Refuse to live a life of expectation

As I sit here with a big mug of green tea listening to the rain pound relentlessly at my window, I cannot seem to wipe the smile off my face.

Today was a great day, an incredible day even, and in all truthfulness nothing ‘happened’ to me.. it was what happened around me.

It started off like most Mondays.. trudging to the gym in the rain at 6am to get my morning cardio in, and even with a sore lower back (don’t worry, it’s only a small strain – my fault for pushing too much weight overhead and not bracing my core properly – do not do this!), it always feels great to get a sweat on to kick off my day.

Work began like any other Monday: immediate chaos upon walking through the door. It’s to be expected, and we plan for days like this, but it’s always a kicker trying to manage so many issues at once without warning.

Crisis is always exhilarating, but here’s where the day actually gets exciting:

When you work so closely with and to (legitimately within arms reach) coworkers, you truly get to know them and their abilities at a pretty high level. You work together to get tasks done, celebrate the wins and pick each other up when outcomes aren’t ideal… but the very best part about working so closely with others is watching them grow and succeed. Today, one of my coworkers overcame a huge obstacle and handled it like a pro. I felt proud and inspired to have been there to witness the situation unfold, confidence set in and a new realization that she could now always conquer issues as challenging as these the next time one comes her way.

As the day progressed I was thinking a lot about my time, how valuable it is and how I’m fortunate enough get to chose how I spend it. Too often we get caught up in the ‘what’s next‘ and ‘how am I going to get there‘ – and we forget how valuable this very moment and the people around us are. Worse, we often never realize how valuable those things are until they’re gone.

I choose to spend my time and effort on people and things that matter. I want to know that what I’ve done has helped someone – be it mentally, physically, or emotionally – be a better version of themselves and gain greater self-awareness, respect or love than they previously had. I think this explains a lot about why relationship building is at the core of my beliefs – both for business and personal relationships. And it shows, trust me.

I realize however, I am just as guilty for sometimes forgetting what truly matters. People, relationships, community – those are what matter. It’s the people who make the difference – not money, numbers, reports, words, websites, targets or otherwise… none of these ‘things’ matter if there aren’t people who see value in it.

So, I challenged my friends and followers to pay it forward today. Give unselfishly without the expectation of return. As expected, many took the challenge with open arms – sharing their stories and inspiring others to take a moment to do something to help make another person’s day better, easier, happier or even brighter.

Something as simple as a hello, holding the door for someone, giving them a hand or offering to drive them home in the rain has little to no impact on your life, but yet because of the lack of reciprocity these days, it causes people to simply do nothing. And this is sad.

Today, I walked into a Starbucks, ordered a tea and gave the barista money to buy the beverages of next five customers who came in behind me. I didn’t wait around long enough to watch anyone come in, but I truly hope that random act of kindness brought a smile to someone’s face, lifted their sprit and gave them hope that others do actually care for strangers.

I refuse to live a life of expectation. I do not expect reciprocity from others because no one ‘owes’ me anything – but kindness and being present in the moment for another does go an incredibly long way.

This brings us to the gym. I cannot say enough about the incredible members I’m fortunate enough to lead, push and watch grow on the daily. I’m amazed and inspired every time I lead a session and see someone achieve a goal they had been working on for months, or even years…some of which they never dreamt possible.

Just like other areas of life, it’s easy to get stuck in a comfort zone. If it feels good and seems normal why change it, right? WRONG. When you stop learning and changing, you stop growing. Change is essential for growth and if you want different results you have to make changes.

Today, I was put on the spot when the class size became the biggest we’ve seen at the gym yet – a max of 20 ballooned into 25 people staring at me looking for direction. At that moment, three things popped into my head:
1. Shit.
2. How are we going to be able to fit everyone in this space and they all get a great workout?
3. They need to be energized or this could go south, real quick.

My solution? Make them work, push and challenge each-other to distract them from being able to even think about the crowded space. And goddam did it ever work! Never underestimate the power of camaraderie. The members took direction, kicked their asses and pushed their friends to have a great workout and a lot of fun.

As they cleared out, the buzz continued into the next class where I then witnessed one of our members deadlift a crazy 400lbs, one strict-press a personal record 24kg bell and another a 48kg bell! The only words to describe my sentiment after being present in those moments are again, proud and inspired.

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I personally didn’t ‘get’ anything out of today. But I did get to help, witness and celebrate the achievements of many others, who, without knowing it, ‘gave’ me more than they will ever know.

How do you choose to spend your precious time? Life’s short. Don’t waste it. Grab it, push it, appreciate it and make it meaningful.

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Filed under Personal Records, Positive Reinforcement

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