Life Altering Wisdom (“If something is important, do it every day”) – Part 3

Find Part 1 and Part 2 of this 27 part series by clicking the one you’ve not indulged in yet.

In continuing with the 25 part list found in Part 1 I chose to ask a few people close to me which topic was of most interest. To my interest these people chose #20: Taking Risks. I hope you’ll come to see by the end of this little scribble that if you’re enticed by the idea of taking risks in your life, then quite simply: you’re not taking enough of them to equate to the happiness life can bring you.

I could end this rant there but let me continue…

We’ve all taken risks in our lives. Hell, every decision or change of direction in life is a risk. I take risks every day, some much larger than others. I choose to write every day. Sometimes in the personal scribble or poems that become a marker of my life. I don’t share them (I don’t hide them either; I’m just never asked) but the point is that taking a thought from inside of your head or heart and putting it to paper is a risk. It becomes much more real. We all know people who refuse to share their feelings and thoughts and guess what, we usually pity them for their fear. I choose whom I’m going to spend my time with each day; that’s a risk as I’m literally trading my life’s time to be spent on you. I’m in a committed relationship which I invest a great deal into. I don’t own that person so therefore without any just cause or injustice on my part she could decide one day that I’m not her cup of tea anymore and up and leave. That’s a risk I’m happy to take. I choose to exercise in a manner that could cause me serious injury one day. But I like intense, purposeful exercise. It’s a risk I accept. See the theme here?

Take a moment: what risks are you taking right now? Do you take them on willingly or perhaps out of habit? Do you evaluate which risks are worth the life you’re trying to live?

Things that make you go hmmmmmm…

5 years ago I made the decision that the corporate business (in this case, insurance) world was simply not for me. But what would I do? Would I go back to school? Would I use my office based skill sets for something else? Would I finally hear my friends and co-workers telling me to go do what I was most passionate about: fitness and teaching it to others? I had the kushiest job. Seriously. I was 25, making $40K a year in a union based company where no one ever lost their job and the top available salaries were upwards of $70K/year. I was working in downtown Vancouver, on the 18th floor of the Harbour Centre with a desk that literally was in front of a giant window that overlooked all of North Vancouver, Canada Place, the seabus, heliport, cruise ship dock and gorgeous mountains. My boss was a good woman. My co-workers were good to me. There was a home for me if I wanted it. But I chose to throw caution to the wind  and up and quit my job. I was gonna do this personal trainer thing. Let me tell you, I was in for a shock. The hours are horrid (needing to be at work at 5:30am and sometimes back at work until 11pm), the pay was shit (about $20 for an hour’s work; keep in mind that it takes at least an additional hour of other work to perform that one session), the environment was overly salesy which I hate; oh and my first year I took a pay cut from that $40k/year salary to a T4 that told me I made a whopping $17K the following full year in personal training. What the hell was I thinking? I could go on, but the point is the change, the risk, the difficulties that come with owning one’s own business and being a one-man show are not as easy as I make it seem. But I LOVE what I do every day. I LOVE my life. I LOVE who I am and how I’m trusted and able to help others reach their personal goals. It’s an honor.

I had a client a few years back now and I remember distinctly a conversation that went like this. You would be wise to pay attention:

She was working full-time and to complete her degree and further her career she was facing the decision of quitting her full-time job, losing all her income (with very little savings) and going to school full-time versus the part-time she was currently doing. That’s a tough decision as is. To add to it she was about 100lbs overweight. I’d been training her for quite some time, on and off and she roller-coastered from losing 25lbs to gaining it back and more, to losing it and then gaining back even more. It was a nasty cycle. So while she was deciding whether quitting her job was the right choice or whether she should focus on her health, lose the weight and save more money by working for the next year, I had a strong feeling this was one of those life-altering forks in the road. I told her, in my opinion, that once she was in school, with no income that she would then become uber stressed, become unable to pay for personal training which she needed as she could not motivate herself to workout regularly and most likely she would remain the unhealthy weight she was for a much longer time if she chose the career first. It’s not my life, I just foresaw what was going to happen. I’ve not spoken with her in a while but I’m going to assume that her weight and health have not changed markedly for the positive and it leaves me with the question of what if she’d risked taking one year out of her career life to focus on something that would define a great deal more in her life.

Another story: I have a good buddy. I’ve known him for about 3 years. One thing that stuck with me about him was a conversation him and I first had about how he desired to own his own business one day. He wasn’t sure what, but he just knew he wanted to be his own boss and be successful in that way. Now I’ve watched him make some grand personal discoveries and change as all young men inevitably do between 25 and 35, but lately I see something more: an uneasiness; an unhappiness that’s deep seeded in the lack of risks he takes to reach his goals. He’s no closer today than he was 3 years ago to that original goal. He’s been spinning his wheels for far too long. I do my best to converse with him and be honest and frank about the subject but we each change in our own time. The point is, his meandering back and forth, being indecisive about which risk to take has led to a complete lack of action, anxiety, unhappiness, a boredom with life all in a dude who’s a great character; you know, the type that’s interesting, decent and you just wanna see happy.

