Today (Monday) I put all my work away and walked into the woods to get away from all the busyness and noise and really reflect on life for a change. What a good way to start your week. Over the past few years I’ve enjoyed the privilege of reading snippets of wisdom that my friends and colleagues have shared as they celebrate their birthdays and for once I want to do the same. It’s been one hell of a year! I’ve lived a lot and learned a lot and maybe, just maybe, some of my nuggets will prove beneficial to you. Here it goes: Life is meant to be shared. I’ve learned this one from so many angles this year it isn’t even funny. When I think about all my fondest memories, they involve others. Sure, I’ve enjoyed some pretty incredible stuff by my onesie but those memories don’t tend to stick out as much. Nowhere has this been truer in my life than in training for triathlon (and all the other endurance stuff I do). I’ve struggled more this year than ever with motivation and desire to train and it mostly boils down to training solo so much of the time (weird schedule over here). Community matters so much! There is a lot of joy to be found in time spent with others and I am trying to get back to that place in sport as well as in all other aspects of life. That being said, I encourage you to call some folks. Setup a workout together. Plan a dinner party. Do something. Be intentional - it’s pretty awesome. Play. Have Fun. Why so serious? I feel like it is so easy to get caught up in the fast flowing river of adulthood and forget that inside all of us is still a child at heart. This is the other piece I’ve struggled with this year - when training begins to feel like work instead of play (or stress relief) it turns into a grind. Do that for too long and it can really wear on you. Finding ways to play in all aspects of life is so crucial to living a full life and staying young. What has that looked like for me? Workouts without structure, long hikes, boat rides and playing games with friends. It’s not about the money. I mean it kind of is - you do need to survive, but ultimately pursuing money for the sake of money is the wrong way to go about life. Real and true meaning is found elsewhere. My sister-in-law once gave me some really great advice: “Pursue excellence in what you love and the money will come eventually.” Simple truth. Stated another way by my boy Macklemore: “Make the money, don’t let the money make you. Change the game, don’t let the game change you.” Everything changed for me when I stopped focusing so much on the numbers and just focused on being a better coach and loving what I do more and more every day. I get to change lives with what I do, I mean how awesome is that!? Saying “no” is okay and necessary. I already wrote on this one a bit in a separate blog post, but there is a lot of power in knowing your “why” and sticking to that vision. It’s the thing that excites you - that gets you out of bed in the morning. In a world full of options and distractions it is easier than ever to lose sight of your vision and say yes to too many “good things” that distract your from the great that you really should be chasing after. Tying back into the point above (because everything is a little bit connected) - saying no allows you to be intentional with the things and the people that really matter. Sometimes you just gotta say “yes” and see where things lead. This one might feel a little contradictory and well…tough cookies. It is my birthday after all ;) I operate pretty intuitively most of the time and there are times when you just have to listen to your gut and say yes. This year has been full of some of the best unexpected surprises from saying yes at the right time and leaning into it. There is a BIG difference between knowing something and (truly) believing it. I’ve seen this in my life and in others. It’s funny how much of a disconnect can exist between what you say, how you think and, ultimately, how you act. Often, if you stop for long enough to reflect on the actions you take versus the way to think and speak, you will be surprised to find that there are some underlying beliefs you have accepted without realizing it. These deep beliefs can really hold you back if you don’t take the time to dive in deep with them. To that end: Aim big. This is one I’ve just dug in on more recently. There is that old saying that “if you want something done right, do it yourself.” Well let me tell you something, you are one heck of a big bottleneck and if your dreams stop at you and your abilities, they’re way too small. It takes guts, a little bit of faith and a whole lot of trust in others to dream big and do big. I’m not there yet (at all) but awareness is the beginning of change. It’s okay to be scared. Without fear there wouldn’t be opportunities to be courageous…never beat yourself up for feeling scared. You’re human. If you don’t feel fear there is something wrong with you (seriously). Use it. Reframe it. Be brave. You are far more courageous than you know. What perhaps worries me more than fear itself is fear that we have but are unaware of. In a world where being busy and productive are so rewarded it is far too easy to lose touch with the small voices buried underneath the noise. The more silent fears, the hidden scripts that form the foundation of belief that we act from. Sometimes these more subtle fears (like the fear of failure, of no one wanting to hear what you have to say, etc.) are just beneath the surface but we are too busy to actually feel them and instead do everything we can to numb them away. Normal is lame. Be weird. Seriously. In a world that wants you to be vanilla, be different. Life is so short and you shouldn’t spend a second of it being anyone other than the awesomely unique person that you are, flaws and all. It takes a little courage, but dare to be authentic. Have a little whimsy. Mix in some moxy. It’s freeing and it empowers others to do the same. The world doesn’t need more vanilla, it needs more incredible, authentic, weird people doing great things. There’s some seriously dark stuff in the world. Be a light. Seriously. Take a deep breath and realize we all have our baggage. Meet the world with love and a smile. It goes a long way. Some day you may be the one struggling and a stranger’s smile may change your day. That’s it for now. There are more but these are the best. What about you? What are you learning? Leave a comment! We are all better when we learn together and sharpen each other.

