Ten years ago today I did a pretty big thing — I closed a chapter of my life when I said goodbye to a company (Best Buy) and a group of people whom I loved…a company I assumed was the whole book of my life…at the time I didn’t know it was merely a chapter, albeit a formidable one. I had to leave because I had an opportunity and a hunch…a hunch there was something big inside of myself that I needed to discover, uncover, embrace, and become.
I had always played life pretty safe. I had always followed the “rules” of what was expected in my life — by myself and others. For almost my whole life to that point, I assumed I was on the right path, and in order to learn and grow, I’d keep following it…the safe one…the expected one…the “right” one.
So this move at the time? Absolutely uncharacteristic of me. But, at the same time, truer to my soul than I could ever have fathomed in the moment.
But, completely uncharted territory.
One the backside of 10 years later? I haven’t discovered, uncovered, embraced, or become. Instead I’m unregrettably (and some days carefully, some days bravely, and other days fretfully) discoverING, uncoverING, embracING, and constantly becomING.
In that 10 years, I owned my own successful business (and then shut it down)…launched a church and even became a pastor (and after some time, moved on)…lost 140 pounds and was featured in a boatload of media, nationally and globally…found out I’d never have children of my own…had a series of spinal surgeries, one of which my body went haywire on and threatened my ability to ever walk normally again (even unknowingly threatened my life for a few days)…I joined one of my closest friends in building and growing a fitness company…I embraced all of who I was and became unafraid to share it from a stage…I lost my dad after an ugly battle with a horrific disease…we lost our Bailey-dog, but found our Cali-dog…we traded our big, comfy, suburban home for a small apartment in the city…we experienced world of highs and lows that I cannot even begin to articulate…and I unearthed an unquenchable desire to always give people hope and show them how valuable their lives’ stories truly are (that official venture will launch this spring — Strength and Moxie).
And I've learned a few things along the way:
- There is more inside of us than we can know; everything we do builds upon the previous; we’re never walking into anything cold.
- We never know what we’re truly capable of until we step beyond what we’re currently doing.
- The only person who can dictate your priorities is you — no job, nor friends, nor family sets them )unless we let them).
- Taking care of ourselves gives us life and helps us give life to others. It’s not selfish.
- Our network is only as big as our passion. If we're genuinely and authentically passionate about something, and it seeps into every ounce of our beings, people will rally around to share, to help, and to be a part of the light.
- Our individual stories (life…perspective…passion) are not for everyone. And that’s ok. We all need to find the people who resonate with us because we’re all different. We’ll affect more people for the good then we’ll ever know…we cannot focus on those who aren’t our people.
- We can never, ever, ever, ever think we're better than someone else. And we can certainly never act like we are. If they’re not your people, just walk away and let them be.
- You don’t have to chase passion in order to live in passion…we can find the things that fill our hearts in a lot of our everyday work.
- Life is too short for fake anything. Vulnerability and humanness change lives.
- If there’s love or gratitude in our heart, we must share it. That shit isn’t meant for keeping to ourselves.
Ten years didn’t bring me to a destination — thank God. Ten years took me on an adventure — from some of the very darkest moments to the highest and brightest peaks. And, mostly, I’ve learned that I never want to arrive. Because, if I’ve arrived, then I’ve given up. Stopped. Become complacent.
If I arrive…I’ll never see more possibility.
And I’m all in on this journey.
And to my forever Best Buy network? You’ve remained a growing family that gave me my fundamentals and still supports every move I make. Everyone, do yourself a favor, for (at least) a few years, find a place to contribute or work where people care about WHO you are and not just what you do. That experience will change the trajectory of your life.