Today.

Today is a great day to have a great day.

I say this almost every day and I mean it. I enjoy living the happiest best life I can each day because this day might be the last one I live. As I write this it might sound a little macabre to some but it is a true reality that we need to accept. Life is best lived today, never forget that.

Today is the day to live without fear, to stand up for what you’ve always wanted to, to start doing the things you’ve always wanted to do. Whatever living your fullest best life is, go for it. If you have been wanting to do start doing that immediately. If you want to start cooking new meals do your research and visit your local store to snag ingredients for a new feast. Feel like learning a new subject, google it and read a few articles and see if it truly sparks your interest and begin a deeper study of the said topic. Been wanting to run farther, lift heavier, hike to new heights, just start today little by little to work towards what you truly want. Live today for you.

Are you afraid of being happy? Do you fear to live a free life doing the things you truly want to do? Stop being afraid and start living. Is this easier said than done? Yes, we’re worried about what others think of us all too much. If others can’t see the why behind what you are doing share it with them and help them see the vision you have of your life. Hope that they can understand and then keep living your best life.

Today is the best day. Today is known as the present, and some say that today is a gift. I tend to agree with that thought.

Yesterday.

Yesterday always plays a part in who we are today because who we were yesterday determined what we are able to do today. Today’s success started with yesterdays efforts and the struggles that we were able to overcome. When I was younger I often would hear people talking about their past and the “what if’s” had they decided to stick with career x or hobby y. The echoes of yesterday with all its former glory were holding them back from a better today, and their desired tomorrow. Yesterday is in the past, we cannot change it, we can only learn from it and move forward.

Living in yesterday isn’t healthy for anyone, yesterday was a lesson we learned and today are utilizing as we go. I think about a few things I learned yesterday and have utilized today. First from work was new policies and a better understanding of the processes we need to make things work for all parties involved in a transaction. At home, I refreshed my technique for making yellow coconut curry and a better balance of water to coconut milk in the simmering phase of the dish’s preparation. While I was at the climbing gym I practiced a few routes that I am hoping to send in the coming weeks and found better hand and foot placement for balance as I climb. These are all valuable lessons for the next time I work with someone on policy at work, invite friends over for curry, and send those routes I was practicing. All great lessons learned yesterday to benefit me in the future.

If you messed up yesterday let it stay in yesterday if you can. If its a small oops leave it there stop dwelling on the things you cannot change and work towards the things you can. We all have those experiences that have weighed us down and that we sometimes think back to with embarrassment and hope that someone else doesn’t remember it. Most of the time you are the only one who remembers those moments and it’s best for every one of you forget them too.

Yesterday was great, wasn’t it? Yesterday was a learning experience, so today lace up your shoes and use what you’ve learned to do great things.

Weak.

I recently started climbing again after just over a year of not climbing, re-entering my local climbing gym I figured that I could pick back up where I left off. Thinking that my fitness was fairly decent and my ability was still there I proceeded to flail around for an hour on routes that I easily climbed just a year before, my hand hurt, my shoulder ached, and my muscles all begged me to give them a rest. I continued to walk around the gym looking for routes to send, I ended up sending less than half of my attempted routes but still felt accomplished to be back in the gym climbing even if I was weaker than I thought I was.

After finishing my workout in the gym I drove home a little down about my climbing I thought about how nice it was to be going again. The thought of the different routes and moves needed to send(climb) them allowed me to recognize that today I was a weak climber, but next session I would be stronger and be able to send more routes.  This is how we get better at the things we enjoy, we keep showing up to learn more, get better, and be stronger as we participate in our passion.

It’s a hard thing to admit weakness because once we admit that we are others will capitalize on that weakness and try and bring us down. Not a great thought when you are thinking about being vulnerable, can people use my truth against me? Sadly this is a reality, there are people who want to bring us down either to their level or below. Understanding this as a possibility as we go is an opportunity for each of us to become stronger by accepting what we can’t change and investing our time into strengthening the things we can change.

Whatever your weakness is accept it then move forward and fortify and strengthen what you can and become the best you can be. I may not be the strongest climber on the wall, but I will send any route I put my mind to, working from bottom to top relentlessly until I reach my desired destination at the top of the route.

Encouragement.

Why is it beneficial to be encouraging of others in their day to day tasks? I’m not talking about their specific work or school-related assignments but the little things they do every day that makes our lives a little better. Think of your friend who smiles at you when you are having a tough day. Think about those challenging days when a parent offered encouragement and reassurance that you could make big things happen if you put your mind to it. This is what the world needs a little more encouragement towards better things and a little less weight behind negativity.

It starts with me. A better world starts on a personal level more trust in others, a better believe that people are generally good, and a little more effort to listen to each other.  Sounds pretty easy right? It isn’t as easy as it sounds to trust others when we hear all the bad that could, has or is happening around us. It’s a challenge to see others as good when we lie to each other and even ourselves about the reality of the situations we live in daily. It’s hard to listen when we want to be heard, to be recognized, to be understood. We want so much from others but are at times unwilling to give to those we want to listen. Three simple steps to a better world that sound so easy, but are so hard to commit to.

Acknowledging that we can change the world in three steps is encouraging and a direction we can all get behind. If you start to look outward at what you can give to others you’ll see more easily all that others are giving to you. Life is a great maze that we all navigate a few feet at a time, why not be brave enough to trust others to help us forward, speak good words to each other, and listen a little better to those who need to be heard.

