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Activate your potential (for happiness)

January 27, 2020
Annecy Lake
Annecy Lake. Source: CIXI

Replacing daily commutes by daily active commuting.

Developing a durable state of happiness for every day is possible.

Happiness can take many shapes, from serenity to simple pleasures. When you are happy, you feel alive and connected to the living around you. I believe this is a quality that needs to be developed by each of us, just like when you train to get better at sports. How to activate and train this personal capacity for feeling happy, in a stable way, even when your life is a bit hectic?

You can try meditation. It is difficult though to insert such quiet moments in our daily over-active lives. If you are under pressure already, you’ll probably find it impossible (at least so it seems) to sit quietly in the lotus position for more than one minute.

I have two kids, my wife, friends and a company to take care of. My agenda is densely filled. I’ve been using moderate physical activity (frequent light running and daily biking to work) as active meditation times on a daily basis, for years. Seen from now, I consider these training moments have been and still are:

  1. A very efficient, qualitative and sound way of daily commuting to work;
  2. An excellent prevention against the long term physical collapse that results from the lack of physical activity. With these training sessions, I transform psychological stress into physical strain, which is easily evacuated by a good night of sleep;
  3. An active meditation time to rest my thoughts. I consider now this has been my first step towards more focused meditation training. This active meditation helped a lot over the last twenty years, establishing a firm ground to improve further my way of being to the world.

Without this active meditation, the many hours lost in daily passive transportation would have exhausted my personal energy resources in a couple of years.

On the physical side, when forced to sit or stand idly every day for hours, even in a comfortable way, my muscles and metabolism progressively lose their capacity to work efficiently. Globally, I don’t feel ‘fit’.

On the spiritual side, I find difficult to be at peace and happy when my body aches of idleness or when my patience is stretched to its limit by passive transportation or an endless meeting. Going to work with my car, I feel a bit numb on arrival — I had no activation period between the getting out of bed and the getting in front of my computer. On the way back home, my difficulty is more that I cannot sweat-out the mental pressure of my work day.

So what’s the solution when my commuting does not allow biking (or any other kind of active meditation)?

Well in 2015, I found no satisfactory answer on the market to that question. So I started to bring together a team able to create a new kind of vehicle, that would combine the benefits of both a car and a bicycle. An active vehicle that would be a natural extension of my body and soul, with which I could ride long distances without fear of being late, sweaty or wet or looking in a mess on arrival. A vehicle that would be fast and safe, but also active so I could do my daily training of body and relaxing of mind in the same process.

The hyfit (Hybrid Fitness) vehicle is born from that momentum.

Today I still use my bike as often as I can. But each time snow, distances too great or a heavy carriage impedes me from biking, I want to be able to switch to my hyfit. This way, I continue the daily training that helps keep my mind and body fit.

Pierre Francis
About the author
Pierre Francis

Founder of CIXI