A reminder given by one of the greatest minds, Steve Jobs, to always place your happiness and family above everything else.
We are faced with areas of our lives that test our ability to be happy.
We learn truth when we search for answers that our peers, news stations, even family members cannot give us.
It is very easy to pay attention to it, much harder to rid your life of it.
I had a ‘friendly' response to a message I sent out to my newsletter subscribers.
It was a short, blunt few words
‘You misspelled hope' was all that was written.
It made me think immediately of the movie Christmas Vacation when Clark Griswald worked tirelessly on his house, spending a ridiculous amount of time and energy to ensure his family had the most beautifully lit house for Christmas.
No one payed attention or cared that he was out on the lawn, falling down ladders or knew of the frustration he was dealing with to get that house to look great.
There is a point where after many failures he finally gets the lights to work and he goes to each of his family members who are in awe of the beauty of the house.
Griswald then gets to his father-in-law, Ed, who bluntly and without hesitation says,
the little lights aren't twinkling
It wasn't anything unprofessional in the manner this subscriber said but the bluntness caught me off guard.
The stay hungry stay foolish mindset is one that doesn't abide by the status quo.
I suppose having not created or written anything would been much easier in not having to deal with criticism, constructive or otherwise, but that isn't how I choose to live my life.
We learn nothing in our comfort zone.
We all have things we can work on.
I never envisioned being perfect with my writing or with RDA. I wanted to create, to produce and make a difference and possibly impact someone's life.
I'm not quite there yet but two years later, I am still writing, still creating and still making mistakes.
Providing value is harder then people realize.
Consuming, rather then producing, is the traveled road of choice for many as there is less friction and resistance making that ones choice.
The fact of the matter is we are taught since we are young to be consumers, not so much producers.
Like hatred, war, racism etc, it is taught.
We didn't come out of the womb hating other countries and people because they didn't look, think or hold to the religious views we hold.
I suppose we all have our reasons for doing what we do.
We all need some form of entertainment.
Life would be pretty boring without it don't you think?
There is an old quote from John Lennon that I think of often.
When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy'. They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life.
If you have been a reader of rundreamachieve.com long enough you'll have learned that the status quo, being normal and negativity is not something I cling to.
It does nothing for me to tell someone how fast I run, what workouts I do.
I have numerous friends in the running community who have run faster times then I have who freely do this.
It may make them feel good to talk about their mile workouts but how does that help you or I?
Will that help you maintain pace for a marathon?
It provides a very short-term burst of motivation reading about it but the real work and sweat needs to be done by you and I in order for results to come about.
I suppose as time goes on you learn that there is more value in producing value and products that truly matter, sharing your time, whether that be through content with occasional grammatical errors, or by simply swing,
Hey, I understand your frustrations. I've been where you are at
All A Choice
The bottom line up front is that when you aim to create art, whether by writing, by your training and racing, by the time you freely give to others, it is a choice by others whether they will listen or not.
No one owes you or I answers.
If you are a seeker of truth like me, you search for it.
I have found less amusement with mainstream news channels and am continually seeking ways to be around a more positive environment.
I find more peace listening to my wife play the piano, watching our cats sprint around the apartment, reading a good book then watching television.
RDA has been my coping mechanism because running and fitness is all that has ever given me a sense of peace.
Seek Alternative Methods
I have always sought alternative news, books, journals because, like running, to find the promise land, you had better be willing to put in more work, search a little more for answers, then your friends to your right and left.
I can create content to help runners and non-athletes, but unless others use it is for not, just another line of text in the endless sea of information that is created daily on the internet…but here is the difference…
If it matters to you you'll keep doing it whether you fail or succeed.
We don't get to the next level in athletics by not listening to the negative influences that are all round us.
We make the choice to take the road less traveled, where the fewest go.
It makes me think of one of my favorite Biblical verses.
Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the fate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it
That is what makes us all unique.
What I wish more people would do is investigate how by not taking action fuels the negativity in our lives.
Find Your Passion
I have always been an entrepreneur at heart.
When I was a kid I use to go door to door to sell moths for a nickel, larger ones that I picked from the ground I would sell for a quarter.
I have always believed that there were alternatives in life.
People who get sick and tired of trading their time for a paycheck are the ones who take action.
The rest will continue to act as if their life is limitless.
People will gladly allow others to steal their time away from them just so they can pay their bills without ever even lifting a finger to consider that there are options such as network marketing available.
Again, all a choice.
Some move, some stay stagnant.
I don't write that to belittle but to motivate.
Far too many people are getting the shaft and have been taught to pay homage to this idea of having a job.
In the late 1880's America was all about small business.
The Industrial Age changed that and our schooling system was built on the idea of training factory workers.
There is an alternative in being sad, depressed or financially strapped.
I know there are people who do not choose to walk the same path as the majority do.
They choose to be happy.
They realize that making money isn't the end goal, impacting and helping people is.
I can write about Max International, a company that specialized in nutrition, skin care and weight loss products, until I am blue in the face.
It isn't my job to decide for you to choose to be interested in what the company is doing, you must make that decision.
It is my job to share with others another alternative to preventing injuries, sicknesses and healing.
The visitors of rundreamachieve can take from what it whatever they wish.
I can promise you this, there is more to life then making money.
I am sure you don't need to be told that.
We all know that but how many college educated working professionals are still getting up day in, day out, driving to work (you even have to pay to put gas in your car so you can get to work) just to pay off bad debt i.e. college loans, credit cards, car loans etc.?
Think about it.
We are only payed every two weeks.
Entrepreneurship has been just as fascinating to me as running and fitness has been in my life.
It is a way for others to take a step in the direction few are willing to go.
They get payed regardless what they are doing.
Drinking coffee, playing with their kids, driving to grocery store to pick up groceries.
