sly : marketing

How almost peeing my pants turned into a blessing in disguise

Picture this; I’m at home, about to open the door and start jogging a lap in the forest that will take me about 45 minutes, and at that moment I realize that I have to pee. Just a little. But nonetheless, I have to pee. I’m great when it comes to decisions. I don’t hesitate much. I go with my gut feeling. This time it meant that I was going to wait to go to the bathroom.

I wanted to see if I could jog for 45 minutes without peeing my pants.

It took me no more than 2 minutes until I realized that this was not one of the best decision I have made. I was already inside the forest, the place where I go to get inspiration, when I felt that I had to run further in, away from people could see me and do what was necessary.

But I didn’t.


While jogging, I was listening to BlogCastFM and Srini interviewing Dino Dogan about building a community in your niche, why we should completely eliminate self-interest and blogging without goals or an outcome in mind. I really enjoy listening to the podcasts while jogging, and today was no exception.

But, I was still concerned about what was happening in my pants. Or, I should probably say, what was almost happening.

I had been running for 15 minutes before I met someone. It was a man, and he was about sixty years old. The only thought in my head was, can he see what’s (almost) happening?

He was looking in another direction. So was I.

I continued running and listening to Dino talk. The interview was brilliant, and wow, Dino is a fast talker, and he’s been one of the most interesting people I’ve listened to in a very long time. Now, almost half way through, I started to think about why almost peeing my pants can be helpful. Is there anything to learn from this experience?

The mindset

What I discovered is that when I set my mind to accomplish something, I always accomplish it. I was going to finish the 45 minutes without peeing my pants, and without stopping somewhere inside the forest. I knew that I was going to make it. I just did. I’m not saying that it was comfortable, because it wasn’t, but I was going to make it.

The experience took my mind on a journey, back to where I used to live with my parents, almost twenty years ago, when I was playing a game called Civilization. It was a role playing game, and it was my favorite game. My mind was set at ruling the world, and I usually played for hours, and I almost never slept. I kept playing while other people were sleeping. When it was time to eat breakfast, I kept on playing. I didn’t have time to eat or sleep. I didn’t have time to go to the bathroom either. I didn’t have time for anything other than playing.

I’m not saying that almost peeing my pants while jogging is anything like playing civilization. What I’m saying is that we can do almost anything as long as we decide that we are going to do it. I thought about this for almost 10 minutes, and I had only five minutes left, until I was going to reach the house and the most important room inside. But then another thought appeared to me, from what seemed to be out of nowhere.

Thinking about food

I was still listening to Dino talking about why we should completely eliminate self-interest, and I combined it with thinking about what happens when we change our mindset. I thought about two very interesting things I’ve experienced lately when it comes to food. I’m not sure why almost every marketing experience I have is related to food, but it’s probably just a phase (or maybe not).

I ordered a pizza (yes, I know, another pizza story) a few weeks ago. When it was suppose to be ready, the waiter told me that it was ruined. He had forgot to take it out of the pizza oven. He told me that he was very sorry, and that if I could wait for 7 minutes, I would get the pizza for free, and that I would get coffee or coca-cola for free while waiting. I said that I would wait. I recieved the pizza, and it tasted awesome, and it was completely free. The waiter had turned a sad face into a happy one. Now, I tell all my friends about free pizza and the awesome experience.

Another time, another restaurant, but I still ordered pizza (surprise). Just after we got our food, my daughter spilled her Fanta. Everything. She started crying. The waiter helped us clean the table and the floor, but we had to pay for another Fanta. I’m not saying that my daughter should have received a free Fanta. But look at the two stories, do you see the differences? I continue to tell people about the first one, and the only reason I remember the one about the spilled Fanta, is because I’m still jogging and almost peeing my pants.

The passion

When I do things I love, I don’t think about eating, sleeping and peeing. The only thing on my mind is the one thing I’m passionate about, the one thing I’m doing at that moment. That’s what happened when I was playing Civilization.

That’s not what’s happening while jogging. My mind drifts, to places I haven’t been in a while.

I thought about this for the last five minutes, until I reached the house and did what was on my mind for the past 45 minutes. I’m not going to explain how it felt. But it was awesome.

