Monday 19 September 2011

Greed Is Good !

Yesterday, I was looking at my log book and analyzing all my plans.  Everything has been planned from now until the 3rd of June 2012, when I hope to run and comfortably finish the 89km Comrades Ultra Marathon.
There are some short term goals and some long term goals.  I want to run the Delhi Half Marathon on the 27th of November in 1:59. As the official pacer for the Mumbai Marathon on Jan 15th, I want to bring in the bus in 4:55.  I want to run the 106k, Three Cranes Challenge, South Africa in February 2012.  I want to run a yet unplanned marathon in California sometime in late April 2012 and then I want a comfortable finish at Comrades on the 3rd of June 2012 in South Africa.
As I analyzed the log-book, I realized that I 'want' quite a bit.  Perhaps I am too greedy!
There is a story I remembered about a King and a beggar.  One day, very early in the morning, a great wise King, was taking a walk through his Capital.  He came across a beggar who was sitting in the street.  The King asked the beggar, “What do you want?” The beggar answered, “Are you sure that you can give me what I want?”  The King got a little peeved at this and said, “I am the King, what do you want?” The beggar said, “Ok, if you can, then fill this begging bowl”.  The King laughed and said, “You think I cannot fill this little bowl of yours?”  The beggar said, “Ok, I will hold you to your word, after all you are the King. But you must not stop until this bowl is completely full, all the way to the brim.” 
The King simply laughed at the size of the bowl and then to impress the beggar with his wealth and power, called for his treasurer and asked him to fill the beggars bowl with diamonds.  The treasurer brought the diamonds and poured them into the bowl, but they disappeared.  Shocked, the King asked that more be brought.  More and more diamonds were brought, when those ran out, precious stones were bought and yet they disappeared inside the bowl. Then gold was brought from the treasury and then the silver and then the jewellery.  Everything kept disappearing inside the bowl.  By evening the news had spread all over the Capital that the King and the Kingdom were ruined.  The treasury empty. The King folded his hands and fell onto the beggar’s feet and started crying.  “What is this bowl?” he cried, “it has made a beggar out of me!”
“I found a dead man’s skull at the cemetery”, explained the beggar, “and since I am very poor and did not even have a begging bowl, I fashioned one out of the skull.  And now, no matter what I put into it, it wants more and is never satiated.  It keeps asking for more.” Man, the beggar went on to explain, is never satisfied with what he has.  He always wants more. His greed knows no end.
I wonder if I too want too much.  Don’t I already have enough?  Am I too greedy? Should I not be satisfied with whatever I have?
But, I reasoned that all that I wished for was to run more.  Running is the source of my pure and happy thoughts and if I am tuned to happiness, then there is no need to ask less of it.  Running is my way of celebrating life. It has become a source of goodness in my life.  It helps me to live life intensely and passionately. I think it is OK to be greedy for more running. 
I think, we get that which we want for in life.  Happiness and positive thoughts can keep growing if that is what we wish for.  There is an endless supply.   If, on the other hand, I was to tune into unhappiness, then it too would keep growing.  It pretty much depends upon the tuning inside me, much like the wave-length of a radio.  Tune in and run towards happy thoughts and they follow, tune in and wish for unhappiness and it follows. 
But, this is too much philosophy and I guess I will stop my analysis now. 
Osho once narrated a joke: Mulla Nassruddin was walking into town one evening when he suddenly came across a pile of cow shit on the path.  He bent over slightly and looked at it carefully. 
“Looks like it,” he said to himself.
He leaned closer and sniffed. “Smells like it”.
He cautiously put his finger in it. “Feels like it”.
He then tasted it!  “Tastes like it. I’m sure glad I didn’t step in it!”

“Beware of too much analysis!” warned Osho. 
Running is my source of joy.  It is good to be greedy for more. No need for any analysis. 


  1. Well said!
    Nice post...
    Someone said, "You are what you think you are..." So yes, if you want to be happy... start by feeling happy!

  2. Nice post. I can't agree more with Amit in that running makes you positive in life. Right now i am passing through a crisis.I could not believe i was capable of thinking up the daring step i proposed to my boss, i think its all the effect of 2 marathons in last 4 weeks. Cheers to running!!!

  3. Great writing on two very relevant and important thoughts. I can relate to the 'over analysis' part a lot, since I am an engineer and am surrounded b analytical mindsets and I can also relate to the greed. However, unlike you, man
    Of us are greedy not about things that make us happy, but what we
    'think' will make us happy....Dharmesh.

  4. This Post is good. Greed is good. Running is good. Life is good :-)

  5. its my second year of training for half marathon and this year im longing to run atleast 2. Now i feel after reading the blog i should have been a little more greedy.

  6. Nice post, Amit.