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Running is like a professional or life journey. If you keep running in circles, you are stuck in a loop of the same challenges and frustrations with very little progress

Read: Competing with yourself leads to meaningful victories
Have you ever thought of running as a metaphor for your career? Running is not only a great way to stay fit and healthy, but also a powerful tool to learn valuable lessons that can help you succeed in life.
In this blog post, I will share how I returned to my casual running hobby and the parallel lessons of running in both our professional and life journeys.
I rebooted my running hobby in 2022 after the markers in my annual physical exam returned a not so good result.
First I started walking 7,000 steps daily for about 2 months. Soon after that, I started gunning for a 1k run
Paco Park is my favorite running spot because there are plenty of trees, you won’t inhale vehicle emissions and it’s safe. It’s pretty cool when you’re only running 1 km or 4x around the perimeter.
But things got interesting when I tried to increase my mileage because the 3K run meant going in circles 12 times, and the 5K run 20 times.
When running in circles I feel like I’m not making any progress, and this leads to both physical and mental exhaustion.
running in circles is physically and mentally tiring
However, when I tried the sport on the open road, I got a breakthrough. The 5K became a 7K and the 7 became a 10, and the 10 became a 12k. In one run, I crossed five bridges in Manila- The China-Manila friendship bridge, Jones, MacArthur (Sta. Cruz), Quezon (Quiapo) and Ayala.
I experienced some difficulty though- At first, I experienced a clogged nose because of the pollution, and my right knee became sore because of wrong running form (landing of the foot). Despite this, the accomplishment is satisfying and worth the pain.  
The same can be said for our life and professional journey.
If you are nearing burnout or unhappy with where you are, maybe you’re just running in circles. It might be time to check your spiritual compass to determine your north star
The north star is our vision, purpose and values. It is what guides and motivates us to keep moving forward. It is what gives us direction and sense of purpose.
Once we have identified our north star, we can start aligning our actions with it. We can start choosing projects that match our purpose and skills. We can start seeking opportunities that challenge and help us grow. We can also start connecting with people who share our vision and values.
Running in circles is physically and mentally tiring. But running towards our Northstar is rewarding.

Where there is no vision, the people perish… – Proverbs 29:18 [KJV]


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