While showering, I was thinking about the effect. I’m actually not sure, but I believe that not thinking about almost peeing my pants is a good thing, and that it means that I’m passionate about what I’m doing. And that we should all be looking to do activities where we forget about time and space, and all the necessary things we do every day. When we forget, that’s when we’re doing things we’re really passionate about.

We need to forget more often …

Photo: paukrus

35 responses to “How almost peeing my pants turned into a blessing in disguise”

  1. Gabriella - The Stepford Wife says:

    Ha ha, another great (and funny!) expereince about how one can have the mindset to do anything. πŸ™‚

    • jens says:

      Hi Gabriella,

      That’s right. We can do anything, even jog for 45 minutes without peeing, if we have the right mindset πŸ™‚

      Thanks a lot for your comment Gabriella.


  2. Shelley says:

    I don’t think I ever completely forget about eating, but you’re right about passion and engagement being so absorbing that we can almost forget about all of the mundane things. It certainly works for me to engage fully in something in order to escape any dark moments that could sabotage my generally positives. I think you have summed up the idea of Just F’ing Do It that is my motto or mindset. I rarely worry about what to do next; I just let myself wander in and out of things. That sounds like it wouldn’t lead to anything, but maybe because of years of discipline or accomplishing things I am now confident that if I just start doing something I’ll eventually end up 1) having fun and gaining energy, 2) I’ll start or make progress on or finish something that has business and/or commercial value or 3) I’ll learn something great. I have found that this letting things unfold attitude, similar to your jogging experience, always leads me somewhere great. And it leaves me with the feeling that there is always enough time to do whatever comes up because I don’t worry about what I’m actually doing so don’t feel interrupted when something else comes along. It is all about fulling committing… and then all of the other worries drop away, like the need to pee. Liked your metaphor!

    • jens says:

      Hi Shelley,

      You are absolutely right, having fun and gaining energy is very important. Maybe even the most important part of business. I think that, if we have fun (passion), everything else will be alright as well. We will make progress and learn something great. To me, passion is the key πŸ™‚

      Thanks a lot for your brilliant comment.


  3. Milena says:

    Brilliant… this reminds me of one particular day when I went 8 hours without having to pee! It was because I was having fun with friends, super focusing at the task at hand. Amazing what our bodies are capable of when our minds are focused.

    Cute fox btw πŸ™‚

    • jens says:

      Exactly. When we discover things like that, we also understand what passion is all about. Now, think about if we did this at work, wow, that would be amazing… that’s when we understand that we’re having an amazing time at work πŸ™‚

      Thanks a lot Milena, and I’m really glad you like the fox πŸ™‚


      • Milena says:

        Well now I have to ask you, do you think it’s possible to *always* feel engaged in your work, as long as it’s something that you love? Do *you* always feel engaged Jens? πŸ˜‰

  4. Mouh says:

    Now, this is a great post! I enjoyed it soooo much and I learned a lot from it! This is the first time I read something as informative and funny as this post.:D

    Thanks a lot.

    Take care.

    • jens says:

      Hey Mouh,

      Thanks a lot for stopping by. I’m really glad you like the post, I guarantee you that my next posts will be even funnier and more informative πŸ˜‰


  5. Kris Fields says:

    Heh. Awesome story. You really shouldn’t be holding it in so long though – it wouldn”t be very funny if you got a urinary tract infection.

    • jens says:

      Hi Kris,

      I usually don’t hod it that long. That was just this one time, well, not just this one time, but almost πŸ˜‰

      Thanks a lot for your feedback. Love it.


  6. Adrienne says:

    Another great story Jens…

    You know now that I think about it, you are so right. I may have at times needed to “go” but when I take my mind off of it and think about what I’m doing at the moment, the urge doesn’t seem as strong. Guess when you have your mind concentrating on what you are doing, nothing else seems to matter. Interesting point and once again, loved the analogy…

    Now, guess I’m going to have to listen to Dino’s interview. Bet that was a good one. He’s definitely an interesting guy!

    Thanks Jens and hope you are enjoying your day!


