Things I Have Done Right In My Life

Things I Have Done Right In My Life

Like most, I’ve spent a great deal of time and energy focussing on all the things that I’ve messed up in my life. I’ve made incredible mistakes and I’ve made them often. Some believe that failure, specifically failing fast is the key to greatness. I don’t think that’s always true. Sometimes we don’t know why we fail exactly. We may think it’s one thing and it could be that actually we did multiple things wrong. Therefore, learning from failures is possible, if you know the exact reason why you failed and don’t repeat the mistake. However, I would urge warning about focussing on or celebrating failures. Focusing on what you’ve done wrong can take you into a very dark place and keep you there for a long time- maybe permanently.

So, while it’s possible to learn from failure, I think it’s far more beneficial to take a look at what you’ve done right in your life. Making a list of your victories allows you to see if there are any patterns you can recognize and repeat. It’s also good to remember all that you are capable of and have achieved. Therefore, while I admittedly have been somewhat down after reflecting on all my failures and mistakes, I decided to write out a list of what I have done right. Your list will be very, very different, but for the purpose of transparency for this exercise, here is what I came up with:

I married the right woman
I dedicated myself to her
I’m obsessed with seeing her grow as a person
I had children with her
I’m dedicated to raising a family
I’ve taken big risks that have paid off
I’ve read at least two books a month for the last 10 years
I’ve met new people and treated them well so that my network has grown
I’ve traveled more than most
I’ve studied philosophy
I’ve studied biomechanics and biology and used them to build a business
I’ve written regularly to keep my communication skills sharp
I’ve stayed fit most of my life
I’ve stuck with things even when they were hard
I’ve quit certain things when I realized they didn’t work for my life
I’ve kept my mind open to new ideas

I’ve resolved disagreements quickly
I’ve reasoned with myself to change my state when needed
I’ve had confidence that I could make things work
I’ve enjoyed money, but saved it as well
I’ve thought of others’ perspectives in business
I’ve created things that others value
I’ve kept informed about events that affect me
I’ve been able to calm my mind when needed
I’ve been able to produce the energy to get things done
I’ve been obsessed with learning
I’ve been a person of character
I’ve given to others and charity

I’ve given my wife resources she needs to grow
I’ve valued her freedom
I went to college and graduated without debt
I kept my eye on work while attending college
I’ve seen the big picture without ignoring details
I’ve had incredible fun
I’ve invested money for the future
I’ve not let myself get too comfortable in life
I’ve focused on the good more than the bad
I’ve focused on what I can give rather than what I’m getting
I’ve cared about others and their needs without forgetting my own
I didn’t give up when diagnosed with a viscous disease
I’ve focused on building up my strength

What have you done right? I suggest you make a list of your victories. They will give you fuel and strength to power through the year. Take a few minutes and focus on how awesome you are!

In health,

Sean

20 Things You Must Try

20 Things Everyone Should Try:

Trying and experiencing new things is really what makes life incredible. While we all need some level of certainty in life, it’s the variety that truly makes it worth living. Here is a list of 20 things that I believe everyone should experience in their lifetime.

