I used pretty much the whole of 2016 to complete my community service. I worked for different companies in Winterthur and Frauenfeld.
I tried to go to work by bike as often as possible. This was approximately 11km to Winterthur and short of 16km to Frauenfeld for one way. And in addition there was a difference in altitude of approximately 200m to overcome. To be honest, I ride an e-bike so this is manageable.
But I didn't feel motivated each day, nonetheless.
One day, on the ride to work, I noticed that some of the things I experienced on my trips are relatable to my professional life.

Starting is hard

I had to overcome myself to start cycling to work. Before that I mostly drove to work by car for about three years. Even as I succeeded to set it as my goal there were days on which I really had to push myself in the morning. But once outside and on my way, motivation came all by itself. And the more I cycled the more I enjoyed it.

Conclusion: Some things you just have to start, motivation and joy will follow with time.

Never 100% prepared

How many times did this occur to me – I did not carry my rain clothes with me and it started to rain. Or I did wear all of my rain clothes but had to take it off just a few hundert meters from home because it was dry and too warm. Or how often did I have cold fingers because it looked much warmer than it actually was...

Conclusion: You can be good and carefully prepared, but in the end you have to deal with the situation at hand.

Short-term vs. long-term benefits

Often times it would have been more convenient and comfortable to just take the car or public transport and to be honest, some days I couldn't resist the temptation. But after all I knew it would be more wisely to ride by bike in the long-term:

  • excercise in the open air
  • cheaper
  • increasing fitness
  • less pollution

Conclusion: Even in the world of business you are focused on the short-term benefits all too often, although it would be more worthwhile to pursue the long-term ones.

Enjoy the way

I experienced a lot of impressive and beautiful thing on my rides to work – sunrises and sunsets, single, double and triple rainbows, flourishing spring meadows. All of these things brought joy in the morning or in the evening after work. Alle diese Dinge waren Aufsteller am Morgen oder am Feierabend nach getaner Arbeit. I could enjoy these much longer than if I had been traveling by car or train. This way the simple commute transformed into an experience of its own.

Conclusion: Reaching your goal should always be the end result, but the way to the goal has a lot to offer. Make sure not to miss these experiences!

I want to remember these four take aways, especially in situations where doing nothing would be easier, I'm lost in preparations, the short-term benefit is more tempting or all the good experiences fall by the wayside.