I love being alive. I don’t want to die. I want to live as long as possible, develop amazing relationships and maintain the highest level of health possible for as long as I’m alive. I want to explore life’s possibilities and become the best version of myself possible. I want to inspire and give my love to those around me. But maybe that’s just a dream. You know what makes me afraid and fills me with great sadness? I’ll paint the picture.
I imagine the moment I realize I’m dying and there’s no turning back. I have total mental clarity of my position. My life is flashing through my eyes. I see an awesome childhood, loving parents and great friends…and then I grow older. I go to school, get a job and do exactly what’s expected of me. I find a wife, maybe have children and work hard everyday for 40 years. I work to support someone’s dreams so I can get a paycheck in hopes of retiring when I’m old but still relatively healthy. I take a week of vacation every five years when I can afford it. Being able to save and retire with a pension is an old dream unlikely to happen for my generation. So I work part time even into my 70s. I retire when I’m simply too old to work. As I feel my body start to shut down a questions passes through my head. How much more fulfillment could I have got out of life….how many more people could I have helped…how many more lives could I have touched….had I sought each day to be my best instead of good enough?
Society sets low expectations of us. There exists little outward drive to spark the inner flame that powers a thirst for personal development. I’m talking the work that’s unexpected of us. That work which happens outside of traditional schooling or your job. Those who are most successful and achieve the biggest goals are those who do the work not expected of them. They go above and beyond what society asks of us. When one sets alight the flame on a quest to personal development it can lead to a volcano of accomplishments that were once not just unlikely but maybe impossible. This is a fact that can be quantified.
When you study the best of the best at anything you can see one striking trend: A person’s accomplishments rarely accede their level of personal development. I’ll repeat that because it’s the foundation for every future success you might have. A person’s accomplishments rarely accedes their level of personal development. Most real personal development must happen outside of school because school is designed to help you be average. It is designed to teach you how to gain entry into a job where you can do what’s expected of you. I’m not saying don’t go to school, but I’m saying be aware of what it is and isn’t. To me true education starts when you are hungry to become more and better yourself, not just learning what’s expected to pass a test. After high school I spent two years in college. I took a number of business classes along the way. Today I hardly remember any of the specifics just general ideas. School helps me gain perspective, but when it comes to deep diving into how to be successful and be my best it was completely lackluster.
Thankfully, I had the curiosity to read a few books on personal development at a young age. It was this quest for knowledge that led me to my first book on fitness. This was the spark that led me to spend hours every week studying fitness. I’ve built a decent body I’m proud of after training seriously for over three years. It is not chance, but the seven years worth of personal development through studying fitness, motivation and nutrition that made it possible. It is also why I am totally confident I will continue to take my body to new levels in the coming years. My level of success matches my level of ongoing personal development.
So you want to live an awesome life and have a great body? Then you need to seek those who are doing what you already want. It’s quite simple. The answers are already out there. You need to ask who has them. Sometimes you can’t meet a person in real life. That’s why there’s books. The best resource possible and the second best option to having a real life mentor. I love the idea that failure is a powerful tool to success. Even better is to cut your failures and learning curve in half by reaching out and emulating those more successful and living the lifestyle you want. Am I better off going to business school taught by a professor who has probably never run a business before or going out into my local community and seeking a mentor who currently runs a successful business? The first will help me get a degree. The second will likely give me the exact principles needed to become successful. The same thing goes with working out. Would you trust a trainer who has an average body or would you trust someone who has a lifestyle and body you want to emulate? Find the people doing what you want to be doing and cut your learning curve in half. Simple.
When you live a life designed to create your own destiny because you focused on personal development something funny happens. You become the best player at the game of life. When you stay consistent you will blow other people out of the water. Remember, the average person stops when the road become difficult or uncomfortable. When you stand strong in the face of adversity and realize it is your own intelligence that can get your through any challenge you can grow incredibly confident. And you learn to harness your own intelligence through personal development. By continually working towards your dreams you are not surviving but living.
Everyday I look around and I see survivors. People who give their dreams up to make ends meet instead of taking time to improve themselves and build a better, happier life. To me that is already being dead. When you not just admit but take action towards following greater potential can you start to live for yourself. A life spent pleasing the gate keepers or those who control our level of achievement and position in life is a life of missed potential. You must become the champion of your own life. You are your own hero. You are the one who can save you. The answers are out there, you just have to seek them. Continually improve and you can grow strong beyond measure. You can reinvent your own identity and be someone who others envy. The best service you can do to those around you is how you live your own life.
To be blunt, sometimes we die. On this road you may not make it as long as you hoped. But I will never fear death if I know I’ve made each day my own and enjoyed life to the fullest. And it all starts with personal development. Whatever happens, happens. In the mean time I will stand tall and cherish the possibilities each day brings until I am no longer standing. Someday I will die. I may not control that day but I control the time in between. I intend to make that time count. I refuse to life a life of regrets. That is how I will never fear death.