  1. Do some sort of physical challenge– marathon, obstacle course, Iron Man, fitness competition, bodybuilding or physique show. Test yourself at least once in your life. Who knows? You may fall in love with it. You will surely appreciate your body and what it is capable of.
  2. Learn to shoot a gun, bow, or crossbow. Marksmanship is a very useful skill and may come in handy one day. Target shooting is even an Olympic sport. It’s much more difficult than it looks and it may put your outside your comfort zone and force you to grow as a person.
  3. Visit a foreign country where your native language is not widely spoken. Learning how to communicate with others from a completely different culture is a very fun and exhilarating experience. It will surely make you grow as a person and expand your understanding and compassion for others.
  4. Learn to drive a car. This may seem obvious, but the most recent generation has the least percentage of licensed drivers than the previous ones. With Uber, Lyft and even self-driving cars all around now, don’t let yourself lose out on one of the most important rites of passage an adult can have.
  5. Meditate every day for a month. Great leaders, historical contemplatives, and many successful business people all have one thing in common- they have some sort of reflection ritual in which they allow themselves to detach from their thoughts and analyze what they’ve done and where they are going. Call it prayer, reflection, meditation- all of them are practices that force one to calm the mind. Numerous studies show the health benefits from meditation.
  6. Practice a martial art. Not only is it physically demanding, marital arts can be an incredible practice for self-confidence, strategy and resilience. Knowing how to defend yourself and others is also very useful.
  7. Fall in love. You may have yet to truly fall in love with another. I suggest you allow yourself to experience what it feels like to put another’s needs, desires and hopes before your own. Falling in love is the greatest feeling in the world and though a though a relationship may not work out, the capacity to love is a huge part of what makes us human.
  8. Join a social club or gym. Get out of your house and go to a place where like-minded people are doing what you are doing. You will meet new people, make new friends and though cooperation you may even achieve great things…together.
  9. Stay a night in a very fancy and expensive hotel. If you have never done this, you will be amazed at the level of attention to every possible detail associated with your experience. From the architecture to the customer service, to the bar, to the bathroom- everything is focused on you. Sometimes, that’s exactly what you need in life. Plus, you may meet exactly the right person you need in your life at that moment. You never know in a nice hotel.
  10. Get into a debate. How do you know what you believe is true or if it’s serving your well in life? You will only find out by having to defend those beliefs logically against someone else doing the same.   A healthy debate will sharpen your mind and increase your ability to communicate well with others.
  11. Take something that changes your mental state. It can be as simple as a glass of wine, a pre-workout drink or an herb…but… WARNING: don’t do something stupid or get addicted to something unhealthy or illegal. However, I believe it is very important to understand that there are different states of consciousness and how you act while experiencing them. Likewise it’s important to educate yourself on substances that alter your mental state and their effects on your body. More information is always better than ignorance. BE SMART!
  12. Perform for others on stage. I love the stage. I love delivering entertainment to others. This thought may scare you to death. Good. Get out of your comfort zone and experience what it’s like to perform on stage. You may love it. You may hate it. But hey, at least you did it.
  13. Hold a newborn baby. If you want an experience that takes your breath away and allows you to examine the beauty and fragility, hold a newborn baby and look into their eyes. It may be the most beautiful experience in your lifetime.
  14. Go to an art gallery. Experience the stories told by humans through their expression of making art. There is so much history, so much beauty, so much emotion. A good art gallery is an incredible adventure. Don’t miss out on it.
  15. Learn a choreographed dance. This is really just another way of making art, but the challenge of learning a dance is not only physical and mental, it can also be very emotional. It will give you a healthy respect for professional dancers and performers. Plus, it might be incredibly fun.
  16. Write a book, journal or blog. The written word is very powerful. It can be used to pass along stories, entertain and teach others, make something official- it is how many people best express their thoughts. Organizing your thoughts and writing them down makes the invisible visible- and that is something truly amazing.
  17. Start a side business or invest in a company. “Wages will make you a living. Profits will make you a fortune.” –Jim Rohn. Experiencing what it’s like to put your capital to use in the marketplace to deliver value to customers in the hope of returning a profit is probably the most stress-filled, anxiety-ridden experience you will ever face. There are so many variables. So many unknowns. So much riding on the line. I’ve heard that its like staring into a dark void and jumping in. But like Space Mountain in Disneyland, it’s the most exciting ride because it’s fast and you can’t see what’s coming. That’s the marketplace- and it’s responsible for nearly everything we have in our lives from food to technology.
  18. Give to charity. This is something that I feel has been somewhat overlooked in our society. Charity used to play a big part in communities, but now many look to the State to deliver services to the poor and disabled. They figure they are already being taxed for these services. While that may be true, I would argue there is nothing in life more satisfying that contributing beyond one’s self. Charity is an expression of your capacity to love others. It’s a vital part of our humanity.
  19. Handwrite a personal letter and mail it to someone. The handwritten letter, even the physical mail may seem out of style today, but I can assure you, there is something very, very special in receiving a handwritten letter from another. Try it. Though, if you haven’t physically written in a while, maybe work on your penmanship beforehand.
  20. Get a philosophy for your life. I believe how your life turns out has more to do with your personal philosophy than what happens externally to you. You may not be able to control external events, but having a strong personal philosophy will allow you to control what those things mean to you. Philosophy can help you understand yourself, others, history and the world around you. It can be used a set of rules for how to live and how to go after and get what you want in life. Think of philosophy as the set of the sail and you are the boat. Want to go further? You have to set a better sail, or refine your philosophy. Personally, I’ve been heavily influenced by the Stoics, Christian, Libertarians, Classic Liberalism, Austrian Economics, Humanism. I would say that from these schools of philosophy, I have developed my own philosophy- my own set of guidelines, rules and lenses for looking at the world and interpreting meaning. I can’t overstate the importance of having a strong philosophy in life. I will however offer a warning- test how useful your philosophy is by reflecting daily on your actions and thoughts. If you can sleep at night knowing that you have done your best to fill your potential and have not trampled the rights or property of others, your philosophy is likely working well for your. If not, it may be time to refine it. I personally have refined my philosophy at least 4 times in my life. I plan on doing it more as I grow as a person.

So there it is. 20 Things I believe every one who is capable should do. What’s on your list? Let me know. I’m curious to experience new things and grow!

