Passion Project…”Life” or why live it?

The journey is not work, unless you are on the wrong path. Course correct and leave the work behind.

I am on Medium today and in the midst of a 24-minute read when this quote appears before me…

“Crave the result so intensely that the work is irrelevant.”

Michael Jordan’s performance coach, Tim Grover

…and in that moment I have a visceral response. YES!!! This is exactly what is it all about, everything in life, is summed up right here.

Overreaction on my part, some might say, but so be it because I live in a society that points out the “work” in everything we do. Marriage is work. School is work. Yards are work. Houses are work. Friendships are work.

Flip the script I say! Now reframe:

  • My 26/yr (Happy Anniversary…yesterday) marriage has not been “work” it has been the craving of a partnership so intense that nothing can stand in its path. Easy one to reframe you might say, let’s try again.
  • Losing 140/lbs was as intense as any effort I have ever made yet it was never about the work and always about the reward of the result which spanned far beyond weight loss and forged paths into confidence, worth, and recognizing my value is more important than anyone else’s appraisal of me.
  • Spending 30/years in hospitality has been about passion for an industry that inspires me, challenges me, and keeps me on my toes every single day. There have been many paths forged along the way and a few roads less traveled. Ultimately whenever it felt like “work” I chose a new path that kept me “craving” with an “intensity” that has resulted in a career I could not have imagined 30 years earlier.

I can show examples of this again and again because when you stop focusing on the work you find the passion in why you do what you do. To “crave the result so intensely” is to have passion that drives you beyond what “work” would require.

Apply this quote to anything you are calling “work” in your life and you will be forced to evaluate why you do what you do and who you do it with. Life is short, do what inspires you, get passionate and stay passionate.

Life as I live it – L.

Seeking Normal – Day 7

Day 7 prompt:

Is your normal the same as someone else’s? Why? How do you separate the expectation? How does someone else’s normal inspire, intimidate or disappoint you?

My answer:

I like this prompt as much of what makes something normal is that it is what everyone else has, does or is. The very act of getting up every morning, going to school or work, coming home having dinner and adhering to a bedtime is “normal” because it is what most people do. That routine is what has set the expectation for normal for most of us. If others don’t do these things that we see as commonplace then they or it is “not normal”.

When we shift the conversation to how someone else’s normal inspires, intimidates or disappoints us it requires the acknowledgement that their normal is NOT ours but we see it as “theirs” because it is something they do routinely. I am inspired by others that create their normal around things that I realize take huge discipline. Waking up at 4 am to get a workout in, is inspiring because it takes discipline beyond what I choose because of comfort-level. Conversely I am disappointed only by those whose normal does not serve them, and those around them, positively. When we see those that are living a life that causes them or others around them “harm” it is disappointing.

I have seen more social media posts in the last weekend about “what is normal” as we were all faced with our first holiday during this pandemic. Easter was not at all what most considered “normal” because we were not supposed to go to church or gather for family dinners. However it is/was still possible to create an alternative holiday that inevitably will create a new normal or a fond memory. We will always look back and remember “that” Easter we were in our homes and not able to get out to do those things that we consider holiday protocol.

For now I hope that as you are exploring this “new normal” that you are finding the parts of it that you appreciate, enjoy or are finding a refreshing change to carry-on with long after life returns to “normal”. This time would be wasted if we did not pay attention to those things that we are learning along this journey.

Life as I live it – L.

Super Soul Studies – Wooden

I am a student at heart. I love to learn and spend all of my free-time reading, writing and when I watch TV or videos it is often to learn. My favorites to watch are Super Soul Sunday (SSS) on OWN and TED Talks. My other faves are Dateline, 48 Hours, 20/20, Nightline and First 48. If I had to choose a different career than the one I am in it is safe to say I would be a Homicide Detective. (Gary likes to remind me that based on me being freaked out by the dead I would likely SUCK at this career. So now I am pushing Brendan to be an M.E. and so far it’s working, he took one semester of Forensics!!! Fingers-crossed – Brendan D. Kiel, Phd, Medical Examiner. Hahahahahahaha)

Okay back to my love of learning…that was a heck of a segue!

I only watch SSS and TED when I am fully attentive and engaged. I take notes and have years and years of Google Docs where I like to highlight those quotes, thoughts or theories that connect with me. I am going to share with you some of my favorites every week hoping that I can inspire in you a curiosity to learn or explore your own soul.

Today I chose one that is easy to get behind. John Wooden was the head basketball coach at UCLA. He won ten NCAA national championships in a 12-year period and is known for his short, simple inspirational messages. I had the privilege of hearing him speak during an event I attended years ago. He had me “hook, line and sinker” then and watching this SSS episode confirmed for me that he is worth following. Here are the notes I connected with:

  • These three things are all that you have control over:
    • Never try to be better than someone else
    • Always learn from others
    • Never cease to be the best you can be
  • Your reputation is what you are perceived to be and your character is who you really are
  • Rules – Never be late, be neat and clean, not one word of profanity, never criticize a teammate (The Coach gets paid to do it, you don’t)
  • The pyramid of success – Google it
  • Things will work out as they should providing we do what we should
  • The road ahead or the road behind – Moriarty 
  • Don’t whine, don’t complain, don’t make excuses
  • Never mention winning, you can lose when you out score and you can win when you are out scored
  • The journey is better than the end – Cervantes

The meme at the top of the blog tonight sums up how I take on life and certainly how I have been forced to live the last year of my life. Let’s revisit…

Things turn out best for the people that make the best of the way things turn out- John Wooden

I didn’t ask nor did I expect what has happened in the last year. Losing my mother destroyed me but I had to find the silver lining and that was when I took an inventory of our relationship it could not have been more perfect. People would say when learning that my mother was dying of cancer “say everything you ever wanted to say to her” and to that I would respond “there is nothing left to say.” The most honest relationship in my life was the one with my mom, there were no regrets, there was never forgiveness required it was the purest form of love I will ever know. I heard a quote From David Brooks recently that said “I loved her more than evolution required” and man, does that cover it!

I also didn’t ask to go through seven months of the greatest health scare I have known to date and 5 procedures later and 13 total abdominal incisions later (I am TRULY a Miami Gangster…or at least my abdomen is!) I am still standing. I am not running, not even walking but dang it I am here, I am smiling and through it all I have learned many more lessons. Many more than I thought I needed to learn, many more than I wanted to learn…but I am better because of the journey.

I am still a student at heart with a few more lessons under my belt. Learned from Super Soul Sunday’s, TED Talks and a lot of life experiences sprinkled in. The biggest lesson I have learned in the last year is that all of these hours spent soul searching, learning and being inspired by the true masters were filling a toolbox that I had no idea I would desperately need to access. It was that toolbox that allowed me to breathe her last breath with her and to survive this health crisis with fewer emotional scars than physical.

I conclude today by reminding you to make the best of it, whatever it is, and fill your toolbox NOW before you need the tools so when the day comes, when you need to make the best of it, you have the ability to NAIL IT! L.