As I’ve leveled up in age, (yes, I said leveled up, not growing older – I don’t believe we grow older, I believe we level up) I’ve come to a realization that life is short, and it goes by really, really fast. Once I realized this, I felt like I was in a RUSH to enjoy every single moment of my life. All of a sudden my time became so valuable – I valued my time more than anything else in the world. Every moment became sweeter, every relationship became more cherished, and the fear of vulnerability slowly started to dissipate. I also became “selfish” in a sense, and wasn’t afraid to tell people NO. If it didn’t give me butterflies, challenge me, or help elevate me in some way, shape or form, then I had absolutely no hesitation in saying no or getting rid of it. It was then that I created my motto…can we hash tag this? #MOTTO…much better. I began living with this saying, and I say it so passionately:
DO THINGS WITH PASSION – if you’re not passionate about them, walk away.
If you don’t say “HECK YEAH”, then you’re doing yourself an injustice. You end up spending valuable time on something you aren’t passionate about, and it shows. You aren’t living to your full capacity, your energy levels are affected, life is passing you by and the people in your life feel it. If it’s a job, your coworkers don’t find it a pleasure being around you, if its in a relationship, your partner takes the brunt of it, but the most important of all is YOU – you’re selling yourself short. You end up being Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh – and Tigger’s life IS way more fun.
Walking away from being a full-time athlete was one of the most difficult decisions of my life. I went through a huge growth period filled with a tremendous amount of tears, anxiety, confusion and loss of direction. It was the only thing that made me say “HELL YEAH” and nothing was able to replace that feeling. There’s nothing quite like the years of blood, sweat and tears that go into achieving a goal that the doubters didn’t believe and sometimes you didn’t even believe. I’ve always heard about professional athletes who fall into depression once they retire, and I never envisioned myself being that person – and there I was – trying to figure out my purpose in life.
Without going into ridiculous amounts of boring details about how I gained some clarity, I’m going to leave you with the 3 most important things I apply to my life – and I (usually) don’t compromise.
1) FIND A JOB YOU LOVE. We have to pay our bills – it’s just the reality of life. Your job is where you spend the majority of your life. I think we all at some point have thought about running away to an island, being a caveman or cavewoman and hunting our food. (Or maybe I’m the only one who has thought about this) Everything you want is on the other side of fear. If leavin’ comfort and pursuing something you loves scares you, then GOOD, it means you’re headed in the right direction. I’ve spent many years trying to figure this out – I even thought about stepping away from the fitness industry, and I was miserable. I ended up right back in an environment that makes me say “HELL YEAH” – and that’s coaching people and impacting people’S lives.
2) DON’T BE AFRAID TO SAY NO. There’s nothing glorifying about saying yes to everything and everybody and feeling as though you have nothing left for yourself. You can’t give from an empty cup but you can give whole-heartedly from your overflow. Always make sure you’re doing what you want and love. I used to always say yes – even when I didn’t want to. It resulted in some failed friendships because I would then resent the person I said yes to, my presence and energy were terrible, and I wasn’t fun to be around. Make sure if you say YES, it’s a “HECK YEAH”, as opposed to a “yeah sure I’ll do that.” When you choose something, there’s so much more power in that. If you choose something, and it ends up being something you didn’t like, its so much easier to deal with the consequences of your choice because its nobody else’s fault. YOU chose it. Choice – that’s the best.
3) TRAVEL OFTEN. Get lost, deal with adversity and GROW. Learn cultures, meet people and see beautiful things. Unplug from the real world, turn off your phone, DON’T CHECK EMAILS. It’s what life is all about. I can honestly say that because I’ve traveled to so many different places, I’m more cultured, more accepting, and more open to everything. Work hard, and then play hard. If I were to compare my personality to a sport, it would be track and field – and I wouldn’t be the long distance athlete. I’m like the dog from the movie “UP”…SQUIRREL! It’s not that I get tired, it’s just that I get bored. I am the 100m and 200m athlete – I like to go really hard for short periods of time, and then breathe. I can work ridiculously hard for a few months, knowing that I have some time to unplug and unwind. It keeps you fresh; it gets you back in touch with life, and allows you to appreciate the things that really matter in life.
Through my adversity, my mistakes, and my “get back ups” – I realized the hings that are most important to me. My values and morals became clear, I became more “laid back” and I realized that things we make a big deal out of aren’t really THAT important in the grand scheme of things. I leave you with this – take a look at certain areas of your life. Is it a relationship? Your job? Where you’re living? Does it make you say “HECK YEAH!!”? – if not, start exploring options to change it…and if you’re brave – just run towards what makes you happy, right away. It isn’t the most enjoyable ride, but the pay off will be worth it. DO all things with PASSION, and if you don’t die, you only grow stronger!