Many times over the last ten years I’ve been called crazy. What exactly does that mean? I mean, “you’re crazy, Eric.” I believe it was code for “what if you fail?”
I’ve made it a point to learn how to read communication of the non-verbal variety. It has helped me cut through the fog and certainly the BS. By the way, you can apply this to yourself personally. I’ve created a lot of fog and BS in my own head before. Whenever I’ve been called crazy, it often has spurred me on. Almost like treasure map with clues. Imagine, “when you hear this, do that.”
Not every bet pays off. We all would do well to remember that the “house” is called the house for a reason. Even so, a little craziness, a little chaos is essential to moving to a life worth living. In my experience, I would never have taken the risks I’ve taken without those twins. I would have hidden behind my citadel and played it safe. Craziness and chaos forced me into a path that hurt, and created in me an Epic Life. A strange dichotomy, I know.
On those nights when I’d awaken at 2 AM, and wonder if I really had lost my mind, there was always his voice saying keep going…just keep going. This is important. You are going to encounter a dismantling during your steps, it is inevitable. Don’t believe the crowd or your own doubts when you wonder if you have lost your mind. Finding life over the sun might be the most challenging pursuit you’ll ever undertake.
Here are some reasons why I advocate the beauty of crazy:
- Those who are not ” target=”_blank”>crazy are typically medicated and just wanting relief from a life that has no meaning at all
- If you walk away from your craziness, you’ll find no one willing to follow
- Maybe you’ve seen this ” target=”_blank”>clip? It strikes a good chord here
- If you haven’t gotten into the habit of taking risks, time will rob you of that desire, and time doesn’t give refunds. Start small and start now
- No one has truly lost by being crazy. People who live their lives to hide are the losers
I am thankful for the craziness.
I’ve always wanted to be a success at life. Even when I got off the path in younger years, I knew being a success at life would be important, if not essential.
I took a trip up to the balcony and looked down on the stage of my one-man show recently. It was a telling experience. In my core I am succeeding at life. Of course, no perfection and I always remember that I must keep it real everyday. I dare not forget this. Just the same, I was able to see how my life has been aligned and shaped for what I write here.
I don’t believe in security, comfort and ease. Even when I desire it, I realize those states are mirages. We were not made to set up our destiny based on what seems to be or what we wish for. There is a destiny made for us, and it doesn’t fight to own our souls. Real destiny calls out to us in a whisper. It is an invitation from God. Success at life provides the right canvas for our destiny to shine through.
The problem here in America is we keep trying to exhaust what we can find under the sun. History has seen this before. A population mesmerized by marketing and the physical. You’d think we were divine. I hate to be the rain on the parade. Life is a limited time opportunity.
“…the fierce urgency of now.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Updated post from the spring of 2008.
Sometimes the calculator can be your best friend. Today I decided to do an exercise long overdue.
I added up the sum of my days on this planet we call earth. That number turned out to be 15,492 days. Birth, school yard wonder, working for a living, falling in love, and being found by the vision. What a statement in a time when we have little time to stop and think.
The numbering of your days is important. The following are my reasons for embracing the miracle and exercise:
- Numbering your days sobers you. We can get drunk on success, materials and prestige
- In the words of a great songwriter; “we’re only immortal for a limited time“
- Creates urgency to do and to dream
- Settles you down from worrying about things you’ve got no control over
- Makes you realize that safety is a myth. God wired us for risk and adventure
- Helps you avoid regrets
- Kills the counter-genuine cells. Screams the importance of keeping things real
- Makes you realize your terminal and that you don’t have to wait for a diagnosis
- Builds courage
- Makes every smell, taste and delight precious. Sort of like a 2000 Barolo or the voice of Michael Franks
Number your days, because they’re numbering you.
Saying I love you through my labor of love (for my wife). I found inspiration within the snow’s blank canvas, and of course my heart. It took me about 15 minutes.
How much time do you need?
Originally posted back in late 2012, it’s one of my favorites and timely considering this.
Do you have a tempest inside you? I do.
