I read this story the other day and spent some time during this morning’s run thinking about it. The story is about a man who meets up with his king. The man tells the king how lucky he is to be king. He goes on about his power, throne, food and all the luxuries he enjoys. The king agrees to switch roles with the man for a few days. The man turns up on the designated day to take his place on the throne and sees above the throne a large sword hanging by a hair. He enquires of the king what the sword is all about, obviously not being too keen to take a seat under it. The king explains that he lives his life in constant fear of assassination and that at any moment his kingdom could be snatched from his by his closest political advisers.
Here is the take home point: We all have a similar sword above us – the threat of violence, war, disease, a car accident, financial insecurities, all of this hangs over us. There are therefore two ways of living your life. The one is in a state of constant fear, while the other is that you come to terms with the sword of Damocles, and live your life to the max on a daily basis.
This is one of the reasons that I run. I need me time. I need to get away from my cell phone. The simple process of putting one leg in front of the other helps me to clear my mind and put things into perspective.