It is easy to fall into an easy groove as anyone, but especially as a family man. Go to job. Work out. Mow lawn. Help get kids fed/watered/to sports. Read newspaper/Facebook/blogs. Watch TV. Go to bed. Have occasional maintenance sex with your spouse. Repeat.
Maybe this is calming and satisfies that laziness that lies within all of us.
This behavior isn’t exciting nor does it inspire the soul.
It’s not what dreams are made of, nor inspirational to the next generation, nor what wets your wife’s panties. It is simply living, and a bland existence at that. I’ve seen my dad live most of his life like that. I’ve fallen into that trap at various times in my life, until that feeling that excitement is needed becomes too unbearable to resist anymore and then action re-ensues.
I look back on the various touchstones of my life, and who I am as a person, and every one of those building blocks came after facing my fears and to keep coming back to the trough even against that voice in my head that was scared. Jumping out of planes solo on a static line progression training course never really got easier for me. I was nervous before every single BJJ and Judo class I did over several years. The first triathlon I did I practically hyperventilated at the start of the swim and had to backstroke as I calmed myself down a little. Going to guitar lessons was intimidating as I was taking lessons from local musician who was in a band I loved, but not as intimidating as walking in front of family and friends and my soon-to-be-wife at our rehearsal dinner doing a solo guitar/vocal effort on a song I wrote. Pressing “publish” on my book was one of the scariest things in my life. Trying the 10-second kiss, or shower pass through, or a new toy to spice things up were just nerve-wracking on how you think they might go over, but like the rest – you just jump and hope it goes well. And you know what? You will live even if you bomb. And for a moment, in the adrenaline and uncertainty, you really are truly living…you aren’t bland but something truly colorful because you are out on a tight rope.
When you put yourself out into a place where you are uncomfortable, you grow. You may succeed. You may fail, but at least you didn’t sit on the sidelines watching everyone else experiment and continue to become a more flavorful creation of themselves. And you’re never too old. My aforementioned father started running for the first time at probably 60 years old. He now regularly does half-marathons. Not fast necessarily, but he needed something to try and keep his mind and body spirited, and that is what he settled on. My wife has been the instigator of doing scary (at least to me) new stuff and rarely sits idle. She walked on in college in a sport she never participated in and became a scholarship-earning letter winner (at a D1 school). She participated on a women’s cycling team for awhile, and threw down at Crossfit competitions, sold jewelry at craft fairs, and is constantly challenging me by her behavior. Lately she’s been listening to The Side Hustle Show, and is beginning some new initiatives.
Facing your fears and starting out as a beginner never gets easier. We are all insecure and quieting the egoic mind and being humble when you know you suck is one of the most difficult things we can do. And it’s not a surprise that the most successful people are those that keep coming back for a whipping knowing that with time they’ll get better. As they say,
A black belt is just a white belt that never quit.
What that thing is, from bedroom to boardroom, doesn’t matter. What matters is with practice and continued conquering those demons, you will get better despite yourself.
So the question for you, my fellow brothers (and sisters) is:
What is really stopping you from swinging that bat and bringing some substance and spice back into your life?
Excuses are usually flimsy. They are obstacles to separate the weak from the strong. Most of our mindsets are filled with excuses and limiting beliefs, but what separate the average person from those who are most happy and most successful is they fight through those excuses and say “fuck you” to those limiting beliefs. They find ways to challenge themselves in new ways, maybe bettering themselves, maybe bettering those around them, but not being afraid to try something new. To set an example for their kids or surprise their wife with something she didn’t know you had in you. Maybe that’s the final night at an improv class where they let people watch. Maybe it’s running for a city council position. Maybe it’s doing open mic night at the local stand-up place. Maybe it’s organizing a charity fundraiser. Maybe it’s simply using your weight lifting knowledge to train your neighbor and helping them getting back into shape (you learn a lot about what you know or don’t by coaching, and helps you become better as well).
The point is, spring time is nearly here, and it is a time of rebirth and new beginnings. Take a shot at a side hustle or springboard into something you’ve always wanted to try, like a jump to conclusions mat.
To live the life of your dreams, you need to live as-if it is already here, which means starting somewhere. Starting today.
If you feel nervous or afraid, you’re on the right path.