There is something special about that, different.
It defies what we have been taught is the only method of earning an income.
It isn't easy taking risks.
Every time you go out to train for a race or take a risk that what you are doing may or may not work.
What is the alternative?
Not trying at all and never knowing either way.
This isn't living empowered.
It is existing and not truly testing to see what is possible.
It is staying in the safe zone where everyone likes to reside at.
Unless you make the choice to seek alternatives in your physical fitness, financial life, gaining back time lose doing things that don't bring you joy you'll never know.
You have read this far, clearly you didn't do that because you didn't get what I was saying.
We all make choices and there are times when we aren't sure if they are right or wrong but here is the kicker…
..by taking action, you'll have overcome one of the biggest negative hurdles of life and that is not taking any at all and following in with the masses.
I think the military as its place but the hardest thing for me after having served for over 12 years is individuality and one's own creative spark can be easily snuffed out.
What do I mean?
Have you ever been in an environment where everyone was doing the same thing?
Where people are afraid to speak up on account of losing a job, looking unprofessional or facing ridicule for not doing what everyone around them is?
How did it make you feel?
Did you ever look around and think to yourself,
why are so many of these bright, educated, hard working people complying with what they are told?
Do they have a voice or is it the voice of the authority that takes precedence?
Is that ethical?
Remembering that your going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart – Steve Jobs
I write, create and try to empower people here not just to run faster, lose weight and get new personal bests.
Of course, I want that for my readers but I also want people that visit RDA to think outside of the box.
It is ok to work a 9 to 5 job if it brings you happiness but when we have billions of dollars in bail outs going to corporate big wigs and the poor still present around the world, why more people aren't speaking up for producing, rather then consuming, entrepreneurship rather then debt servitude, is beyond me.
Everyone is Unique
You weren't born into this life to not be happy.
If you wake up and don't feel deep down in your gut that what you are doing is your passion then you need to take some of what I have written, outside of running, to heart.
There is always an alternative to everything.
We want to run fast times but don't want to put in the necessary work to achieve it.
The alternative to doing nothing, wishing which most people do.
Change takes too much effort and everyone wants things easy.
Who doesn't want to gain fitness?
Make More money?
Have more time instead of their employer owning it for them.
They wish they could travel more, spend more time with their families, run faster times but don't educate themselves on alternatives or make the necessary changes needed to make these wishes their reality.
We all want to earn a living, to travel, to be with our family yet why do so many choose to spend the majority of their waking life away from these gifts.
We want to make money but only rely on the only thing we have been taught.
How to be an employee.
It is what we have been taught to do, study hard, whatever you do don't fail or you'll be a loser or get a bad grade, get your diploma or degree to get a job.
Let me be clear on something.
I don't think people who choose to have jobs are any less creative, focused, kind or driven as any individual who chooses not to take that path.
Hard Work And The Path Less Traveled
There is honor in jobs so please don't misunderstand my post.
Keep in mind I work a job as a Soldier which is also a job, that doesn't mean my creative juices aren't always flowing.
You can still have a job and create art. You don't have to let it suck the life out of you.
I come from a small town in Ohio where the majority of the population work in steel mills.
What I do want to point out is something that has troubled me for years and why I am writing this post.
How come there are people who have not followed the path of being an employee who earn more income in a day then the people of my hometown make in a year or a decade even getting up early to drive to the mill?
I think we have been misinformed about money, about what it is to be happy.
Happiness isn't how much money we make.
If anything I have learned in life, the most potent bit of information is that your time, not money, is the most precious gift you have.
My problem is I see too many people not fighting tooth and nail to defend anything that takes their time, happiness or takes their valued and limited time with their loved ones.
What I see and what I think about driving to work is the very same thing I am writing about and what is driving me to continue to write, create and help people.
I want freedom of my time.
Freedom to spend more time creating and less time away from those that I love.
We aren't taught about financial freedom growing up in our high schools and colleges.
What we are taught is how to learn skills that lead to a job.
Why is it that some of the richest people in the world, monetarily speaking, never finished college?
Why did they have the ‘stay hungry-stay foolish‘ attitude that Steve Jobs so eloquently stated?
Are they really any different then your local waitress waiting tables for minimum wage down the street?
Why are so many people choosing to the path that everyone else follows?
Is it fear of the unknown?
Are they afraid of losing the security they feel or the fear of embarrassment of making a choice that may not be the right move?
This fascinates me.
Happiness Is A Choice
I have never thought that relying on a job for income is the only way to break through this matrix we all have far too long have complied with.
It is no different to me then when I was told to quit, that my previous marathon best of 2.43.36, simply wasn't competitive enough to match up with the top runners in the country.
I look back and ask myself, ‘What if I would have actually listened to this advice”?
I would have never broken 2.20.00 but more importantly I would have complied with the negativity that surrounded me
I made the choice.
I had to overcome my own status quo state of mind in considering become an associate with Max International and had to do the very same thing to break through my athletic barriers and goals I've placed on myself over the years.
There is nothing special about earning income unethically.
Some people get off on that, they are called globalists and I'm not interested in that.
The poor of the world need to know that there are other alternatives to living paycheck to paycheck and until your back is up against the wall, you will continue to comply with this negative idea that there is only one way to get by and that is with a job.
It simply isn't true.
Producing is a beautiful thing. It means that something you create or the time you give to someone else can impact change.
A kind word does far more then a negative one. It is a scientific fact that when one speaks kind words to water it creates beautifully designed crystal shapes.
The opposite is true with negative thoughts and words.
Expect to face challenges if you speak to the contrary of the people you surround yourself with.
Stay hungry, stay foolish. Be willing to make mistakes and look awkward to others when you fail to live up to their expectations.
It is a much more fulfilling life to know that you created something for others rather then choosing to do the alternative.