So let me ask you this:

How many years will you waste by not risking it all? 

More importantly do you see risk as opportunity for success and joy? Do you have more regrets in life than you do points of pride?

Will you find the risk presented in every day and discover the way it could mold your life into every dream you ever saw for yourself?

Funny, ‘cuz we’ve all heard the story of Humpty Dumpty; will anyone hear your life story?

This entry was posted in OPINION.

11 comments on “Life Altering Wisdom (“If something is important, do it every day”) – Part 3

  1. Manfred Hartmann says:

    Pretty heavy topic for ‘hump day.’ but what a great message. Kind of helps to redefine what’s important in our lives. We are on different ends of the employment spectrum, you and I. I can safely and comfortably retire with full pension in 1 year. Yes, in 2 months I can hang ’em up. Do I want to? Am I ready? Do I ‘need’ to retire, or do I need another challenge, or risk? I’m not ready to answer that yet. I (we) are making some changes we see that are important in our lives. Being as active as we are( we want to be and have been)in our professional lives and recreational lives, you have given us some additional tools (habits of mind- and our individual workouts) to help us to find balance and energy. Just yesterday, I got an email from a paddling team mate, who asked me to join him doing the MOMAR (Mind Over Mountain Adventure Race) It’s a risk, and one which I feel I can prepare for and complete. Thanks Adrian.

    • Adrian Crowe says:

      You think this one’s heavy wait till I drop the Flush The Toilet and the “Don’t Forget The Girl” blogs!!

      What an incredible comment Fred! I appreciate your wisdom. Us young folks may get told what to do a lot (which goes right out the other ear) but sincere experience, especially in life decisions like you talk about (retirement, physical challenges, etc) is really what we need to hear.

      Thanks for the share!!

  2. Tammy Hartmann says:

    Hi Adrian,
    Ah, risk. I thoroughly enjoyed this entry. Interesting topic. There are times when I DO takes risks–throw caution to the wind–and other times I am uber cautious. In my professional life, I often takes risks, but I try and make sure they are ‘healthy’ and for the most part, ‘calculated’ risks. Unlike my husband (above) stated, we recently have embarked on a new journey with you–which he really had to talk me in to, because I was worried about the cost–I ALWAYS worry about cost. But, I think it was one of the best decisions we have made. Yesterday I felt like crap; I’ve been fighting this cold thing for a couple of weeks and I was totally bummed out because I knew I wasn’t up to working out. I decided to lay low and get some extra rest. I fully expected to wake up feeling worse–nope. I think that working with you these past six weeks has given me some clarity and focus in terms of what is really important. Both Fred and I share the same value of working hard on being physically active and want to be able to do so when we are 85, but you have helped me take that idea to a whole new level. Having goals and taking risks (I have never before done much weight training–not with a personal trainer anyway)–but I have noticed a difference already. Mostly, I notice how much better I feel. It feels good to know that I am focusing on something that is important and that is for ME. I spend so much time in my work taking care of everybody else (Elementary Vice Principal at very needy inner-city school), that sometimes, there is little time left over for me. Even though I have been very active all my life, at times it is easy to get into a rut and do the same ol’ things. I am looking forward to seeing where the journey leads me and want to thank you for your guidance, your encouragement, and most of all, your positive ‘can do’ attitude. I have passed along many of your emails to colleagues and friends and really do hope you get at least a few referrals. Thank you for all the writing and research you do that helps me to stay informed. I always look forward to seeing your email address in my in box. 🙂

  3. Nicky Scalzo says:

    Hi there, I just wanted to tell you, you’re dead wrong. Your article doesn’t make any sense.

  4. Cora says:

    Hi there, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was just wondering if you get a lot of spam remarks? If so how do you prevent it, any plugin or anything you can suggest? I get so much lately it’s driving me mad so any help is very much appreciated.

    • Adrian Crowe says:

      WordPress does a good job for me with spam comments. I have been getting a lot more than usual these past few weeks as well but my traffic has also gone way up. The only thing I’m aware you can do to slow it down is ensure that all comments must have your approval before posting. At least then it’s an easy skim of what’s clearly spam and what’s valid before approving/replying. Hope that helps a little.

  5. […] I am convinced that all of us have one major “flaw” or thing we do that ruins 80% of our lives’ goals and dreams. If we could “fix” that one thing, we would quite simply improve 80% of what we don’t accomplish, what we procrastinate and we’d make better choices. Think about it…what’s that one thing for you? It could be your crappy eating. It could be your pessimism. It could be your lack of exercise. It could be your indecisiveness or fear of risk. […]

  6. Excellent blog you’ve got here.. It’s hard to find quality writing like
    yours these days. I truly appreciate people like you!
    Take care!!

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