I've got a question for you
today. In fact, it'll turn into a challenge. Hang in there with me, I think
you'll really appreciate this.
The question is this, when was the last time… and what was the last experience that you had that pitted your absolute best that you know about yourself against the challenge, the opportunity, the obstacle, the adventure, perhaps, then once you prepared for it, you executed it, you completed it -- it defined you in a new way? It recalibrated your sense of what you're capable of. What was the last time you've done something hugely challenging, that redefined you?
Well, when I was 19 years old, with a buddy, pedaled my bicycle from Colorado to Canada and back. It was an epic experience. It actually was way, way more ambitious than I had any clue of when I decided to do it. But oh my gosh… what it brought out of me the lessons that I learned about life, the things that I learned about how to equip myself in the future, the lift… the huge spike and self confidence that I came away with, after completing such an adventure. And not to mention the stories and the brag worthy details of the of the experience.
Well, fast forward now to somewhere in my young 40’s (this has been more than 25 years ago), I was at a business networking event, and surrounded with a handful of people, we were all chatting it up and telling stories and so forth. And as like I had done many, many times from age 19, I found a way to bring up this trip this bicycle ride, as an analogy or a story or just a way for people to get to know me. Well, I stopped dead cold right in the middle of telling that story because there was a booming voice that I couldn't ignore speaking to me in my head, literally. And the voice was saying this.
Right, pal? That's
But what have you done lately?
And it shook me. It really
shook me. It embarrassed me at the moment. But then it also really got me to
thinking, how many things have I said no to because I was resting, nesting, if you
will, on that one experience.
Now sure, I had done a lot of
great things I was proud of between 19 and 40-something. But I
tended to reach for the thing that really called the absolute best out of my
gut, out of my soul, out of my heart, to talk about. And I realized at that
moment that I've not been doing that enough. And I've been saying “yes” enough
to epic opportunities for challenge, adventure, and experience.
You see, when we throw ourselves into, specifically things that are physically challenging, it moves us, it recalibrates our perception of who we are, what we're capable of. Our self-confidence makes a massive move. The way we see ourselves in the mirror, what we think about we might want to do next or take on next, whether it's another physical challenge or something else. You see, it's invaluable to throw yourself into new things, new challenges, that take you to your limit -- to what you are not sure that you can achieve.
Zebra Slot Canyon
Well, now let's fast forward
again and here just a couple of months ago, I went with a friend of Southern
Utah to explore a slot of Canyon. It's called Zebra Slot Canyon. You can look
it up on the internet. It's absolutely gorgeous, and I encourage you to do
When I got to the slot canyon, we realized that with a recent rain flow, it was actually filled with water. I waded in to the slot and quickly came to a place where it was over my head. I continued to swim into the canyon, and got to a place where it was so narrow that the width, I actually had to turn myself to the side, hold my breath in, because the width of the canyon… and imagine this was only between it was only the width maybe another inch thicker than from my sternum to my backbone. And the water was over my head, and I had to inch myself through this stone formation in an attempt to see what was around the corner.
Well, I'll admit I didn't get all the way through because of the water it was just too deep and it started to feel too dangerous to me.
But then I took that on, that I challenged myself to do that, that I prepared by equipping myself to actually make the hike in…. but also understand that you know what I might be facing there. All of that is a minor event as compared to a 2500 mile bicycle ride, by all measures. But, I was challenging myself to reach, to stretch, to do something that was uncertain, that was a bit frightening. In fact, and also called the best of me, to the experience to come home with a celebration-worthy experience.
You see, we need to do this. We need to do this not only so that we continue to grow as individuals, and as business people and as entrepreneurs, but also so that we can develop ourselves as a leader. You see you doing things like that does not go unnoticed. There are people around you that see you taking on (or not) new challenges. That see you resting on or nesting in your previous achievements (or not) exploring, taking on and challenging yourself to new things.
You see, you're setting a legacy, you're forming a legacy. I have a strong philosophy that our legacy is defined right now, when we're living. It's important that we don't surrender our legacy to what people might want to say about us after we're gone from the planet. No. Let's purposely define that right now.
What is YOUR Legacy?
So what are you forming right now? And do you have in fact, a legacy of reaching, stretching, growing, exploring, adventuring, finding new things, inventing, reinventing, challenging yourself, bringing yourself to new heights and exploring things that you never thought were possible before?
Is that your legacy? Or is your legacy like, unfortunately, many about what you did in high school? Or sometime in earlier life, when all of a sudden, now that becomes days gone by?
So I challenge you today to ask yourself that booming question that was going through my mind.
What Have You Done Lately?
And if you haven't, if you can't come up with something that would impress your best friend, or impress somebody around you, or more importantly, that is brag-worthy and celebration-worthy to you. If you can't come up with something well, by all means, today, this afternoon, right now, think about what that might be. What is that thing that you could do, that you could throw yourself into? That not only makes your palms sweat, but what potentially will bring the best that you've ever experienced of yourself to the surface so that you've become a new reinvented, individual pursuing excellence in life.
So think about that. What have you done lately?
And good luck. Let me know if I can help.