Blog Post #4 Live, Laugh, Love, Like, and Lift
Live, Laugh, Love, Like, and Lift
I have wanted to make a sign that looked very rustic saying these five words:
Live, Laugh, Love, Like, and Lift.
These are my five L-words that I live by and I will explain in further detail what each of these means. If you need simple principles to live by that you can easily remember write these on a piece of paper or look at them every day and remind yourself to do these five things every day. I know that is a full day and for some people the question is: Every Day? And my answer to that question no matter which one of the L-words we are talking about is an emphatic; YES! Let’s look a little further into each one of these as tasks to complete.
Live to create, always be working towards something. What are you working on in your life? Is it something you want or are you working for someone or something else? As long as you are creating something you are living your life if you are working a job you don’t like just to get by or bogged down with commitments that are not your own ask yourself why you are living to create something for someone or something else and if you don’t like the answer; change it! Living can be as simple as being Nice. This is so easy we all forget to do this and it improves our life just try to be present when we have opportunities to interact with people even if we have no reason to be nice the world would be a much better place if we would stop trying to force our own domestications onto other people and just recognize that there are other people in the world you can spend your time resisting them or you can recognize we are all in this world together today I choose to be nice.
Laugh, be silly, be crazy, and don’t take yourself too seriously. Smile often. As many of you know I lost my dog recently and it was not an easy thing to go through but I want to tell you a story about the power of laughter. I lost my dog at 2am on a Monday morning but life goes on I coach class at 5am and I am the owner so there was no one to call or cover my obligations. I went into the gym and told the class what had happened just as I lost all control of my emotions and crumbled to the ground in tears overwhelmed by the hurt I felt in my heart for the loss of my best friend. I was unable to gain control and I continued with my morning through tears and hugs from my wonderful members and friends but there was a point in my morning when I was asked if I wanted to play basketball and I thought there is no way but physically nothing was wrong with me and I decided to give it a try. We played knockout a fun game you play with two basketball and you try to make a basket before the other person makes their shot so sometimes it can get kinda crazy especially when you have two competitive people playing against each other. Minutes into the game I found myself laughing at the ridiculous scenarios playing out on the court but at that point I had spent so much time crying that when I began to laugh it was a welcome change and even though I was hurt inside I knew that it was OK to laugh because that is what I needed to do to move on with my day and the rest of my life without my buddy. Sure I’ve cried a lot since then and I’ve felt that hurt but what I told myself I wouldn’t do was resist the chance to laugh, smile, or be silly just because I was sad at the time I didn’t need to let it consume me and if I was open to those opportunities I would be open to the opportunity to let go of my sorrow and move on with my life remembering my best friend and all the good times we’ve had instead of closing my heart around the pain of his death and be sensitive about it forever. I love my dog and he will always hold a special place in my heart but I know that he is with me forever I am grateful for the time we spent and I am thankful for all the lessons he taught me especially this one, thanks little buddy for showing me how to live, how to love, and how to laugh, and most important how to let go with a smile on my face and love in my heart.
Love yourself, your family, your friends, your relationships, and your life. Communicate and share. Love is something we should all do more of in our daily life I think love is a lot of things but when we are trying to express love we do it through our words and our actions. I try to find things that I love doing most and sometimes that happens through recognizing things that I do not love doing. For example, from time to time I find myself judging people for no reason and a word or action becomes my response to a person or a situation. These judgmental reactions go off in our heads all the time and most of us know that these are not polite and sometimes they can be downright mean but they happen and we most often ignore them, mumble them, or move on without recognizing how important these reactions are to the way we view the world. You have heard a child say things that may seem mean or harsh but they are just expressing these inner thoughts through their limited experience of the world. What if we could train ourselves to be less judgmental and more loving? What if we could take something like our everyday thoughts about the world or the people in it and we could find love in those thoughts? Instead of saying look at that person they look so this, or that person is so that, we could say I’m going to smile at this person and wish them a good day because I know nothing about their life up to this point but if I smile and wish them well that will have a far better chance of making them feel good instead of saying nothing and possibly making them feel judged. I know it not something that anyone has to do but I am constantly reminded of the saying, BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD! Isn’t that exactly what we are talking about? Be the change! I want to love more things in my life instead of judging or hating. Love can be that simple and we don’t have to make it some great unattainable thing that only a lucky few ever truly find when in reality love is all around us we just have to choose whether or not we are willing to recognize it. If we took this example and put it into the context of our life then it makes things a lot simpler. I love myself, I love my family, and my friends, and I love all of my relationships because I choose to see love in the world because that is what I want to bring into my life because I love my life.
