued, the process I endured supplied me with ample time to reflect on life and running and human motivation. What began as thankfulness for my body now includes an appreciation for the spaces available to me for running, the time I have free to dedicate to training, and the efforts of our ancestors that yield the ability to run for hours. I am grateful for all we scientifically understand about running such as VO2-maxes and physics that account for everything down to the curve of a pinky toe. I am grateful for everybody who recognizes running as meditation. I am grateful for the holiness of flesh and the choice I have in how to use my body.

In my experience, running is a source of control. Throughout my life, I have sought control in many forms, many of them harmful to myself or others. Eventually, running became a response to chaos. I felt that many of my problems stemmed from society--the deep-seated concepts that I cannot see toppling ever, especially not in my lifetime. For a long time, I was overwhelmed by the presence of patriarchal underpinnings in close to every aspect of life. I sought refuge in places of wilderness. A popular figure of speech, especially for male environmentalists, is that the earth is "virgin" and "fertile" until man "rapes" it. I have spent a lot of time thinking about how this colloquialism. Few things are more arrogant. "Rape" goes much deeper than the legal definition. It means humiliation and ruin. While one human may or may not have this power over another human, it is pure hubris to think any man or farming machine can wield this power over the earth. Our history goes back far enough to know that man is far more temporary than nature, and that where civilizations of humans die, nature quickly reclaims her power. Running gave me a way to connect with this nature, and in turn connect with its power. Few things are more graceful than nature waiting patiently for humans to either learn or perish. For this example, I am forever grateful.

The human body is meant to run. The ligaments in our feet, narrower midsections, strong glutes, and short toes are biological evidence of it. While I was running Cleveland, I could not help but feel every muscle in my body working. Our lineage is amazing. I cannot comprehend how many miles our ancestors have walked and run. I thought about the journey of Pheidippides from Marathon to Athens. I thought about the tradition of competition. I wanted to run a marathon to take my place in this tradition of travel and racing. While human history is one of conflict and largely darkness, there is also glory. Many of the signs fans held up around the course emphasized this, encouraging runners to "forget the miles, remember the glory." I ran alongside 15,000 others, and we advanced together in grace and gratitude.

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