While browsing through a bookstore yesterday, I came across a book called "What I talk about when I talk about running" by Japanese author Haruki Murakami. Since I have always loved running long distances myself, I instantly started browsing through it. One very interesting thought was presented in the prologue of the book itself.
The author had spoken to several marathon runners and had asked them the same question: what do they think about while they are running? Obviously, one thought which would cross an individual's mind when undertaking a strenuous task such as running a marathon is the constant pain that never leaves one's side after having run a few kilometres.
The marathon runner's answer made for interesting food for thought, in the perspective of marathon running in general and for life in particular.
The runner replied: Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional.
What a profound idea. If I keep telling myself about the constant pain, I'm only adding to the suffering. The pain is gonna be there anyway. However, if I tell myself that every step that I take takes me closer to my final destination, in that case I choose NOT to opt for the suffering and accept the pain that in any case was part of the deal.