Dear Why Team member,
I hope this week’s message finds you well and enjoying the Holiday season.
If we could remember our life from when we were infants and young toddlers, we’d probably laugh remembering telling ourselves many times ‘never again’: never again will I take another step on my own, never again will I go down that big slide, but look at us now, performing some of those ‘never again’ tasks mechanically.
Why does “never again” often become “let’s do it again”?
Another common example is child birth. A woman can go through so much hell to bear a child, including all the months leading up to the birth; and as a father of three, I can attest that being the supportive partner is not always the easiest. And while it’s common to hear shortly after the birth: “okay, that’s it, no more”. Time passes, enthusiasm grows, and the pluses often out weigh the negatives, with many arriving at “let’s do it again.”
The closest I’ll ever come to childbirth, is mountain-climbing; I’m sure nothing compares to childbirth - but the point here isn’t comparison; the point is why do we continue to choose pain and suffering?
During the descent of IXTA, Mexico’s 3rd highest dormant volcanic mountain, on the Friday before Thanksgiving, it was easy to say “no more,” but only days later, I’m excited to book another trip through Hell.
Because there is a kind of Heaven that is found when we go through Hell. There is something very empowering about CHOOSING difficulty in life as opposed to life’s difficulties being thrust upon us - which of course life will most certainly do.
A yes to struggle is like a yes to life. There really is no place to hide; let’s face it, life comes with a lot of dis-ease and the certainty of death.
Staying physically safe on a couch is not living - which I believe also defines death.
In 2017 as I was departing for my first glacier climb I told my children:
“I’d rather you die living than live dying.”
Consider that what makes a great Play is not it’s length. We all will pass on, but what did we do while we were here? Did we set an example for others on how to live or on how to fear? As the old saying goes, no one on their death bed says they wish they had adventured less.
Noticing how much fear governs our life is important, and the antidote may be to just say yes more instead of no.
Staying home feels safer than entering the unknown, but there is no escaping the unknown future. As you consider your life in the New Year, will you choose to live in trepidation or live more in excited curiosity?!
Why do we eventually say “let’s do it” after saying “never again”? Because the benefits over time to living a “yes-life” often outweigh the short-term comforts of living a “no-life”. You could even say a “no-life” is death.
Don’t be the one on their death bed saying I wish I had said yes more often than no.
Find a confident, competent leader to take you places your own lack of competence and confidence will keep you from going. It’s a big world out there - Live large! - say Yes, let’s do it again!
And notice how life’s everyday challenges become less of an issue in your life.
If we want the pendulum of our life to swing higher on the side of joy and aliveness, we have to actively push it sometimes higher on the side of Hell. And in retrospect, our memory has a bias to pull the positives from the decisions we made. How many vacations are enjoyed more on reflection than actually on the vacation. While life’s nuisances can often dominate our experience, vacations can be reflected on fondly even though they had plenty of nuisances of their own.
Adventure! Ladies and Gentlemen! Living Yes! Choosing to get outside of our comfort zone - sure it’s hard, but again, upon reflection we can arrive at WOW, that was cool - I’m so glad I did that.
Make 2022 your Best Year yet:
the year you Live more Yes than No, the year you choose to live more outside your comfort zone - for that is surely where your Best Life begins.
For you and yours, I hope you make it a great Holiday Season - looking forward to your exciting and
Very Happy New Year!