“Life has really been whooping my ass!”
That’s what I said to my wife a few days ago when I read one of my Facebook memories. The quote said: “Bout to be 22 in a couple of days. I’m going to be grown for real. The world doesn’t know what’s going to hit it!” It was dated February 1, 2007, 2 days before my 22nd birthday.
And much like many other times in my life, I was wrong.
The world surely was ready for me.
Since that Facebook status, I have gone bankrupt, been tricked out of thousands of dollars by family members, almost lost my house (a couple, few times), have had to suffer one of the most painful personal experiences outside of death one had to feel, have gone an entire year without health insurance, have owed thousands of dollars in back taxes, have been sued, and a ton of other things I’m saving for my books and my memoir.
But I’m still here, healthy, happy, and whole. (Insert smiley face emoji)
And despite my misfortunes I have had so many more good things happen in my life, including celebrating 34 years of life today.
I’ve lived a charmed life, spoken to over 100,000 live with my speaking business, been married to a phenomenal woman (who still likes me), have had 3 kids, written 6 books, and it’s only getting better.
I don’t want to spend this blog post talking and reflecting too much though: I just want to share 2 quotes that changed my life that I hope will help you have a positive experience as well.
The first quote that stands out to me that I often share during my speeches is from Ben Franklin and it says,
“Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon, and wise too late.”
Today I’m 34 years old, but I still have vivid memories of being a 3 year old when my sister Christina was born.
I remember elementary school, middle school, high school, and college well.
But time has flown by so incredibly quick that those memories seem like I watched them on a movie or on a TV show.
This is not a complaint, for many times memories to a sharp mind can be best friends. However, I often ask myself: “What do I need to be learning now, so that my life will be better in the future?”
The second quote that has changed my life I heard 10 years ago in my living room when I was listening to a personal development CD. This quote was by Charlie ‘Tremendous’ Jones and it goes like this,
“You’re the same person today that you’ll be in 5 years with the exception of 2 things, the books you read and the people you meet.”
I’m totally cool with getting older, but the goal is to get older and get better. This quote helped me see that in order to do that I need to be reading books (and listening to podcasts and other things) by people that have the measure of success I want.
I put this in practice and in a few years I was able to leave my job to become a professional speaker. I love my career and I’ll always speak, but I realize there’s more I need to do which means I need to read higher quality things and meet higher quality people.
As I sit here doing what I love at 12:30am as my 34th birthday comes in I’m grateful, humble, clear about my intentions, and excited about the future.
Every birthday I say: “This is going to be the best year of my life!” And every year thus far I’ve been right.
So let’s do this again world. I’m still here, I’m ready for more lessons, more ass whoopings, and more success.
This is my life, based on a true story.