On the eve before the clock ticks into a new decade for me, my 4th one and 40th year on this planet we call earth. I get to reflect on some of lifes lessons.
5 years ago I wrote a post about 35 things I’ve learned (most of them are written below, so no need to go to that link!)
And the following year I summed it up as one thing and interestingly enough that one thing is called gratitude. Any while theres been and will continue to be huge ups and downs on this journey of life, damn we have so much to be grateful for.
Its funny where things have gone since I wrote that 36th year post on gratitude and the massive life changes.
That year, I DNF’d Ironman Melbourne, where I can honestly say my form leading up was best ever, but I pushed through a ceiling of gluten tolerance and switched on a celiac gene I didnt know I had- game over and what a roller coaster since, I went and rode 2000k in the dolomites with my bro Raoul De Jongh, climbing some hills along the way, I co-hosted the Triathlon World Summit and closed the year with our 3326 charity ride were we rode from Bondi Beach to Noosa and raised nearly 100K USD for charity water.
Damn Im lucky and I pushed things with stress a little too far and rolled into 2014 with a little chestnut called adrenal fatigue.
But I’m super grateful for that those experiences because they have shaped me in a big way and put me on a further directory of awesome.
So here are 40 things I have come to know.
1. Be grateful – not just for the big things but for all the little things we take for granted. Get in a habit of doing a daily gratitude, journal or as we are doing right now around the dinner table.
2. That if you want momentum, then you need to take action and action daily. After a while it feels like what was a struggle is just on autopilot. No one but you can start your engine but by showing up, especially when you dont feel like it.. Oh kid youll move mountains one day!
3. 99% of the things we fear never come to fruition. Bullshit stories we tell ourselves.
4. Persistence is a required trait to get where you want or to achieve cool things. In snowboarding I was persistent to learn a new trick. Id repeat over and over until I got it. Sometimes wasting a lot of film for the photographer (pre digital age), but Id get the shot. This trait put me into good stead on many other aspects of my life. A trait I see in my son Mack and one I want to keep cultivating.
5. Think and dream big and be willing to do the work. Whats stopping you other than you? All the answers we need are within.
6. Life is still way to short to drink cheap beer or wine or crap coffee. Consume less but enjoy more Ohh thats another lesson for another time…
7. Continuing on with the life is too short theme. We have given away to many fucks on things we shouldnt give a fuck about and not giving enough fucks about things that ARE most important. Be mindful of your fucks 😉 and read Mark Masons – The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck – A counterintuitive approach to living a good life.
8. Being a parent is still epically challenging but the most awesome thing ever. Damn they teach you so much and are so goddamn smart at 6! This shit is still priceless.
9. That you should still do the opposite of what the majority is doing and reread #7!
10. That we are not broken. Mentally or physically unless you believe the BS and if so you better rewrite that story or life will suck. Sure life right now may feel like that, but know this, you ARE in control. You have choices and to stop the overwhelm, simply breathe and take the next smallest impossible to fail step. You can do it.
11. That the world is not out to get you, and when you go to work on yourself your world changes for the better. When I was younger every time something would go wrong Id be thinking someone was out to get me. This was major lack mentality. Like getting sick every year (this always happens to me thought process well if you think it always happens, then the likelihood is quite bloody high that it will). The short of this is the minute we stop playing the victim and take self responsibility is the minute your world can become awesome. Man its made a difference to my life.
12. That it aint all sunshine and rainbows you will get knocked down, run over, beat up, laughed at, ridiculed and it only matters if you dont get back up or keep moving forward.
13. You cant be everything to everyone. Im not going to make everyone happy and a lot of people arent going to agree with what I say. And that is OK with me.
14. That selfishness is not as evil as the popular usage of the word dictates. I highly recommend reading Ayn Rands work and a small book tilted The Virtue of Selfishness. If I selfishly look after myself so I can better look after my family. If I selfishly work hard at learning and applying to better my life and that of my family is that selfish? But in doing so, I also provide value and inspiration to others.
15. That making mistakes and failing is a good, no a great thing. Dont be scared to screw up and screw up a lot. These provide us with valuable lessons that can improve our lives.
16. That we shouldnt be so serious all the time. Let go, enjoy yourself and have some fun.
17. That the worse person to lie to is yourself.
18. Talent only gets you so far and science can be wrong. Belief in oneself, heart and hard work will provide the pathway. It’s belief and the trials of miles that wins.
19. You need to believe in you. Without this, not much is possible and as Natalie Cook mentions in her book Go Girl (very hard to find, but worth the search) , the time to believe is when you have no reason to. Stop putting everyone else on a pedestal and ask why the fuck not you?
20. That to be world class in anything you need to get comfortable being uncomfortable that it takes consistent work and it doesnt get easier. Going fast in triathlon is uncomfortable. People think that when you get fitter it gets easier to go fast. Going faster means your displacing more air and this is not comfortable. Fitness just puts you in a position or opportunity to go faster. Learning to deal with uncomfortableness is the secret. Oh and this lesson is not just for getting fast.. There are many things in life that we find uncomfortable. Find comfort in those things by rolling up your sleeves and embracing them – a lot of it sucks but it will make you a better person.
