The Good Morning Run!

Jurong Lake Park
Jurong Lake Park

These days, I’m not as patient with myself running long distances. I get bored easily and I would shorten my routes. However, I do need a long run to train before my 10km StandChart run next Sunday. So I try my best to endure a bit more.

Halfway through, an idea struck my mind.

“What if I wished everyone whom I met during my run ‘Good Morning’? That seem like an interesting thing to do.”

“Nah, that’s a crazy idea. People will think you are crazy!”

“I don’t think so… Lucy (my soft skills coach) used to do something like that isn’t it? She was mentioning that she greeted her neighbours for two whole years before she got a response from them?”

“That’s the thing, I don’t think anyone is going to respond!”

“Well, try it! It’ll be fun! You’ll feel great about it. I just know it!”

My mind went back and forth like that for quite a while. I gathered up my courage. And here comes the first person, a man in his fourties fully focused on his run.

Nothing happened. As in, I chickened out.

I gathered more courage. Incoming the second person, a guy listening to an iPod. I looked at him and gave my tiniest nod. He was indifferent.

“That’s not doing anything”

“You are not even trying!”

I gathered even more courage. Incoming the third and fourth person, an uncle in his fifties with his wife probably.

“Good morning!” I said, in my chirpiest voice. Trying to smile from ear to ear despite being pretty tired halfway through my run.

“Morning!” they greeted back, looking a bit surprised. Pleasantly surprised.

“Wow! They greeted me back!”

And this went on for the next kilometer or so. Anyway, I’m in the sparse area of the park, with people for me to greet every 15 steps or so. Just right for me to feel comfortable about doing something which I thought was crazy I guess.

It really isn’t as bad as I think. Out of ten whom I greeted, nine responded. Among those who responded, the most impressionable persons were a Malay family of four spending time together at the park, to whom I greeted “Selamat Pagi” (Good morning in Malay), and the mother greeted me with the brightest “Selamat Pagi” back to me. She was all smiles when she did that.

After covering more distance, I sort of stopped what I was doing as I entered the crowded part of the park. However, I was already in full smiles by then, as bright as the sun shining then. I would have imagined that a lot of people who saw my smiley face while I was walking back home would have been thinking what I was smiling so happily about.

It feels wonderful to know that people acknowledge your greetings even though we are all strangers. It brightens up my day. I hope I’ve brighten theirs too.


Word of the Day: Courage

cour·age noun

Br ˈkʌrɪdʒ      Am ˈkᴈːrɪdʒ


Macmillan Dictionary

the ability to do something that you know is right or good, even though it is dangerous, frightening, or very difficult

Cambridge International Dictionary of English

the ability to control fear and to deal with danger, pain, uncertainty, etc…

Other forms:

courageous adjective

courageously adverb

I Am Daring Greatly

Highly inspired by Brené Brown‘s work on vulnerability, I introduced the word Courage at my maiden language evaluation at Bishan Toastmasters Club on 24 Nov 2012. Of course, Brené Brown had her own definition on courage, I took mine from the dictionary.

Bravery vs Courage

We often use these two words interchangeably but there is actually a great difference between the two. It is this difference why we often say “pluck up your courage” rather than “pluck up your bravery“. It is probably this difference Brené Brown uses the word courage rather than bravery to explain vulnerability.

In bravery, we are fearless about what we do. We often show no fear in protecting what we love and what we feel is correct. Hence, we use the word brave to describe this quality of fearlessness.

Courage, on the other hand, has an element of fear. If you refer to the dictionary definitions given above, notice that fear is present in the situation and it is something that needs to be managed or overcome.

The difference between bravery and courage is the element of fear.

With that, I’ll leave you with this video from TED to ponder on: