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Books Quotes

Haruki Murakami: ‘I run in order to acquire a void’

“But really as I run, I don’t think much of anything worth mentioning. I just run. I run in a void. Or maybe I should put it the other way: I run in order to acquire a void… As I run I tell myself to think of a river. And clouds. But essentially I’m not thinking of a thing. All I do is keep on running in my own cozy, homemade void, my own nostalgic silence. And this is a pretty wonderful thing. No matter what anybody else says.”

Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running: A Memoir
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Books Quotes

Against running with headphones

“If I don’t leave my headphones behind when I run, I wouldn’t spend a single minute of my waking life free from input." Peter Sagal #books #amazon #running

The host of NPR’s Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! wrote about the delights of running in our overconnected age and it looks fantastic. 

“If I don’t leave my headphones behind when I run, I wouldn’t spend a single minute of my waking life free from input.

I have a friend who wears headphones on long solo runs because, he says, “I can’t spend that much time alone in my head.” I disagree. He can, and he should. Spending that much time inside one’s head, along with the voices and the bats hanging from the various dendrites and neurons, is one of the best things about running, or at least one of the most therapeutic. Your brain is like a duvet cover: Every once in a while, it needs to be aired out.”

Peter Sagal, The Incomplete Book of Running
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Books Sports

‘Most runners run because they want to live life to the fullest’

Haruki Murakami What I talk about when I talk about running

Most runners run not because they want to live longer, but because they want to live life to the fullest. If you’re going to while away the years, it’s far better to live them with clear goals and fully alive than in a fog, and I believe running helps you do that. Exerting yourself to the fullest within your individual limits: that’s the essence of running, and a metaphor for life—and for me, for writing as well. I believe many runners would agree.

Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running: A Memoir
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Life & Philosophy Video

Running through the Alps

For runner Joe Grant, freedom is the rhythm of effort colliding with focus. The ability to unthink and just do it sets him free.

“When your mind lets go of things and attentiveness is not forced…that’s when you tap into a feeling of freedom.”

It can be challenging to tame the incessant honking from the monkey mind, especially when we’re roaming ahead with no destination in mind.

But we can achieve flow, moving like water over rocks in stride with the magnetic forces of the land.

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These days I do nothing just as often as I do something. And shockingly, it has made me more productive. I have better ideas, and when I work I am faster and more eloquent, because I have had time to organize my thoughts.

— Jessica Runs, “Why We Need Nomads
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25 years later
25 years later

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Thinking Exercise

Exercise is integral to creative thinking and persistence. I stumbled upon two articles today that emphasize this importance.

Maria Popova of BrainPicker, explains how simple movement improved her focus:

When my body is moving, it’s almost like it takes the wind out of this mental spinning, and I’m able to focus.

Famous Japanese author, Haruki Murakami, explains how running strengthened his will to write:

Most of what I know about writing I’ve learned through running every day. These are practical, physical lessons. How much can I push myself?

Writing requires creativity, focus, and endurance; just like exercise.

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Running for the Music (on My Playlist)

But I do not run to run. I run to listen — which real runners consider not only dangerous but apostasy.

Music is powerful.  Music generates brain waves and inspires movement.  Whenever you feel down, slothful, or bored, put on some tunes.    

Here’s my playlist of 2012 tunes if you’re keen