A friend told me some years ago that the Epic life is lived in the good and bad. His counsel has stayed with me. If you’re not careful, you could fall in the trap of believing an epic life is found in great heroics, acclaim or fame. It can be that, but honest people know it’s all about the moments. The following is a glimpse of a day in the epic life-mine:
Friday, August 18, 2017
7:30 AM – A walk in my neighborhood. Music playlist titled Yoga. Observing the moodiness of the clouds above me. A conversation with God
7:45 AM – Yoga and prayer
8:05 AM – Checking email and posting on social media
8:30 AM – Listening to Insight for Living and reflecting on living and dying
9:00 AM – Breakfast and listening to the news (local and national)
9:15 AM – Gig stuff (not Epic Living related). Quite bored and not finding it very meaningful. I push through because I have to
10:00 AM – Reached out to friends to check-in
10:05 AM – Back to the gig stuff
11:30 AM – Somethings wrong. Feel like my blood glucose is high. I test. 400 is the number. WT…
12:30 PM – Test my blood again. Still high. Take dosage of insulin. Getting frustrated because I haven’t eaten since 9.
12:45 PM – Cancelled 2 appointments, with apologies
1:30 PM – Feeling drained and listless. Take a nap
2:00 PM – Test my blood again. Lower number, but still too high. Decide not to take another dose. I’ve been burned before by getting too aggressive
2:45 PM – Looking at a draft version of a press release
2:45 PM – Prepare for a conference call
4:00 PM – Call medical provider about billing issues with insurance. I don’t like insurance companies. I see them as a legal racket. Very frustrated by the lack of competence and the game playing
4:20 PM – Talk with my wife about new opportunities and her so-called manager/leader. Hate seeing her go through. I listen.
As I look back over the day, it was epic. One thing that leaps out is the importance of morning prep. You never know what’s coming your way.
I’m sure there’s more to add to my list, but those 3 leaped out to me. I’ve read the data around what millennials want, versus what their parents wanted. It’s rare to see it upfront and close.
On the clarity front, it looks like many are overwhelmed by the pace and choices that make up existence. With so much screaming for attention, it’s not surprising. Keeping in mind that much of what screams is a complete waste of time. We know this in our gut, all the while the tracer bullets continue to fly.
You have to learn the art of saying no.
Balance goes hand in hand with clarity. With many employers demanding more and more, millennials (all of us) are fighting to not lose their lives, as they build a career. There’s a question mark hanging out there. Many are wondering can a career, as defined by the employer, live at peace with a great life.
Choosing a great life is the only way to find balance.
My talk yesterday was about leading an epic life. Some are disturbed by this because they want it and they know in their core it is the way we were meant to be, yet they find mediocrity all around. America has descended into a swamp filled with it. Others want it and are willing to do the work of finding an epic life. I know you see the difference. The choice between the two has always been in hand.
Your epic life was deposited into you in the beginning.
Sustainability is an oft-used word that can conjure many different thougths. My use of sustainability in today's post is around your life-the living of it part.
I conducted a workshop a few weeks ago and by accident I heard a participant say they never eat breakfast. As if I'd seen someone's purse stolen, I immediately said, "that's not sustainable." After the awkward pause, I reassured the individual that the body cannot do what it was designed to do when we skip meals in the name of carrying on business. It's a design issue.
That's the point.
We in America (many other areas too) are very arrogant in the way we treat our lives. We play a dangerous game of pretend. In the game we say we're not harmed by ignoring our physical and mental health because we're successful. Usually, the success is connected to our careers and/or money. Nothing wrong with career and money, but they only make up a quarter of our lives-combined.
Every game of pretend comes to an end.
I've come to understand in my own journey that sustainability is a simple, and yet hard, principle. One's life can only be Epic when the entirety is integrated and aligned with. So take your whole life and pay attention to it everyday and make sure it's aligned properly. Think of your car when the wheels are out of alignment and what the fix is for that.
This is where we tend to get tripped up. The messages we hear everyday speak in contrary voices and we fail to choose what is best. For example:
I could go on, but you get where I'm going with this. It would seem we're fighting a covert war in our own heads. I believe we are and it's a war that carries very high stakes. Don't think you can pretend your way out of it.
To bring it home, I know you're tired (many of you) and I know deep down you believe a sustainable Epic life matters. Stick with me and let me help you.
If you’re in the mode of trusting in your past successes, then beware! It is a dangerous trap that many leaders small and large fall into. For some reason, our past triumphs lead us to believe that the future is discovered by them. In many ways this is not so.
The past is a time-frame of occurrence. It was a place of experience and opportunity (if we were awake for it). The only value in the past is to “connect the dots.” We derive learning and encouragement from those “dots.”
Don’t be fooled, the future doesn’t care about your past…it was birthed by your experiences of yesterday.
Start today by realizing that the future is about forward movement. You must make a conscious choice to look forward…it doesn’t happen naturally. If you’re living an Epic Life, then you know this is true.