    • jens says:

      Hi Adrienne,

      Dino’s interview was awesome. So many excellent tips. I’m thinking about listening to it again. The only problem is that I still have more than 50 interviews to listen to at BlogCastFM and Srini keeps adding new ones as well πŸ™‚

      Lately, I’ve been looking for a mindset where I’m confident that I’m doing things I love. That’s why I wrote the post. For instance, I want this type of mindset when I’m writing the novel. I want the same feeling as when I was playing Civilization and my mind was all about the game.

      I’m really glad you’re back. Hope you had some wonderful time “off” πŸ™‚


  7. Eugene says:

    Haha. Brilliantly written. Funny stuff.

    I know exactly how you feel about getting immersed in something you are passionate about. Sometimes when I am working on something I get into a zone and just sit for hours doing what I’m doing. I guess I don’t even necessarily have to be passionate about it…I just get on a roll and keep working. And eventually hours and hours go by and I realize that I was hungry about 2 hours ago.

    …and at that point you probably don’t want to be around me because I get pretty cranky when I’m hungry.

    • jens says:

      Hey Eugene,

      I don’t get into a zone unless I’m passionate about what I’m doing. I wish I did. Work would be so much more fun if I did.

      You’re right. I don’t want to be around people wo get cranky πŸ˜‰

      Thanks a lot for your comment Eugene.


  8. Dino Dogan says:

    No wonder you have jog, you’re always eating pizza πŸ™‚

    • jens says:

      Yes, that’s exactly why I am jogging. No kidding. I jog so I can eat as much pizza as I’d like. To me, that’s a brilliant strategy. It works, since I have the best incentive to exercise πŸ™‚

  9. Carolyn says:

    Hi Jens, Another great post, I don’t know if I’m more impressed with your writing or your bodily self-control, lol! You’re right, getting your mind off of the situation is the best way to deal with these matters.

    Moreover, when you’re passionate about something, it is easy to lose all sense of time and place. Like when you’re eating pizza.

    Your pizza versus Fanta example was a great illustration of how giving the customer a little more than they bargained for is a great idea. I can imagine which pizza parlor is your favorite now!

    Thanks for another enlightening and entertaining post. πŸ™‚

    • jens says:

      Hi Carolyn,

      I bet you’re most impressed with my self-control. I can hold it for a very long time, 45 minutes is nothing πŸ™‚

      Next time, I’m going to be using other examples than pizza. I feel like all I’m writing about is about pizza. But that happens when I’m passionate about someting. Then, everything I do relates to pizza. It’s the first thing I think of when I wake up, and the last thing I think about when I go to bed (Just kidding) πŸ™‚

      Thanks a lot for another brilliant comment Carolyn.


  10. Ricardo NuΓ±ez says:

    Funny post. I do the same thing when I jog (not the peeing, but the mindset). If I said 20 minutes, I always do few more. Even if I’m struggling to finish, I always do some extra minutes. It’s all about the mindset and think that few extra few minutes will be really quick, it will not put me anymore tired and there’s more positive effects in my workout. That’s why in the marathon you always see the athletes struggling not too long after the race start, they hang in there and get into a rhythm. They reach the objective (reach the end of the race) and after that they can barely walk.

    • jens says:

      Hi Ric,

      I would never run a marathon. That’s the ultimate nightmare for me πŸ™‚

      But, I understand about the struggle and doing the extra miles and the extra minutes when it comes to working out. But, I would never doing anything close to a marathon πŸ™‚


      • Ricardo NuΓ±ez says:

        Me neither, was just an example. Just seeing the athletes that look agonizing the whole race make me tired πŸ˜€

  11. David says:

    Hello, everyone, I am David and I am relatively new to the internet and new to blogging. I find that bloggers are some of the most helpful and informative people anywhere. Blogs are where I get most of my information. Thank You for this post. I probably am in need of a mentor or a coach.

    • jens says:

      Hey David,

      You’re absolutely right bloggers are the most helpful and informative people on earth. Let me know what you need, πŸ™‚


  12. Mark Harai says:

    Jens, this was the funniest “almost peeing my pants” story I’ve ever heard : )

    It’s amazing what we can accomplish when we put our minds to work..

    I would write more, but all this talk about pee has gotten to me!

    I’ve got to go pee!

