Evaluating human influence

The value but also potential harm from influence from others and seeing others do what we think we too should be doing.

We are social creatures and naturally are influenced by others. Generally, this is a great thing. To some extent it is essential in order to create community and family if we have some notion that we want to follow what others are doing.

Of course, it can send us down the wrong path as well if we are overly influenced.

I saw this quote this morning from Greg McKoewn (posted to his Twitter account):

There are times I see what other people are doing and feel “I should do that too” and then I pause and smile and remember I am on a different path.

~George McKoewn

Influence from others can be helpful. We might get inspiration from stories from others, and most learning is rooted in what someone else did. But if we do not also stay rooted in our own path, able to take in only what’s relevant to us at that time, then we can get lost. It is easy to see how other people train and worry that you are doing it wrong. In the Facebook group for my coming race there are many posts right now when someone asks something like “when is your last long bike?” and the responses are all over the map. There is a huge variety of distances that people cover to prepare for the same race, and a fair variety of tapering periods. If we get caught up in doubt, particularly just before a race, it is not going to do us any good.

I know I’m not doing my training perfectly. I should be doing yoga, I should be incorporating strength, I should be trying to pick up the pace more. I can go on. It is easy for any guilt over the should’s to be heightened when I see others do them. But yes, I must smile and remember that I am on my own path and will have my own race.

Where do you get caught up in this? What’s one thing you can remember today – that you are doing things your own way?

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