I felt the title of this blog timely as we approach the season affectionately known as March Madness. If you don’t recognize it, it is from the Jim Valvano Espy speech that moved me as much as any I have heard over the years. In this heartfelt speech Coach Valvano, who was in his last days of his battle with cancer, touches on so many life themes. (watch it on YouTube if haven’t seen it yet) His core message is to never give up on your quest to live your life to its fullest. That can mean different things to different people, but to truly live life to its fullest we need to experience it all, the full catastrophe. Laugh until it hurts, cry until you smile and love like you will never see that person again.
The Cherokee Indians say: When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced, live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice. What an amazing feeling that would be, to have done it all, seen it all, experienced it all and to have no regrets. An oak tree is genetically coded to grow to its absolute fullest extent, it has no choice. We as humans do have a choice and given that choice, many of us don’t come close to living to our full potential. I have run marathons next to men and women that were blind, men and women that had prosthetic legs, yet none of them ever saw their challenges as a handicap. It fueled their fire so that at the end of the “race” there would be no sorries or I meant to’s. They didn’t choose their circumstances, they chose their thoughts and what opportunities life did present them so that they could shape their circumstances.
They say that the richest place on earth is not Silicon Valley, or the kingdoms of the princes of the Middle East, but the cemetery. There are a multitude of unwritten books, symphonies left uncomposed, foundations not started, paintings never painted. If you have a dream, you have to protect it. Dreams are the seedlings of realities. We don’t attract in life what we want, we attract in life what we are. We are products of our thoughts and dreams. The jewels of our lives are mined from the depths of our souls, we can’t just scratch the surface. All that you are and all that you can be is within you if you just push yourself to the edges of your abilities, to the outer boundaries of what you think you can become.
We all want to improve our circumstances, yet how many of us are willing to improve ourselves. “For things to change, we have to change. Don’t wish for less problems, wish for more skills. ” – Jim Rohn.
I highly suggest a 25 page book called “As a Man Thinketh” by James Allen. One of the many that have had a massive impact on me. Mr. Allen says, “In all human affairs there are efforts and there are results, and the strength of the effort is the measure of the result. Chance is not. Gifts, powers, material, intellectual and spiritual possessions are the fruits of the effort; they are thoughts completed, objects accomplished,visions realized.”