What’s on your list?
“Coming up with the list is the easy part, but ticking off the list is the challenge. I love a good challenge, which is why I strongly advise everyone to come up with a bucket list. It doesn’t have to contain out of this world tasks (although going to space is on mine). But once you have written down the list, screw it, just do it!”– Sir Richard Branson
Words have power. The power to shape lives, the power to alter destinies. Often the things we say to others live on long after we have said them, or forgotten that we said them in the first place. When I was in college, a well-timed conversation with a professor altered my entire life by his simply convincing me to sign up for a class I was intending to skip. That class was The Bible as Literature, and I became a Christian as a result. Years later when I was in a dark place after a personal setback, another caring friend took time to offer sage advice and words of wisdom. Once again a well-timed conversation was enough to provide the fuel needed to ‘keep me in the race’ when I was ‘Running on Empty‘.
“The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do.” –Kobe Bryant
Just as I owe a lot to that college professor Steve Miller, I owe an equal if not greater debt to my very good friend Lawrence M. Schoen for saying what I needed to hear when I needed to hear it. I spoke with Lawrence on the phone two weeks ago, and he called me an ‘inspiration’ because of my ongoing marathon training. I found this very ironic. Lawrence is currently undergoing chemotherapy for multiple myeloma and is in isolation in a hospital cancer ward. He remains upbeat and positive despite unimaginable pain and suffering as he fights to beat this terrible illness. That outshines any source of inspiration I can provide. I wish I had half his strength, and I pray for him every day as he battles this cancer.
“Live life , live life like you’re gonna die, because you’re gonna…” – William Shatner
Life is not fair, and there are no guarantees. Whatever life tosses at you, you must face it head on, with gusto! Everyone of us is dying, but few choose to ‘live’ life, choosing instead to merely exist. In the 2007 movie The Bucket List, two men from very different walks of life meet in a cancer ward. Jack Nicholson plays Billionaire Edward Cole, and scholarly auto-mechanic Carter Chambers is played by Morgan Freeman. An unlikely friendship blossoms between the two dying men as they set out to fulfill a joint bucket list. This fictional story has its fair share of both funny and sad moments, and if you haven’t watched the film I recommend it.
Bucket lists are supposed to be filled with important life goals one wishes to fulfill before they ‘kick the bucket’, an old slang term meaning to die. Unfortunately many people never pursue these goals, instead choosing to live a bland existence discussing pipe dreams that they will do ‘someday’. ‘Someday’ has a nasty habit of becoming NEVER very fast. Today is the first day of the rest of your life, so TODAY is the day you need to live for. Goals are always worth striving for, but they don’t just happen. They take work and time. They take planning and persistence. They take dedication and resources!
Everyone of us gets the same 24hr day to live everyday with only two exceptions, they day we are born and the day we die. Every day we waste is a day we will never get back, and no person on Earth knows how many days we have. Only God has that answer.
If you are serious about achieving your goals in life, you only need the same three resources I have been stressing to you.
Your health is your wealth and your wealth is your health. Those two are intertwined. Knowledge takes time to accumulate, but once again the billionaire and the beggar were both born with exactly the same amount of knowledge. If you wish to do something, you need to learn everything about it that you possibly can, correct information from trusted sources. Your life and the choices you make are ultimately up to you. Some goals are individual ones, some require teamwork and the correct partners.
Set goals, and avoid the negative!
My personal goal for 2020 is to run my first marathon in November in Philadelphia. Today February 9th, 2020 I will be running my second 10K race of the year. My goal for today is beat last month’s time. I will be trying out my new Mud Gear runner’s compression socks. I started running in 2019 and my first race ever was a 5K last April 28th. I studied the literature on running, I trained in the gym beforehand, I got sage advice from wise council. My goal then was to finish that race, hopefully not last. Last year I was DFL (last) only ONCE when I ran my first 15K. Last year I ran a dozen races, the two longest were both half-marathons in the Fall. I completed every race I ran. This year I have a total of 23 races, and the longest will be my first marathon. My goals for 2021 are even more ambitious. The point is you have to start out small, take baby-steps, and work your way up to bigger and better goals. If I would have started my first race ever as a full marathon with no preparation what-so-ever , I would probably would have landed myself in the hospital, or worse, the grave. If the plan to achieve the goal isn’t working, you change the plan, NOT the goal. And when you reach your goal, you don’t stop. You set a bigger and better goal. You keep putting drops in the bucket one by one until you fill the bucket!
Worrying about what could go wrong is often the fastest way to kill a dream. You will never be able to live a positive life with a negative mind. Negativity is a life-sucker! That which you manifest is before you, so seek out positive sources of inspiration.
The man who first started the running and jogging craze in the USA was James F Fixx, author of the 1977 best-selling book, The Complete Book of Running. Seven years later he died of a heart attack while jogging on July 20th, 1984. He was 52. Guess what? I know lots of runners older than him who are still running, including my friend Bruce who is 76, has a replacement knee, and is still running half-marathons. There are no guarantees in life! Kobe Bryant was 41 when he died last month in a helicopter crash only 100 feet from clear skies. If you worry about dying all the time, you are not living. You are living life when you are outside of your comfort zone. A comfort zone is a nice place, but nothing grows there. So go all out and live your life to the fullest! Make the most of every minute and remember that every second is precious! As always, I wish you success and happiness!