“If I could talk to my younger self, I would just say that the path to great things is filled with a lot of stumbles, suffering, and challenges along the way. But if you have the right attitude and know that hard times will pass - and you get up each time - you will reach your destination”. - Jonny Kim (American Astronaut)
One of the earliest memories I have is of when I was about five years old. I remember living in Simi Valley California in my aunt's house, and in front of the house, they had a big tree. One afternoon I remember climbing the tree to see what was towards the top of it. When I looked back down I was scared to climb down and I screamed for my mom to come and get me down. When my mom came outside she got closer to me and told me that she wasn't going to help me down. She simply said, “you got yourself up there you can get yourself down”.
For years I looked back at that memory and I promised myself that I wouldn't do that to my kids. I thought that was really mean, but over the last 10 years or so I've come to realize that moments like that molded me to be more creative and innovative. I’ve realized that the biggest challenges in my life help me become extremely resourceful and resilient.
I’ve found that life gives you challenges so that you can grow through them. There’s one quote by Mickey Rooney that I have pinned to my table, “You always pass failure on your way to success.”
You can look through history to find that humanity's greatest growth came from a time of massive challenges. The first thing that came to my mind was World War I and World War II, where our society advanced not only with technology but with a different sense of what humanity stands for. You find this to be true through the history of the human race where we are pushed to the brink of disaster and then we find solutions we never imagined were possible.
The one thing you'll find is true is that the more you put yourself in situations that scare you because you feel you may fail at it, those will be the ones that help you grow! You will begin to realize that you will get more comfortable being uncomfortable and that's where the magic begins. That's where you need to be and you've got to stop shortchanging yourself. Limiting yourself to being comfortable with the life that you have is the opposite of growth!
Enjoy your life, have fun, learn to live in the moment, but never get comfortable with your current situation. Always know that you can get better at something. Whether it’s something with the self, connecting deeper with your family and friends, or finding something you can do better in your business. The moment you feel like you've done enough is the moment you stop growing. And you aren't alive so you can stop growing, you're alive to continue to push forward and help those around you through motivation, examples, and inspiration. Love your life enough to do more for it on a daily basis.
Doing more is taking care of your mind, taking care of your health, connecting deeper with those you love, creating better systems and processes for your businesses, or anything else that you can make better…
My mom didn’t help me down from the tree that day, I remember staying up on the tree until it got dark, my mom remembers me staying up on the tree for 4 hours, but I don’t remember it being that long. I finally climbed down and I remember scratching my arms a little bit, but I made it down. That was one life lesson that has served me well.
What tree are you going to be climbing for 2022?