Today is the day I actually feel like I’m in my 40′s.
In a way that seems more impactful than just turning 40.
I’m never happy with where I’m at in life. I’m envious and jealous of others’ accomplishments. I’m disappointed in what I’ve accomplished personally. It’s never enough.
I’m just not a very content person. I never have been.
Thankfully I have Rocky.
She pointed out this morning that, considering my background, I’m doing pretty well.
I was a music/English major at Baldwin-Wallace College (something that has never impressed me).
I have no entrepreneurial mentors in my life.
I’m predisposed to heavy drinking (I quit altogether 9 years ago).
All things considered, I’m doing pretty well from a career standpoint.
She did make the point that if I had gone to Harvard Business School and then somehow found myself, at the age of 41, in Akron Ohio with a 5 person consulting firm… that might be another story.
But as a discontent human I naturally ask myself: Why does that matter?
Why do I choose to think on the scale I think?
Fear? Lack of vision? Straight up stupidity?
In the last month or so I’ve gone to 2 funerals of men that died in their 60′s.
I love funerals.
Funerals are the most sincere of all ceremonies.
At a wedding there’s a 50-50 shot as to whether or not the couple is going to stay married.
At a funeral that person is dead. No going back. It’s absolute.
Funerals give me this unique opportunity to review my own life and imagine what people would say about me if I were the one in the box at the front of the room.
I recommend going to funerals whenever you get the chance.
I guess overall I like birthdays because its this mile marker that lets me think about where I’ve come and where I’m going.
I sincerely hope I don’t end up in the front of the room in a wooden box before I hit 70.
But it’s not out of the realm of possibility. I push on life very hard. A sudden heart attack at 67 is not impossible.
As I sit in these funerals the things I hope people will say include things like:
- Sage was a guy who knew how to live life.
- He traveled extensively.
- He taught passionately.
- He loved his family.
- He inspired people to boldly live their lives fully.
- He loved life.
- And his love of life helped other people love their lives as well.
I guess that’s all.
I love life and I want to explore life as deeply as I possibly can.
My great friend Jamie Johns wrote one of his many highly inspirational comments on a blog post once. Within the comment he said, “Just be and do.”
I have that taped to my wall.
Just be and do.
That’s my guiding life philosophy.
I want to live up to that wisdom.
So at age 41 that’s the plan. Just be and do.
It’s harder said than done.
There are so many mental obstacles that get in the way of that pursuit.
Anxiety, fear, negativity, questioning. They all cloud the act of being and doing.
In music performance there are a host of issues that stand in your way of an ideal performance.
Performance anxiety sums it all up. The actual act of sitting on a big stage with an audience is stressful.
That stress threatens your performance.
My cello teacher, Greg Fiocca, would always say, “You need to clean off the windshield. You need to get all the crap off the glass so you can just play the music.”
That’s being and doing.
I want to live my life like that.
I want the windshield to be as clean as possible. The dirt and debris from the road just gets in the way. Just be and do.
That’s my plan for 41.
(It’s a much better plan than I had at age 30 when I declared it the “decade of work.” That was not my best strategy.)