    Cheers Jens – funny ;P

    • jens says:

      Hey Mark,

      Wow, that’s a great compliment, since I know that you’ve read many “almost peeing my pants” stories πŸ™‚

      I have been thinking a lot about what we can accomplish if we just decide to do it. As you said in your latest post, it’s all about discipline. And I agree. That’s the only reason I accomplished to write a novel in 8 months. Discipline.

      Just got back home, after a nice cold swim in the ocean πŸ™‚

  13. Stuart says:

    Jens, whilst I applaud you for having the right mindset when it came to refusing to stop for a pee, I must ask: How on Earth did you survive playing Civilisation playing that long?

    It’s an awesome game, I admit. I was more of an Age of Empires man though, always loved the background music πŸ˜‰

    • jens says:

      Hey Stuart,

      At the time when I started playing Civilization, it was the best game I had ever played. I just couldn’t stop playing. Remember, this was in 1991, 1992 and 1993. I also played Age of Empires, probably just as much, but that was way later, 1997 and 1998 (games had developed a lot during those years) πŸ™‚

      But I remember Age of Empires as a fantastic game. I’ve stopped playing games, but I read that Civilization 5 was released last year. I almost bought it πŸ™‚


  14. Bill Dorman says:

    Ok Jens, I had to come by and say hello; I see us stepping over each other at a lot of the same place so I wanted to make the introducation before it became too awkward.

    It’s great you are taking some time off; I am just getting back from a wk at the beach in Florida. Of course, I live in Florida so it was only a 1 1/2 hr drive.

    I’m a runner as well and I know how sometimes if your mind gets fixated on something, the miles go by easier. I ran a marathon at Walt Disney World and about 15 mi in my toe was banging the toe box and I knew I would probably lose that toenail. However, it was my first marathon and what that little discomfort did was take my mind off the miles as I was nearing the end.

    Peeing? I don’t know how they do it in Norway, but when I was running the marathon people were just going to the side of the road (in the wooded areas) and just hiking up a pants leg and going; girls included and this was a race w/ appx 10,000 people.

    Good to see you Jens and only one word of caution, you really need to look out for that @Mark_Harai guy………..just sayin’………..nah, that guy is great. He is absolutely genuine and one of the most helpful, sharing people I’ve met in this crazy blogosphere.

    • jens says:

      Hi Bill,

      You beat me to it. I have seen you all over the place as well, and I should have approached you earlier. But thanks a lot for doing it.

      The weather where I live is awesome at the moment. It usually isn’t. It’s more like rain and windy. I have even been swimming in the ocean, although most people wouldn’t since it’s about 15 degrees Celsius πŸ™‚

      I can’t even imagine how great it is living in Florida. You probably have summer all year? Well, at least compared to what I am used to.

      It’s very interesting that you’re a runner. I started running about two years ago, and I have sort of hated running my whole life. But I had to find a way to exercise without having to travel or spend a lot of time. Running seemed to be perfect, and after starting from scratch, I run 3-4 times a week. I would never run a marathon. That’s just crazy πŸ™‚

      But it’s fascinating how you can run a marathon. To me it’s just unbelievable how you can run that far. And the peeing part. That’s just awesome. I understand how this can happen when you are competing. At that time we don’t think much about appearance do we. I have heard similar stories when it comes to cycling.

      And yes, Mark Harai is one of the most helpful guys I have met online. And by talking to him, I also imagine how it is to live on a beach in Costa Rica… I’m dreaming about a life like that πŸ™‚

      Thanks a lot for stopping by Bill. I’ll see you soon on your blog.


  15. joejoe says:

    Its really lovely that anytime i pop in to read your mail i get so exited and the vigor to be in the league of winners too.. you are really great and i will be glad just as always to read from you ..

    It’s soooo so amazing what one can accomplish when the mind is set up and dedicated to work.. Goo dose

    • jens says:

      Having the right mind set is very important, maybe even the most important part, no matter what we do. I’m just using some “silly” examples to illustrate the point πŸ™‚

      By the way, thanks a lot for the comment. I’m glad you like it.


  16. jens says:

    Yes, absolutely. Passion is very important, no matter what we do. No matter if it’s jogging or blogging or playing a video game πŸ™‚

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