I thought I’d begin my first blog of 2020 with a look back at my last 10 years traipsing around Planet Earth and what it’s taught me…
1. Time is currency
Over the last decade my kids have aged from 1 to 11 and 4 to 14 and over that time the only currency they value is the time I spend with them. In their eyes, all time is quality time whether it’s kicking a ball or ubering them to a friends house – it’s all TT (time together). We talk, we laugh and sometimes we just be. Me showing up in their lives is a signal that nothing else matters. In the blink of an eye they will be out of my life and now is the time to cherish every second.
2. Some things just don’t matter
As the sun goes down each day and takes a little of my life with it, I’m no longer concerned about the circumference of my biceps, the state of my kids rooms, whether I hit 8 hours of sleep every night or the badge of my car. These things 1, 3, 5 years from now won’t mean anything to me or anyone else and so I’ve volcanoed these thoughts from my mind. I choose happy over righteousness. Over the last decade I’ve woken from my selfish stupor that perfection is not the gateway to self-acceptance, but rather the biggest thief.
3. We are here for a long time if we choose to be.
I have lost a few friends in 10 years. Five to be exact. All have been to chronic disease, mostly heart attack. Our hearts should beat well into our 90’s and if it doesn’t it’s mainly because we chose it not to. We eat crappy food, drink too much alcohol and stay inactive. All things we can control. Things which we can choose to do. In my 50’s my number one health goal is to set myself up for my ‘back-end of life’ and to be without self-disability brought about by poor habits.
4. I can’t ‘save’ everyone.
We cannot force others – we can only offer the ‘invitation’ of promise. I’ve spent the last decade trying to change people from unhealthy to healthy with varying degrees of success and my conclusion is that all change must come from ‘the self’. I can give knowledge and support and illuminate the path but that’s as far as it goes. My greatest realisation is that I can’t change anyone except myself.
5. Whatever you worship you’ll never reach
If you worship power you will be forever powerless; If you worship intellect you will forever be a fraud; If you worship validation you will be forever hollow.
6. Your willpower will never beat your environment
You will never eat the right foods in the wrong kitchen and you’ll never give up smoking hanging around smokers. Environment drives our good and bad behaviours. People who seem to stick to good habits with ease are often benefiting from an environment that makes those behaviours easier.
7. Outcomes and habits
Your outcomes are a lagging measure result of your habits. Your net worth is a lagging measure of your financial habits; your weight is a lagging measure of your eating habits; your knowledge is a lagging measure of your learning habits and your clutter is a lagging measure of your cleaning habits.
8. Deal with your adult trauma
I’ve spent the last 10 years trying to resolve the emotional trauma from my teenage years. I was tied of it, emotionally spent and determined to let it go. My greatest motivation was the down-stream devastation of passing my crap onto my sons. You see, what trauma and addictions we don’t deal with as adults we pass onto our kids – our emotional baggage becomes theirs. I decided in middle age that my behavioural addictions, which literally saved my life as a teenager, were not longer required. Sometimes you just gotta ask yourself how much is the ticket out of this haunted house going to cost…and then pay up.
9. Snack attack
It suddenly dawned on me over the last 10 years that every ‘in-between meal’ (let’s call it what it is – a snack!) I’ve ever consumed was eaten out of boredom, anger, frustration, glee or in the middle of the night. None of them were eaten to resolve hunger. NONE! If you’re wondering were the additional calories are coming from, you’ll know where to find them.
10. Verbs over adjectives
There’s a barometer I’ve perfected over the last decade to quickly ‘work out’ people. Do they do or do they just say? Do their words say one thing and their actions say another. I like to hang with the doers – the people getting things done…actions matching words. The doers are building, contributing, putting-in, producing & doing the work. The say-ers are consuming, taking, withholding and ducking and weaving in the shadows.