Lessons from my 28th

Today (Monday) I put all my work away and walked into the woods to get away from all the busyness and noise and really reflect on life for a change. What a good way to start your week. Over the past few years I’ve enjoyed the privilege of reading snippets of wisdom that my friends and colleagues have shared as they celebrate their birthdays and for once I want to do the same. It’s been one hell of a year! I’ve lived a lot and learned a lot and maybe, just maybe, some of my nuggets will prove beneficial to you.Here it goes:

Life is meant to be shared.

I’ve learned this one from so many angles this year it isn’t even funny. When I think about all my fondest memories, they involve others. Sure, I’ve enjoyed some pretty incredible stuff by my onesie but those memories don’t tend to stick out as much.

Nowhere has this been truer in my life than in training for triathlon (and all the other endurance stuff I do). I’ve struggled more this year than ever with motivation and desire to train and it mostly boils down to training solo so much of the time (weird schedule over here). Community matters so much! There is a lot of joy to be found in time spent with others and I am trying to get back to that place in sport as well as in all other aspects of life.

That being said, I encourage you to call some folks. Setup a workout together. Plan a dinner party. Do something. Be intentional – it’s pretty awesome.

Play. Have Fun.

Why so serious? I feel like it is so easy to get caught up in the fast flowing river of adulthood and forget that inside all of us is still a child at heart. This is the other piece I’ve struggled with this year – when training begins to feel like work instead of play (or stress relief) it turns into a grind. Do that for too long and it can really wear on you. Finding ways to play in all aspects of life is so crucial to living a full life and staying young.

What has that looked like for me? Workouts without structure, long hikes, boat rides and playing games with friends.

It’s not about the money.

I mean it kind of is – you do need to survive, but ultimately pursuing money for the sake of money is the wrong way to go about life. Real and true meaning is found elsewhere. My sister-in-law once gave me some really great advice:

“Pursue excellence in what you love and the money will come eventually.”

Simple truth.

Stated another way by my boy Macklemore: “Make the money, don’t let the money make you. Change the game, don’t let the game change you.”

Everything changed for me when I stopped focusing so much on the numbers and just focused on being a better coach and loving what I do more and more every day. I get to change lives with what I do, I mean how awesome is that!?

Saying “no” is okay and necessary.

I already wrote on this one a bit in a separate blog post, but there is a lot of power in knowing your “why” and sticking to that vision. It’s the thing that excites you – that gets you out of bed in the morning. In a world full of options and distractions it is easier than ever to lose sight of your vision and say yes to too many “good things” that distract your from the great that you really should be chasing after.

Tying back into the point above (because everything is a little bit connected) – saying no allows you to be intentional with the things and the people that really matter.

Sometimes you just gotta say “yes” and see where things lead.

This one might feel a little contradictory and well…tough cookies. It is my birthday after all 😉 I operate pretty intuitively most of the time and there are times when you just have to listen to your gut and say yes. This year has been full of some of the best unexpected surprises from saying yes at the right time and leaning into it.

There is a BIG difference between knowing something and (truly) believing it.

I’ve seen this in my life and in others. It’s funny how much of a disconnect can exist between what you say, how you think and, ultimately, how you act. Often, if you stop for long enough to reflect on the actions you take versus the way to think and speak, you will be surprised to find that there are some underlying beliefs you have accepted without realizing it. These deep beliefs can really hold you back if you don’t take the time to dive in deep with them. To that end:

Aim big.

This is one I’ve just dug in on more recently. There is that old saying that “if you want something done right, do it yourself.” Well let me tell you something, you are one heck of a big bottleneck and if your dreams stop at you and your abilities, they’re way too small. It takes guts, a little bit of faith and a whole lot of trust in others to dream big and do big. I’m not there yet (at all) but awareness is the beginning of change.

It’s okay to be scared.

Without fear there wouldn’t be opportunities to be courageous…never beat yourself up for feeling scared. You’re human. If you don’t feel fear there is something wrong with you (seriously). Use it. Reframe it. Be brave. You are far more courageous than you know.

What perhaps worries me more than fear itself is fear that we have but are unaware of. In a world where being busy and productive are so rewarded it is far too easy to lose touch with the small voices buried underneath the noise. The more silent fears, the hidden scripts that form the foundation of belief that we act from. Sometimes these more subtle fears (like the fear of failure, of no one wanting to hear what you have to say, etc.) are just beneath the surface but we are too busy to actually feel them and instead do everything we can to numb them away.

Failure is necessary.

It builds grit. Grit is good. I wouldn’t change a single thing! The lessons learned from mistakes are invaluable.

Normal is lame. Be weird.

Seriously. In a world that wants you to be vanilla, be different. Life is so short and you shouldn’t spend a second of it being anyone other than the awesomely unique person that you are, flaws and all. It takes a little courage, but dare to be authentic. Have a little whimsy. Mix in some moxy. It’s freeing and it empowers others to do the same. The world doesn’t need more vanilla, it needs more incredible, authentic, weird people doing great things.

There’s some seriously dark stuff in the world. Be a light.

Seriously. Take a deep breath and realize we all have our baggage. Meet the world with love and a smile. It goes a long way. Some day you may be the one struggling and a stranger’s smile may change your day.

That’s it for now. There are more but these are the best. What about you? What are you learning? Leave a comment! We are all better when we learn together and sharpen each other.