Because I’m happy – December

I just realized one thing. Just like the month of September, December is a moment where I am active, creative, full of energy and initiatives. I wonder if it’s because in my subconscious, December = Christmas, gifts and parties, and that despite winter coming closer, I am joyful. So here is in 4 words, the summary of the last 4 months: September and December = ACTIVE, October and November = PASSIVE. Let’s find out if it’s the same in 2015. Are you also programmed this way? Did you notice cycles where are you are productive and some where you need to rest, or feel down? Is it the seasons? Or maybe the subconscious picture we have of every month?

Anyway, December has been rich in terms of experience.

First, I had a major decision to take. What to do with the 5000 euros in my pocket? Go to New-Zealand for 4 weeks and race Auckland 70.3 or keep this money to do something “smarter”. Actually, Life decided for me because I injured my left calf: “Greg, you’re gonna do something smart out of this money this time, uh! Don’t burn it up in 1 shot!” 😉

This year, I learnt a lot in terms of money management. I think I made 4000 euros more than last year, which at the same time is a lot and not much. But most especially, I am managing my money about a 1000 times better. It helped me pay all the debts I had plan to pay (but I kept some for 2015, on purpose 😉 ) and then I understood that building savings offers you two things: some inner-peace and the possibility to create yourself a healthier social life where you don’t have to wonder all the time if you can afford that restaurant dinner or if you can afford to make someone a gift. If you want to make more money in 2015, there is probably someone who is more an expert than me. However, if you think that managing your money better would be helpful to you, don’t hesitate to ask me for some help.

So yes, I injured my left calf at the beginning of the month. It is exactly the same muscle injury I had in December 2013, except that back then it was on the right calf. Except the notion of side, it is exactly at the same level, the same circumstances (while jogging) and the same context (stress + winter). Oh yeah, there is also one more major difference.

Last year, despite all my will and my desire, I couldn’t resume training until April 2014. 3 months and a half of inactivity. But this year…4 days later, I was out training again. Same injury from one year to the next but back to training 3 months earlier. I don’t know if my legs are faster but my mindset is already 3 months faster than last year! 😉

My coach told me something super interesting: “When you’re an athlete, being injured is a part of the game. You need to adapt and live with it”. He could have added “and be happy with it”. That’s how I was back swimming 4 days later and that every 3 days, I would go for a test run or a test ride. Very progressive. Very little massage and stretching but a lot of meditation. Many times, I stopped running or cycling after 5 or 15 minutes, as soon as I felt a little something in my calf. Every time I came back home trusting the process, trusting the fact that it’s better to go out even for 10 minutes  instead of staying at home and depressing about something I cannot control. Last week I was able to run and cycle for more than 1 hour. It everyday language, it means I am not injured anymore, right? 😉

This month, I also started working with a life coach. To make it short, this is one of the best things that happen to me in 2014. I am learning crazy stuff about me, how I think and how I function and this motivates me to improve on all aspects of my life…and I really mean “all”. During my first session, my coach asked me what were my goals for 2015. Of course, I talked about triathlon and japanese. But I also said: “I wanna be happy. As simple as that. Really happy”.

She replied: “You know, I met some happy people and they say that happiness is overrated”.

I replied: “You know, I have been National champion 6 times, European champion once and first foreign osteopath ever to be registered in Japan and my opinion, individual achievements are overrated”. 

Therefore, for the last 30 days, I have been leading my own experiment on happiness and I even registered for an online course with the University of Berkeley on the science of happiness. This is really interesting. Think of it, wouldn’t it be awesome if our children had a “happiness teacher”, starting in junior high school? One day, I will write you a post about happiness because in my mind, there’s no way I can be the best triathlete I can be without being the happiest I can be. Maybe I will spend the rest of my life talking about happiness…Maybe I will be the one teaching your grand-children 🙂

As a Christmas present, I am offering you one of the revelation moment of this month.

Science says that 50% of our happiness is related to genetics, our genes. Therefore, it means that in terms of happiness potential, we’re not equal. So one morning, I tried to create a mathematic formula to calculate your happiness baseline level and most especially your happiness potential, that is to say the level of happiness you can hope to reach. I am testing this equation on my mother and in order to measure the impact of her genes, I ask her: “When you were a baby, very little, were you happy? Were you laughing all the time?” 

She answered: “Baby? Come on, that’s hard to say. I mean, it’s true that I’ve always had the capacity to be incredible happy, for no reason. So I will give myself a 10/10”.

We finish with her equation, which actually doesn’t work 😉 Then she asks me: “And what about you? That’ll be interesting to know how you perceive yourself. What numbers do you got?”

I answer: “Well, it’s true that today, there are sometimes when I am shy, lonely, introverted and even depressed but actually, if I listen to my inner-voice, I think I was born a relatively happy baby. I think I was a relatively joyful baby. So I’d give myself a 6/10”.

My mother is laughing: “Please, give yourself a 10 on this. Right after birth, your brother was mystical. Your older sister was grumpy and your younger sister kind of neutral. But you were the happiest baby ever. Laughing all the time. You always wanted to play. When we wanted to go out shopping, you were always super excited. But one day, I think your trajectory deviated. I think it’s because you were affected by my separation with your father and also because at school, you started suffering from the way other children looked at you”.

So I left my mom’s bedroom. Looked at my potential right in the eye and told myself: “In reality, I am the happiest person I know”. I think Usain Bolt, even at a young age, was probably running very fast. I also think Zinedine Zidane was probably already very skillful with a foot ball, even at age 8. In the end, maybe my purpose here is just to make others happy. Maybe it’s as simple as that.

And you? Were you a happy baby?

Enjoy the New Year!

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