Like- what you create, who you love, what you do. Liking things is funny because we don’t like to feel pain but we like the feeling after we finish a really hard workout. You don’t like to get your heart broken but you like the feeling of meeting new people so liking things is a good way to check in with yourself to make sure you are doing the things that you want to be doing throughout the day because we don’t go around saying I love work, or I love doing TPS reports because no one really loves doing those things but you like them because the meaning behind them. For example, I have a very short commute to work that I like because it gives me a chance to check in with myself and I can also find opportunities to be nice to people because I have a short commute I am not in a hurry so I can slow down and let someone go in front of me or merge into my lane when the right lane ends and not speed up because its’ so important for me to be in front of as many people as possible (It’s funny how people do that all the time). Of course, I love my wife but sometimes it’s overlooked how much we like each other because we can spend a lot of time together without “needing a break” we like to do things with each other just as much as we like to not doing things and still be together it takes time to develop that in your relationships but you get just as much enjoyment from liking your relationships as you do from loving them. Liking things is a gateway to loving things, if we paid a little more attention to the things we like we will have a better grasp on knowing when those things move into the realm of love. I like working out with my wife (even when she kicks my ass), I like writing reports for my business because it shows me how much we are growing, and I like at the end of the day we can sit together and know we don’t have to do anything sure we can talk about our day or discuss plans or do whatever but there is no obligation to work on our relationship or inform the other person about every detail of our day and that creates an environment where we both want to talk about our day or discuss plans or do something together. The next chance you get make a list and write down all the things you like about your day and if that is a short list work on changing those things or adding more of what you like to do and look for meaning in your daily life sure we can not change everything but we can adjust things to get more enjoyment out of tasks that might seem to have little or no meaning but they fall on that dreaded list of “Things I HAVE TO DO!” Instead of the more meaningful list of “Things I get to do!”
Lift. Prepare the mind and body for pain! Do Hard Shit! Show the body what real stress is in a controlled environment. From this Good things will bleed into every avenue of your life. The weight doesn’t lie it will always tell you the truth and each day you need to remind yourself that today I am the best version of myself. Above I said we don’t like to feel pain but we like the feelings pain brings after we have experienced it. Physical exercise, stretching the body’s limits and yes experiencing pain helps you become a stronger, healthier, better human being. In my world everyone would be a lot happier if they workout every day and got a taste of pain from physical exercise, not pain from injury or overuse that is a completely different pain, the pain I am talking about is when we are doing something physical and we have a choice to stop or keep going. If we stop the pain will stop too but if we don’t the pain will continue but we will experience more pain, growth, and pain again followed by success, accomplishment, grit, determination, and empowerment. We learn through the adversity and we get better by battling what our mind is telling us and what our body is doing. We become resilient; we overcome a part of us that thought we were something we are not. Weak. These are the easy days when it’s just a struggle with you and whether or not you are going to be physically active the hard days are a totally different kind of lifting that we have far less experience with and take way more out of use both physically and emotionally. Lifting is easy when it's weight, lifting is hard when it's the people around you that need lifted up. I’ve had days where the last thing I wanted to see was a barbell or a weight or even the gym and I practically live in one so that can make for a challenging day but it happens and I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about those days because they happen and they will continue to happen. In fact, I look forward to those days when it’s just going to be me and the struggle with the weight, those are good days because that is all you have to do is show up give your best and be done with it. Now there are days and I have a lot of these too when I have to know what is going on in someone's life and I have to say the perfect thing to get them through whatever crazy shit they have concocted in their head or even worse whatever crazy shit this life throws at all of us at different times. The worst part is you can not prepare for it or write a nice little speech about it all you can do is be ready and step up sometimes you don’t even have to say a thing just be there and offer a hug or a helping hand. These are the really hard lifting days when you have to lift the people up around you because they don’t have it in them to lift themselves up and it’s ok because it happens to us all. Lift every day especially on the days when you don’t feel like it because those are the most important days and you will better prepare yourself for those hard days when it is not the weight that is holding you down but it is life and if we are training properly we will have people around us that will lift us up. I am always reminded of this quote from Rocky Balboa:
“The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s How Winning is Done!”
We have all taken some hits in life some of us wear those hits proudly and others use them as an excuse for why they are not where they want to be. I have made a lot of mistakes in my life as I am sure you have too those mistakes may be haunting you right now elevating your heart rate or making you feel an imaginary pressure on your chest you sometimes swear its real because it hurts to think about it and it hurts to remember the fear or the pain of those mistakes so much that we want to think of anything else. Yes! Those things happened to you and I am sure some of them are over the top bad but what can you do if you don’t accept that this was a lesson that taught you something about how you are currently living your life. Are you happy! Are you a better person? If not, then why? Why did you let “that thing” consume your time, your energy, and your happiness? If something or someone has wronged you and you are not a better, happier human being because of it, what have you learned? We have got to learn something from the things that happen to us so we can affect the future things that are going to happen to us in a positive way. I am not a perfect husband because I have made so many mistakes in my relationship with my wife I believe I can become a perfect husband for her in the future because I made those mistakes and chose two things. One, I chose her and I know that she has chosen me because we made it through some pretty dark times to have the awesomely-imperfect-still-working-on-it relationship that we have today. Two, I chose to learn from my mistakes communicate with my wife and work on us instead of pushing things to the side until they are just too overwhelming. I feel like I am a seasoned fighter when it comes to taking hits my defense is not great and my striking power is superbly underwhelming but my will to win is indestructible the fight to stay alive makes me feel superhuman. I’ve made mistakes in the ring and I will continue to do so but I’m not gonna let anything keep me down and I’m not gonna let anything keep me from moving forward with my life because it’s mine. You may think you are better than me but I warn you that whatever you are whomever you are you better be willing to die if you step in the ring with me because I won’t lose when there is a fighting chance.