21. Don’t critique something until you’ve actually done it. And not just once or for one day or one week. Stay the course and get valuable information.
22. That our own rock bottom can be and is liberating. I still don’t know why we have to reach that to learn that lesson. Sometimes we are inherently stupid – said in a self loving way.
23. That spending a year to court my wife was time well spent. I have been with Charlotte since I was 21. Yep, that makes it 19 years.. lucky me. Love is great and we all need some. If you dont have any love in your life, work out why and get some.
24. Health. Its freaking important. We only have one body, fuel it well with good real food and clean water and be mindful of your training. Also be careful about the thoughts and images you put in your head. Understand that most media is negative and can only make you feel that way.
25. That if you want to succeed in something then your going to need a burning desire to do so. You have to be willing to do the stuff that others arent. Its simple as that. It doesnt matter who you are, it doesnt matter how great the odds stacked against you, because if you have an indomitable will to succeed, a positive attitude, a never-quit disposition, and the ability to work hard at implementing proven systems, you can do what ever it is you set your mind on.
26. 4 years on and still working on this, but I’m better… That I have had to work hard to be more patient and extend the length of my fuse confrontations are just a waste of time and energy. If I have wronged someone, then its best to apologise and fix the situation.
27. Via Craig Ballantyne (an old mentor of mine) “It will all be over soon. This servers me in both good times and in bad.In hard times, such as bad days, troubled times, or intense physical effort or discomfort, I know that it will all be over soon. A small amount of suffering now will be forgotten later when I will enjoy the rewards of my work.
28. And in good times, I will remember that life is short, and I must make things count now, and no matter how good things are going I must never let myself become soft and lazy, because I have too much to accomplish in such a short time.
29. Where I am right now is a direct consequence of my actions and choices up until this point. No matter if good or bad shit happens, its my responsibility. There is no one to blame but me.
30. That you need to surround yourself with people who are where you want to be and also those on the path with you. You need to distance yourself from those who want you to maintain the status quo and pull you back down into the bucket with the other crabs. You have to be willing to fight for your dreams against a lot of negativity and noise.
31. That the best life comes when we operate from the philosophy of trading value for value and there’s no traffic jams on the extra mile.
32. That you need to read these two books: Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom both books provide important life lessons. In fact, you should be reading books as often as you can there is immense knowledge to be gained from the written word. Got no money to spend on books? Get a library card and even if you do have the fund… Still go to the library.
33. Damn I can’t believe this… Traveling creates wonderful experiences and the opportunity to meet new friends. I met Charlotte in Canada traveling (snowboarding) and have memories that will be with me for live. And we now live in Canada. Full circle.
34. We all have excuses that stop us from our potential. All of these excuses are crap. An old friend had this quote Excuses are like assholes and they all stink. Look at your excuses and simply ask yourself on what basis are they real and has anyone ever in the world had the same excuse as you but got on with it and achieved great things. There you go – excuses null and void. Get at em.
35. That you need to be able to forgive yourself to move on. We all fuck up at times and that is life. Learn the lessons, forgive yourself and keep moving forward.
36. Eating cheap shitty food is a false economy. Youre going to pay for it somewhere. Be it the farmer or the doctor. You can have all the money in the world later on in life, but it wont be able to buy back your health.
37. That you need mentors in your life. People who have done what you want to achieve. People who can help guide you and keep you accountable.
38. That you have to pay to play. Investing in yourself, is never a bad investment and those mentors you need. You can bet they did.
39. I have learned that I am powerful beyond measure and that you are too!
40. That Im not done learning, I’m far from perfect and that’s ok. My mind is open to the limitless possibilities.
There ARE so many other lessons and will continue to be lessons. Be open to them, embrace them all, the good and the not so comfortable and life will be richer for it.
So its supposedly a big milestone this big Four O thing and Ill only be turning 40 once. So I’m pretty much giving away a year’s access to TS LIFE for 40% off. Access to everything TS LIFE has to offer, all the plans, all the content and access to a great community so you can simply focus on the flawless execution of the basics and get the results you desire. ACCESS has never been this low. And yes theres a catch – I was going to say once Im done with my 40km/40th birthday run on snowy trails here Id be turning the discount code off But Ill play nice and leave it on till just before I jump on a big tin bird heading for Aus on Monday night. Because its my birthday and I dont need to be working on my computer, instead I could actually be playing games using Counter-Strike: Global Offensive boosting online – Ill be getting showered, having some nutrient dense food and then taking Mack to the air house to jump around and just spending time with the family.
So go to https://www.trispecific.com/tslife and put in code happy birthday” and that will take a whopping 40% off your entry to TS LIFE. And everyone that joins will be getting a little extra gift from me. So head over there join the great community and Ill send you out a birthday gift from me. I’ll just say that after my gift you will fall in love with plantwear jewelry. I’m looking forward to welcoming you to the community.
Live Life Big