So who agrees that it starts with me?

Risk.

Whenever I’m out exploring the great outdoors I understand that there is a general amount of risk that needs to be understood as I seek out places that few see in person. Knowing that risk is an ever-present weight to be balanced and measured is a good reminder to be sure your next steps are in the right direction. Risk can be taken in adventure, day to day transit, business, school, and relationships. By understanding what risky behaviors can be taken appropriately we can do our best to know that the risks we may take can payoff positively for us.

As a natural born risk taker, I’ve always walked the fine line between smart risk and reckless risk. There was a goal I had to learn how to balance atop a fence about five feet off the ground and about 150 yards from my parents home. I understood what could happen if I learned the skill I needed to walk the line, I would be able to brag about my superior balance and have a skill that few have. If I was unsuccessful I could fall and break any number of bones and hurt myself in other ways. I knew I would fall, I expected it and that understanding made the challenge a little easier to start and helped me balance the risk to reward from my little venture.

I practiced this balancing act for years at times only making it a foot or two before bailing off one side of the fence or the other or take a sudden slip and ending up bouncing to the ground without a moments notice. As the years added up so did the number of feet I was able to balance and the number of times I became closer to succeeding at my little conquest to balance the entire fence. I only made the entire fence one time, one time that has taught me countless lessons in life balance and perseverance since.

Along with those two great assets under my belt I also learned how to manage the risk I was deciding to take every time I climbed the fence and began my balancing act. I learned to avoid walking the line if it had just snowed or rained a wet metal bar isn’t so grippy and you will either end up in mud or snow. Watching the weather was key to a good session on the bar, the wind was not your friend either. Wearing the right footwear is key to being able to walk the greatest distance, wearing boots or shoes with bad traction is a bad choice, wearing shoes that are muddy, shitty, or wet are also a guarantee that you’ll fall faster than you’d intended.

This childhood experience is a simple lesson in goal setting, perseverance, trial and error, and risk management. Can the lessons I learned from my years walking the fence from the farm to the house be used today? Absolutely, I can weigh the risk in the actions I take and examine the payout that could take place if my risk pays off.

Connect.

We are all connected in one form or another through the small things that we don’t often think about. I had a conversation with a friend once about how all roads are connected, that the road we were driving along in Salt Lake City could be driven all the way to his home in Michigan, the roads were connected state by state, and mile after mile. That was a very interesting way to look at how we are all connected by the little things we utilize every day whether it is the shops we purchase from, the food we eat, or movements we follow. We are connected in more ways than we realize.

These connections influence our day to day behavior as we interact together in our common interests we tend to treat each other with a little more kindness, a little more understanding, and a bit more willingness to cooperate when the situations are less than desirable. I say this because I’ve watched a wide variety of people with various different backgrounds come together united to aide in change.

Think about the Live Aid concert in 1985 that showcased talent filmed in the UK and televised throughout the world for a single cause to raise money for the relief of famine-stricken Africans. People from different countries contributed around 127 million to the cause while hearing some of the greatest music acts of the century. Wherever people watched the concert they saw on the backdrop the “Live Aid” logo and were informed and inspired to unite and donate to the cause of lifting others from poverty through their donations.

In more modern times we have similar opportunities to unite together for the betterment of the world we live in. Uniting in causes that we believe in by taking action verbally or digitally we are able to share our feelings on the causes that inspire us. As we decide on what causes we stand behind remember to stand with causes that build a better world and avoid those that divide and destroy the communities we live in.

Goal.

Once you set a goal what is your actual endgame? Are you willing to put in the work to see it from inception to fruition? Can you visualize yourself along the journey working through the ups and downs, are you prepared to fall, then rise again to the next wave of challenges ahead? It’s easy to set a goal, the hard part is the steps in between where you have to stick to it and work for your desired outcome.

Tonight we watched “Free Solo” a visual tale of Alex Honold as he prepares to free solo the freerider route on El Capitan. Watching Alex interact with his friends and family as he worked toward his goal was very interesting due to the fact that he remained vocal about his desired outcome and the risk that accompanied his lofty goal. Throughout the film, you watch as he experiences injury, personal preparation both mental and physical, doubt, and finally the completion of his goal. The way the film is shown allows the viewer to experience the actual scale of the challenge and find themselves sweaty-palmed and ready for the next movement on the journey.

As we decide on what challenge we want to accept we need to recognize the challenges there will be. The road will be ready for our feet, but will our feet be ready for the different objects along the way? Personally, the best way I’ve found if I am ready or not is by doing the thing I want to do. If I want to be able to run a 10k I need to start running a few times a week at various distances, recording my time, preparing my mind and body for each step along the way and acknowledging that there will be good days but there will also be bad days. Days where I do not want to run, I can choose on those days if I am going to walk my needed distance, a combination of walking and running, pushing through the pain of the run on that day, or just avoid it altogether.

At the end of the day, week, year, or years how you decide to start and complete your goals are entirely up to you. You can allow these goals to stand at the front of your priority list or have them as passive companions to other worthy pursuits. Either way, you decide how to set out and complete your goal. The key is to set small manageable goals as you start out, then after you get better at achieving your goals set larger loftier goals that stretch you a bit more than your previous accomplishments did. Don’t limit your opportunities because you fear failure, embrace failure to allow for more opportunities to see your goals from dreams to destinations.