You Absolutely Can If You Will Your Life
I date a beautiful first grade teacher of 17 years who has two amazing daughters that are 11 and 8 years old. The first week of this past October, it was their school fall break, so I took them up to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin for a couple days to see where I grew up. Lake Geneva is a beautiful, quaint, little tourist town nestled against a large natural lake with AMAZING homes on it (The Wrigley’s estate, the Walgreen’s estate, etc.) I contacted a former co-worker of mine (from a killer restaurant I used to bartend at 25 years ago) who remained in the thriving hospitality industry up there to get a deal on a resort room for the 2 nights we were going to stay. My friend, Geri, had married a guy named Lee who was a GM at one of the resorts. Geri was really a former co-worker and acquaintance to me, but a life-long friend to my little sister who also worked at this same restaurant with Geri and me at one point.
Geri came through, I got a sweet room at this amazing resort overlooking the breathtaking views of Lake Geneva for 50% off. This was accomplished through a small but succinct set of text messages.
1 week later my little sister texted me to tell me Geri had a brain aneurysm and Lee was about to pull the plug on life support.
My first thought: W…T…F
I still had those texts from just one week ago.
Geri had to be close to my age, give or take 3-5 years.
It’s at a moment like this I count my blessings and I take great solace in the fact that I wasn’t afraid to take risks in my life. Maybe that’s weird, but these are the things I think about when faced with my mortality (I don’t have kids of my own).
It’s true you know, on your death bed, the ONLY thing you will regret in life are the risks you didn’t take.
No one ever thought, “Whew, I’m glad I followed all the rules and flew below the RADAR screen of society my whole life.”
This past Friday, like everyone else in the world, I stared on with disbelief at the horrific events that happened in France.
There were people attending a huge soccer game, people out to eat with their families, and people attending a rock concert that were all senselessly and purposefully wiped out.
France has far stricter gun laws that the USA, if you weren’t aware.
So these people were exterminated by illegal handguns, illegal automatic weapons, and illegal explosives.
It was illegal and still, they were destroyed.
Who cares why? David Letterman said it best after the 9/11 attacks when he said (and I’m paraphrasing), “If you live to be 1,000 years old, will you EVER make any sense of this?”
I mentioned the gun control statement not to start a political rant, but to open your eyes to the bigger picture beyond guns.
Your life is short and promised to no one.
Too many of you are drinking whatever Kool-Aid you prefer and not paying attention to what’s really going on.
Here’s what’s really going on: You’re wasting time.
Regardless of what your government says they’re going to do to protect you. Short of putting all 7 billion of us on the planet in straightjackets to shield us from each other, if someone truly wants to damage you they can and they will.
Life is never going to be fair in this regard.
So the question is, what are YOU going to do about it?
Any lawman will tell you most crimes are crimes of opportunity, which means you did something stupid and left yourself vulnerable. This stupidity was unfortunately recognized by a criminal mind and the situation was exploited.
The first day I moved to California, I was staying in Venice. At the end of the night I had the wherewithal to remove the face of my car stereo and placed it in its case, however, I left the case on the passenger seat like a moron. Next day I awoke to a busted window, no stereo face, and mangled dashboard from the rookie who tried unsuccessfully to pull the unit.
That one was on me. It was preventable.
What isn’t preventable is when someone REALLY wants to hurt you. When that situation arises, you can only take care of yourself.
I’ve never owned a gun and I don’t hunt (hunting in Wisconsin = COLD).
The gun control arguments on both sides are laughable. My problem with these debates has nothing to do with guns.
It has to do with the byproduct of too much control (of any kind) which is creating a society of victims who rely and/or blame someone or something else for their lot in life.
When we don’t take responsibility for our own happiness, love, safety, health, mental health, job, life mission, etc., someone else will, I promise.
The more your government, parents, friends, lovers, etc. step in to protect, the more humans will rely on that and not do for themselves.
We’re just wired up that way.
Nobody is responsible for you but you.
And just like us all, you are broken.
We are all broken.
Maggie Rose wrote, “Life’s full of broken things, like hearts, homes, and dreams. We all come from something broken,”
You’re health, your heart, your home, it doesn’t matter, because you’re just like everyone else.
What will define you is how you play the hand you were dealt.
Will you choose to believe the media, the governments of the world, and your naysaying friends when they tell you someone or something else is responsible for your unhappiness?
It’s easier to think that. Takes the pressure off of you, right?
You don’t have to do the work but you do have to live with the consequences.
My friend Geri and those unfortunate people in France all stupidly lost their lives too early.
Their loss of life was not their fault.
How they lived their lives up until that last moment was.
I don’t know any of the victims in France. I do know that Geri led a wonderful life. She had grown kids and fostered a loving marriage to her best friend, Lee.
I hate that she had to go.
I love what she did right up until that moment.
Want to know what the meaning of life is?
I know the answer. It’s easy.
You are a mission critical cog in the wheel of advancing human society.
Your job is to be a little smarter, a little wiser, a little worldlier, a little more creative, and a little more aware than your parents were. (For some of you, maybe you’re a LOT more of these things.)
STOP thinking about what you don’t have.
STOP blaming your parents, past events, sickness, trauma, blah, blah, blah.
STOP waiting around for something to happen to you and START making something happen FOR you.
START working with what you have in front of you right now.
START making moves right now.
You cannot change yesterday.
You cannot predict the future.
The only thing you can control is RIGHT NOW.
You need knowledge and you need to apply that knowledge to become more powerful.
We all come from something broken so your excuses for not accomplishing what you want to accomplish are like butts, EVERYBODY HAS ONE AND THEY ALL STINK.
1,000 years of additional, positive, forward progress in our advanced society will not change the fact that one cannot guarantee your safety or any kind of equal outcome to your life experience.
So blaming anyone but yourself is futile.
It’s still going to be up to the individual to craft the results of their life.
Illegal guns, drugs, alcohol, knives, bombs, automobiles, and hurtful words choices designed strategically for the purposes of emotional abuse will not change the fact that if someone wants to hurt you they can and they will.
So it’s on you.
Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.
Who are you authorizing to make you feel bad, inadequate, pathetic, or downright horrible?
Is it family?
The news channels?
What risks have you been putting off?
What are you scared of?
It’s time to love deeper and forget the B.S.
It’s time to be the kind of friend you’d like to have.
It’s time to start working on your dream; start that band, finish that song, record that demo, learn how to market your music, etc.
What would be going through your mind if you were one of the victims in France with an illegal AK-47 to the back of their head just before you were executed?
What would’ve been your regret?
Life is a full contact sport and nobody gets out alive.
Don’t give anyone permission to take your happiness away and put it in the hands of anyone else.
You cowboy up and take the good with the bad.
You’re going to screw up, we all screw up.
Get over it.
You’re going to fail, we all fail more than we succeed.
Get over it.
You’re going to have to get back up again, shake it off, and learn from the mistake.
It’s a scientific fact that the big win, the big score, the game-changer in your life will absolutely happen immediately following a failure that you had to recover from.
Don’t wait, man.
You’re life is almost over.
You’re out of time.
There are no roadblocks in the extra mile. If you’re feeling them, you haven’t driven far enough.
Get to it.
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