Nobody Talks About The Lifeless

Waiting for my oil change the other day, I chatted with two guys, both retired.  One had just completed a walk of the Grand Canyon.  That’s 11 miles down, 8 miles up.  The other had been retired for more than a dozen years after completing a blue-collar 9-5 job. When telling the wife about my day, which do you think I mentioned?  It wasn’t Joe Wrenchturner.

The canyon-walker had to make reservations for the hotel at the bottom of Arizona’s big hole two years out.  And over those two years, he trained his way up to make his 19 mile march. (He also spent a week training for a skydive–something he swore he’d never do.)  It was one of the first things out of his mouth when we were bullshitting, so I’m sure he was proud of it … as he should be.

The other guy talked about wishes, how he wished he would have taken a risk to invest in an energy drink company when given the opportunity, how he wished he would have stayed in better shape, how he wished he could have the energy like the sky-diving guy.  He played it safe. Held back his chips. Never risked it.

There’s a big difference between these two guys.  That’s drive.  With unstoppable drive comes risk.  Yup, you could enjoy a life working for the weekend.  You could avoid the risk of injury by not taking up a new sport.  You could save yourself embarrassment by not singing karaoke.  But I guarantee you’ll enjoy your life more by taking a risk, by living life.  (I’m talking calculated risk. Don’t go play Castanza-Frogger in the street.)

Don’t be the retired guy or gal who wishes he had lived.  Ask yourself, “If I found myself on my deathbed right now, what would I wish I had done?” It’s an excellent fucking question.  The answer is the journey you should be embarking on.  Set small goals at first, with dates to have them completed.  And the larger goal? That should have a “done-by” date as well.

Whatever it is, go get it. I want more people in this world who have cool stories.  Because nobody talks about the lifeless.

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