I actually wrote this on the last day of 2021, and as many do this time of year, I am looking ahead to the coming year and what it will hold for me. I try to also look back and review the goals I had set for myself and evaluate how I did; call it a post-mortem of the past 365 days. Oddly enough, I am sitting in the same coffee shop I typically go to, writing a blog I do on quite a regular basis. But today is a little different, as I reviewing what this year held for me. The information below will sounds funny, but give me a moment to explain everything in totality.
In the truest words of “Life is what you make of it”, here is a list of some of the things that occurred for me this calendar year:
–Had my first colonoscopy (slept through the whole thing! :-)
–Had a vasectomy in April
–Had another MOHS procedures (I am currently hiding an fresh scar on my forehead)
–Was three days away from moving out of PHX for the first time in my life, only to have all of those plans change at the very last moment.
–I, like everyone else, have had the continuation of COVID to deal with
–It appears, after some recent revelations, that I took a detour on the path in my journey as a Professional Speaker.
–As of Dec 8th I taught my last ever racquetball class at ASU, something I have done for the past five years and enjoyed immensely.
–I have announced my retirement from coaching the ASU Racquetball team (effective 4/1/22) This will be the last season I coach the Racquetball club at Arizona State University. This has been the most personally rewarding thing I have ever done, and was the training ground for finding a better
version of myself as well as prepare me for what lies ahead
–As many others have, I have watched family members and friends struggle and suffer with their own sets of issues. As a “fixer” this is tough for me to not jump in help or solve problems.
As you read the list above, you might think this has been a pretty rough year for me. I didn’t list anything positive on this list, so that skews the overall synopsis of the year in review, I realize that. But the reality is, this is ALL of the things I could come up with in terms of less than positive things that occurred this year. The rest was all good in my opinion; but here is the real kicker: None of this was bad. You read that right…all of this was good. Allow me to explain…
The colonoscopy revealed I am healthy and have no concerns for cancer in this particular portion of my body. The MOHS procedures healed nicely and the scar is tough to see, but better yet, this removed skin cancer cells and avoided more intense issues down the road. The move out of Phoenix was prompted by my wife initially, but I was totally on board once we decided this is what we were going to do. We tried, it was a struggle for her professionally, and we decided to pull the plug on that experiment. Although at the time it seemed that getting outbid on every home we tried to purchase was a kick in the teeth, it turns out it was the best thing for us. We picked up where we left off in Phoenix and didn’t miss a beat. No harm, no foul.
COVID…enough said. It has changed the world as we know it, and given the hyper-focus on this for the past two years, I’m gonna go ahead and move onto the rest of the list. I will save the “detour” in my speaking career for last, as this is a primary focus for next year. In regard to teaching my last racquetball class, let’s say this is me taking a personal stance on a requirement the school has implemented and I am not willing to compromise. There comes times in everyone’s life where we have to make a stand, and this hit my list. As far as leaving my position of Head Coach of the Racquetball team after 15 years, this has been on my mind for a while, and in some ways, is overdue. But, it is very difficult to walk away from something that has been such a major part of my life, my identity, and a huge source of pride and happiness. But I am. I am creating a void in my life on purpose, with the intent of filling it with something bigger and better.
And to the last bullet point above, watching people I love and care about struggle and suffer in one way or another is always tough. I am a fixer by nature, but there are times when I do not have the means or a way to solve a problem for someone. That sucks, but in some ways we all need to handle our own lives and my intervention isn’t always the best course of action. I didn’t build the resiliency callouses I have by someone picking me up every time I fell down. It is part of life, an essential part, and a skill learned only through exposure that we all need to learn.
So, now how do you feel about the year I had? Life is all about perspective, or as the saying goes:
Life is 10% of what happens to you and
90% how you react to it.
Truer words have never been spoken, as I could be dwelling on all of the above and whining “poor me” as I rock back and forth in the fetal position in a corner of my house. But as I have already indicated, none of this was “bad” in my mind. These were simply “things that occurred this year” and just part of another chapter of my life. If you can learn to have this outlook as well, your life will be much happier and seem far less challenging in some ways. It takes work to get to that point, so start ASAP. It is incremental improvement to attain this outlook on life, so be patient with yourself as you learn this new mindset.
Alright, so about that “detour”, that is a little of an overstatement, as everything in life is preparation for what comes next. Sometimes you need a detour to make the real path seem so much more clear to you. I will be undertaking a rebranding of my website, my message and how I market myself to the world as a speaker. It seems funny to me that I have been so close to this idea all along but couldn’t see it. It took a third party to point it out to me, and THEN it hit me like a ton of bricks. I have been on fire with this idea for the past week and I can honestly say that I have not been this excited about something in quite a while. It is exhilarating to say the least. I will save the grand reveal for another time, but suffice to say I am going to be embracing a talent I seem to have for helping others get the most out of themselves. My speaking will shift to more about my life story and the things I have managed to achieve, and most importantly the common denominators in these achievements. I will be sharing the core principals of my own journey to help others see how they also can accomplish more than they ever thought possible.
So, I wish you a Happy New Year, and encourage you to do a review of the past year as well as set new goals for yourself for the coming 365 days. Check in on this list once a month, and make sure you are staying on track. Pivot when necessary, but stay the course in most cases. Eat, Sleep, Achieve. That is my, no…our new mantra. Go get ’em!
I wish you luck in your endeavors.