Have you ever written your own obituary?
I’ve been reading Joe De Sena’s latest book Spartan Up: The Spartan Way: Eat Better. Train Better. Think Better. Be Better (which is outstanding, by the way). In it, he talks about the 10 most important factors in being a successful human being in his opinion, and thus far I can’t argue.
Number 1 was hardly a surprise to anyone who’s ever listened to De Sena speak: passion. Yeah, you thought I was going to talk about grit or something like that, but Joe’s big thing is that finding your passion is what gives you the motivation to seek that grit.
And people who run Spartan Races are some of the most passionate people you’re ever going to run into. They want to change and know exactly what they want out of their OCR experience.
For whatever reason, that’s one I’ve always struggled with. I don’t like to be penned in to anything. I was a consultant for years professionally because I like to be able to constantly be working with new stuff. I was shocked when I realized that I’d been in my current job for ten years (mostly because it’s a fast moving environment with plenty of opportunity to learn more). And I am constantly learning new stuff and thinking “wow, that’d be awesome to try out and do for a living.” Yeah, I’m 50, and I’m still wondering when I’m going to settle down.
So I was sort of taken aback when writing even a short obituary for myself clarified a whole bunch of stuff for me. It really lit a fire under me and sort of coalesced many of my interests into one philosophy and, more importantly, one message.
And it is a message that I think has always been sitting in the back of my head, and I have most likely even said it elsewhere on this site. But that message that will be driving things on this site on an ongoing basis is that I don’t want anyone to die until they are good and ready.
I have been joking with people who are teasing me about hitting my midlife crisis by saying that I’m not to midlife yet and I’m only a third of the way along, and then joking that I hope the last 50 years isn’t spent in misery and pain.
But I realized while writing the obituary that it’s possible to take charge of pretty much every aspect of your health and happiness. And if there’s a message that I want to impart to you, that is it.
See, here’s the thing: if you are willing to do the following things, you can reclaim your health and turn back the clock:
- Eat properly for you.
- Take the time to work out/move in a way that works for you.
- Help your body recover and stay vibrant.
- Never stop learning.
- And most importantly, stop caring what other people think.
I really think that the two things that are causing people the most problems with recapturing their health are:
EGO and SOCIETY
Sometimes we hold on to a diet, exercise program, mindfulness practice, etc. that isn’t working for us because of our own ego or the pressures of society – or both. How many times have we seen people who stick to a diet that isn’t working for them because “oh, I just can’t give up that food” or “I can’t change the way I eat, what will my friends say?”
Inside, if we have the courage to explore our motivations and beliefs, we can figure out what’s causing us problems.
If we stop caring what others think of us, we’ll take on an exploration of what the many options for our health are. We’ll admit to ourselves that the things we’ve held on to for years don’t work and we’ll try new stuff. We’ll see through the messages we’re getting from those around us and figure out what works for us. We’ll realize that conventional wisdom isn’t necessarily working for us, but rather for the bank accounts of people who really don’t care.
And most importantly, we’ll realize that our health and longevity can be entirely within our grasp. We’ll take responsibility for ourselves and that will be the most empowering thing we’ve ever done.
And we will make ourselves live until we’re ready to go. So write your obituary today, and figure out what you want to be all about in the end. And then put off the end until you’ve accomplished it by doing what you know is the best for you.