I can’t speak for you, but I’ve learned it’s the catalyst for my creativity. Pulsing and demanding to get out, I don’t fight it any longer. I used to see this, at times, as a curse. A cruel burden to carry in an even crueler world.
The tempest I write about is the one that is a gift. It’s the type that spurs on great pursuits and the impossible. Yes, the impossible stuff. It’s the evidence of authenticity and clarity.
I’ve heard many a great thinker (Seth Godin, Scott Griffin, Sir Richard Branson) who has said that future will not be kind to the doer, but will embrace the creators. Before you think me special, being a creator is in everyone. Don’t wait until your forced into being a creator. By then it may be too late. The issue comes down to the willingness to let this creativity out.
I am a man who allowed the “world” to dictate my view, and it cost me. My story is in process and it is happy. Happy, because I chose to embrace the “tempest” and let it launch my creativity.
The following are some things to consider about the tempest:
- There will be failure. Get over it, embrace it, work through it, but it’s there to refine you and test you. Learn.
- You will be embarrassed. You’ll pronounce your great idea or work and people will cock their head like a dog wondering what are you doing?
- You will feel more things you never thought you would.
- It will teach you to do things that you’d rather avoid. You won’t regret this. The end of the comfort zone.
- It will lead you to the place of dreams and legacy. Most everyone wants this, I would dare say needs this.
Legacy is defined by what I leave behind. For the purposes of this post, what I leave behind as a father. A friend told a few weeks back that he could see my legacy through my work (writing, engagements, etc.). Funny how you sometimes don’t think about those types of things when you’re in the midst. It’s still vitally important, regardless.
My friend also recognized that all people have a legacy. He even believes more world problems would be solved if more understood the implications of their legacy. I agree and way too many don’t even consider it.
I want to leave the following behind for my kids:
- A sense that I understand the “fierce urgency of now.” The idea that now matters, problems matter, the fight matters.
- Love until it hurts. Much of life will be measured by this.
- There’s nothing wrong with making a mistake or failing. Go ahead and risk being laughed at.
- Find out what God made you to do. This is destiny and it’s worth the pursuit.
- People matter and they deserve your respect.
- Position yourself for good luck.
- Never let the child in you die.
- I love their mother, in my words and my actions.
- You must always speak up when evil seeks to silence.
- Mindfulness opens the door to loving God.
I’m sure there are more things I want them catch, and not catch. The list represents the lens I see through today.
Saw a young lady yesterday who has multiple myeloma. She is young. I found out about her condition a few months ago, but hadn’t talked to her since the diagnosis. I listened a lot. She spoke much about the importance of prayers, doing things to get through chemo, and doing things that always seemed ok to put off. No time to take for granted now. I was happy to sense that from her.
In my interaction I thought about how we modern men and women often wait until the end, before we start a beginning. It seems like the word late has vanished from our vocabulary. I won’t even go to the words too late. I guess when you feel invincible, time is always on your side.
You do realize we’re all terminal.
I don’t dance with any partner other than life. It feels right and natural to do this. So much of what we do should be about holding on loosely and letting go. We don’t own anything anyway. Sure it feels strange in the beginning and many will think you’ve lost your mind, but it’s what fits. No career, no amount money, no relationship, and no amount of notoriety will be able to substitute. No use in settling for the substitute.
I hope that young lady will be counted as a survivor one day. I also hope that her new beginnings will stick. This is a choice after all, to live over the sun.
Yoga. There are so many benefits in practicing yoga, I could stop here and let you do your own research. But I won’t do that because I want to give you some insight into my experiences with yoga. Here are some random thoughts:
- Yoga has improved my blood pressure
- Yoga has help center me
- Yoga has sharpened my focus on the personhood of God
- Yoga has built my strength and flexibility
- Yoga has quieted my obsessive mind
- Yoga has helped my overall wellbeing
- Yoga has played a major role in my epic living
- Yoga has challenged me mentally, physically and spiritually
- Yoga has helped me see the importance of nutrition
- Yoga has become a habit
I am no where close to being a master of this art. I am, however evidence of the power that comes from practicing yoga. Talk to your doctor about the risks and rewards, then start slow.