 

In health,

Sean

What If (part 2)

What if the most important question you could ask yourself is, “could I be wrong about this?” What is that is the only way to properly analyze something and explore all possibilities? What if most people never do this? What if most people become polarized against others? What if most people want the same things in life? What if our ideologies prevented us from getting what we really want? What if some don’t know what they want in life? What if they feel hollow inside? What if their lives are filled with fear and anxiety? What if the only way to prevent this was to take control of your humanity?

What if you don’t know what humanity means? What if you are confused by what your purpose is? What if the answer was simple? What if all of our purpose is to embrace our consciousness? What if our true purpose was to attempt to fulfill our potential- whatever that may be? What if the hollow and empty feeling we get is because we are not living up to our potential? What if the cause of most anxiety and fear is really a disappointment in ourselves? What if, deep down, we always know the truth, but we hide it from the world? What if our ego is our greatest enemy? What if our desire to be liked by others is killing our humanity? What if the real secret is to like yourself first? What if we are not being our true selves and we are suffering the consequences internally? What if you and I could stamp out anxiety forever by playing full out each day? What if true success is in knowing that you did your absolute best? What if that is the first step in fulfilling your potential?

What if you are capable of much more than you even know? What if you could not fail? What would you do? What reasons do you have for not playing full out every day? What stories do you tell yourself that make you sick? What if those stories hold you back? What would have to happen to be proud of yourself at night? Who else do you want to make proud of you? What reasons do you have for wanting what you want? What if you started today? What if there is no tomorrow to get started? What if each day is a new chance at life? What would that mean to you? What’s holding you back? What if the only limits on your potential are the ones you create? What if you destroyed them?

 

What if?

Focus on the Details!

Be Detail Oriented
We live in a world where the culture tells us to focus on the big picture. “Don’t get bogged down in the details”, they say. “Don’t let yourself be victim to analysis paralysis- take action now.” Sure, this stuff sounds nice and certainly there are people who overthink much of their lives and never reach a level of satisfaction they are happy with. However, I believe being detail oriented is vital to thriving in our culture today. Too much focus on only the big picture leaves out the fact that all pictures are made up of tiny little details. All paintings are comprised of hundreds of brush strokes. All photos are made up of thousands of pixels. See, it’s the details that make up the Big Picture that we are told to focus on. So, this year I would like you to resolve to pay attention to the details, because everything relies on them.
Another word for details, in my opinion, should be fundamentals. Another synonym would be foundations. If we begin to see details as fundamentals or foundations for building something bigger, our focus becomes doing the best we possible can in the here and now, so that our future can be great. We should all be focused on the future, but the best way to do so is to make the most of the here and now. To play full out everyday. There’s an old saying, “If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing right.” I love to tell my staff this because it’s another way of saying that details matter. It’s the details that customers are willing to pay for. All luxury brands, hotels, resorts, theme parks and auto manufacturers focus on the details. They know the importance of detailed work. When your car is thoroughly cleaned by a professional, it’s called getting it detailed. Often, the very beauty of something lies in the details. So while they may seem boring, stupid and monotonous, details matter. They matter a great deal.
It’s unfortunate being detail focused is not valued more in the culture. Products are brought to market with major flaws and lack of attention to detail just so they can be first. Students come out of school without being able to utilize the language, spelling and grammar needed to communicate. As an employer, I cannot begin to tell you how many applications I see with poor grammar, misspellings and run on sentences. If a prospective employee cannot pay enough attention to detail to proofread an application, what am I, as an employer supposed to deduce as to how much value they can bring to the organization? I see so many businesses start and then fail quickly because there wasn’t enough attention to detail in the operations, management and systems from the outset. In fact, I would argue that most failures in business and otherwise occur because of many different details that were overlooked. Often, the exact details that were overlooked are unknown, which is why failure is not a great teacher in my opinion. Someone could have failed for five different reasons, but they believe it is only one, so they try again and fail again. More attention to detail from the outset could have prevented it.
Focussing on the details is really just another way of preparing for success. Before we go on a trip, what do most of us do? We make a list of details- things we might need for the trip. Confirming reservations, calling ahead, packing the right things, packing enough snacks and water, brining the right shoes- all of these actions are detail focused and they are vital. Being detail focused also applies to physical health. I believe the worst health and training advice comes in the from of being Big Picture focused. “Only take in so many calories a day.” “Walk at least 10,000 steps daily.” “Be active for 30 minutes for four days a week for good health.” If you hear someone preaching this, run the other way quickly. Details matter! What types of foods and calories? How fast should I be walking? Should I only be walking? What does being active mean? Should I only do cardio? Should I lift weights? Should I eat carbs? Should I avoid fat? The details underlying the answers to these questions are what is going to get you in incredible shape and health. Generalities are not enough for you this year. From health, to wealth to wisdom, get focused on the details and you will begin to see incredible results. I promise.

In health,

Sean