I first came to know about him not from a friend’s recommendation but when I was leisurely browsing at a bookstore. I saw his name popping up many times on bookshelves. Due to his massive works, there were many books by him lined up neatly. That was how he got my attention.
I didn’t pick up any of Haruki Murakami’s books that day but I told myself I would like to read one of his books one day.
After a few months had passed, and I had totally forgotten about this until I made a visit to a local library last month, only then did I remember about Haruki Murakami when I happily found a complete collection (based on what I observe, at least) of his books were newly added to the library’s collection.
I was ecstatic. And I picked a few of the books to start reading. After finishing his first two books, Hear the Wind Sing and Pinball, 1973, I picked up his What I Talk About When I Talk About Running: A Memoir. Murakami wrote all but two novels. Out of the two non-fiction books he wrote, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running: A Memoir is one of them.
The book is short and simple to read. But it contains many lessons Murakami has learned as a novelist and long distance runner for over 25 years.
Not only does he set a goal of running a full marathon each year, Murakami has participated once in ultra-marathon (62 mi/100 km) in Hokkaido and numerous triathlon races throughout his life. He is also dubbed as “The Running Novelist.”
Here are the nine takeaways from his book What I Talk About When I Talk About Running: A Memoir which I think we can learn from Murakami and also teach them to our children.
- You really need to prioritize in life, figuring out in what order you should divide up your time and energy. If you don’t get that sort of system set by a certain age, you’ll lack focus and your life will be out of balance.
- You can’t please everybody.
- Life is basically unfair. But even in a situation that’s unfair, I think it’s possible to seek out a kind of fairness.
- I think I’ve been able to run for more than twenty years for a simple reason: It suits me.
- Human beings naturally continue doing things they like, and they don’t continue what they don’t like.
- The most important thing we ever learn at school is the fact that the most important things can’t be learned at school.
- It’s pretty thin, the wall separating healthy confidence and unhealthy pride.
- Whether it’s good for anything or not, cool or totally uncool, in the final analysis what’s most important is what you can’t see but can feel in your heart.
- To be able to grasp something of value, sometimes you have to perform seemingly inefficient acts.