I’m reading a cool book by James Altucher called “Choose Yourself”. It’s a bit intense and quite “raw”, but it strikes a chord with me. The premise (I’m about 6 chapters in) is something like this: Most people go through life living up to the expectations of others. Most people have long ago checked out and are unconsciously drifting through life. Most people are merely trying to please others so as to not “rock the boat” or cause disagreement. Yet the only person that is guaranteed to be able to look out for your best interest is you. You are the only one who can decide what is truly best for you. And you are the only one that can design a life that you can be passionate about and proud of.
Now don’t get me wrong. This is not about being selfish. It’s not about putting “you” first and neglecting those that you love. Quite frankly, for many, choosing yourself I believe means making your family, your friends, your staff, and your community your main priority. But it must be a conscious choice.
In my work I also continually see people – men mostly – that have given up on their dreams and their passions. As you’ll read about in the coming months and years, I’m creating some really exciting projects that combine running and adventure with designing a life that my clients are passionate about. As I’ve described some of my projects to folks, I’ve routinely heard “That sounds fun but I’m far too busy to do that. What with my busy job and soccer games and all… I could never train for something like that.” Now, if a given project isn’t exciting or motivating, then fine. But I see many who have that distant yearning to go do something remarkable, but have given up on the dreams that they once had.
Why I’m creating these projects (see MdS and Project: Unknown tabs on this website) is to provide a blank canvas for some adventurous souls to break out of the mold and create a new chapter in their lives. For some, it may include dramatic changes in their lives. (Answering the question “What am I tolerating in my life?” is often a good starting point). For others, it will be a way to set some stretch goals and find ways to shift some things in their lives to make them a reality (some may join me on the trails at 8pm after the kids are down, headlights blaring, to get a long run in for the week). My work will challenge our assumptions about what is possible. Not just in the physical, “how far can I run” perspective, but in the “what can I really create in my life” way as well.
These projects are not for everyone – far from it. Regardless, I encourage you to think about where you are living your life for the expectations of others. On the flipside, if you were to “choose yourself”, what would you commit to? There are no right or wrong answers – that’s the coolest part. For each of us, it looks very different. The key is that each of us live life very consciously and purposely. And with a deep passion!