How to Have a Better Life When You’re Stuck in a Rut

How to Have a Better Life When You’re Stuck in a Rut

I did it.  Just like all the practice run; I jogged for a bit; I stumbled. My throat was dry. I breathed hard. Sweat was coming directly to my eyes blurring my vision. My heart was going super fast. I thought I was going to die from lack of air circulation. I thought I wasn’t going to continue. 

I fought with the thought of giving up, but I kept pushing myself. I jogged and walked a bit more. 

Finally, I crossed the finish line!  I completed the 5k race!

I ran this race by myself for myself

It was April 2011 when I received the email to participate in the annual Toronto Marathon in 2 weeks.

I had never been trained to run any distance at all.  I was not exercising regularly.  I would not be considered “fit” by any standard.

I didn’t have anyone to train with either.

I was sick of my life.  A 9-to-5 steady job, living paycheck by paycheck. A big and empty townhouse and a nice car that I could barely afford. 

The email came in as a spark for change.  I signed up for the 5k run.

I had never run a 5k before, had no ideas what to expect. 

And…I only have 2 weeks to “train”.  I started taking test runs, for 2km, then 3.5km and then 5km, 2 to 3 times a week. 

I didn’t understand the power of Google God, never looked up any programs to train.

I did these training sessions after I got home from work, that’s usually around 6 pm.

It was late April, so the weather was not too bad.  

All my training started like this …I jogged a bit.  I lost my breath.  I walked a bit.  I picked up my pace for maybe 50 metres and my heart was pounding so bad that I had to walk again.  I tried to pick up my pace again and then soon after I walked again. 

At times, I was breathing so hard, one side of my lungs was burning, I felt as if I got stabbed. I thought I would die. 

There were moments that I told myself, “maybe it’s time to give up.”  There were also moments I asked, “what the hell are you doing to yourself?”

Till today, I am not even sure why I kept going.  It was like the universe gave me a chance to get out of the rut in my life.

Financially, I felt like I was broke, living paycheck by paycheck wasn’t exactly easy. (if you read the book Rich Dad Poor Dad, I was the classic middle class.)  If I got fired, I would have no money to meet my monthly mortgage and car payment.

Career wise, I left a job that I was constantly bullied by the boss.  I made good money, but he’s relentless. I landed at a job that paid my bills and all my bosses were extremely nice, but I was bored most of the time at work.

Relationship wise…I don’t even know where to begin. I was always looking externally for self recognition.  When I didn’t get that recognition, my confidence shattered.  This description pretty much summed up my relationship life in my twenties.

This race would have been such a small event in anyone’s life but it was the sparkle that I needed to change the darkest age in the last 36 years, because “I” took ownership of myself.  

“I” made the decision to run the race.  “I” chose to do it for “myself”.  Most importantly, “I” finished it.

It was ugly but I finished it. 

It was the first time I learned the concept of taking ownership of my life.

It was also the first time I realized that things could be a lot easier in real life than in our head.  I thought I was going to die.  Never considered myself a runner, still don’t consider myself as a runner today.  It wasn’t pretty but I somehow managed to cross the finish line. 

That was a huge confidence boost!

You’re responsible for your own life.  If you’re not happy where you are, you have the power to change it.  And it is often a lot easier than we imagine.

If you wonder, after this 5k “achievement”, I signed up to ride for 25km for charity.  It was just riding a bike, how hard could it be?   I lost half of one of my front teeth and hurt both of knees during the test ride. It was a story for another day. 😉

Jumping off Macau Tower 233 Meters or 764 feet into a sea of concrete

There’re always hiccups. No one can guarantee that you would have a smooth sail. If you have a smooth sail, the ride would not be as fun anyway!

You can always get up and keep going again, and again!

I did CN Tower Edgewalk, I went skydiving, I went scuba diving without knowing how to swim and survived and I even jumped off Macau Tower for fun!  Most of all, I spoke on stage to over 600 investors for a couple of times!  

All these started out from a simple 5k run, a simple commitment to change my life.

It’s the small mental shift, that you know you’re in charge and you can always make a change to your life that propels us to push forward. 

Until next time, happy Canadian Real Estate Investing.

Cherry Chan, CPA, CA

Your Real Estate Accountant

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1 Comment

Great article, Cherry! Every journey starts with a single step…

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