YOLO? What does this statement even mean?
Well, I know what it means: “You only live once!” Blah, blah, blah, I think it’s bullshit. This preconceived notion that because you only have “one life” you are somehow supposed to live every day like it’s your last–Like you don’t have loved ones that care about you, or coworkers that depend on you, or finances to fund these things that you are supposed to be doing on your theoretical last day on earth! It’s irresponsible and in the end, is the wrong way to look at life. Instead, I vote for us to try this on for size: Be your best self! BYBS! Ha! Okay, maybe that won’t catch on, but the sentiment sure can!
What does that look like for you? Only you know that, but I can only tell you what it looks like for me.
I feel like a person goes through significant life changes every five to eight years. At least, that’s been very true for me. From the ages of 16 to roughly 24 “ish” was my time of making horrible decisions. Don’t worry! I will elaborate that time in another blog, we just aren’t there yet. Baby steps! Next, was ages 24 to 31. More bad decisions, yes. However, I became a father and slowly began the process of growing up. Then, at the age of 31, I began going through a separation and ultimately a divorce. While I am a firm believer that during these things both parties have a responsibility of fault, I need to shoulder the brunt of this epic downfall. It was rough on everyone, but what I decided to do with my life, since then, has changed me in one of the most profound ways. It was like I was on a mountaintop and I had to decide, sit on the ledge or jump off and fly!
I chose to change who I was and change the entire direction of my life.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, “Josh, what does this have to do with being your best self?” I’m getting there, bear with me.
I took my divorce as a time to sit back and look inside at who I was as a Christian, a father, as a man, and as someone that is a part of the human race. I reflected on my mistakes, my accomplishments, and where I was as a person. These two questions are the ones that stuck with me through that time.
How have I influenced the people around me? And, what mark on this world have I made?
Then, I got honest! I’m talking really honest with myself. The answers were tough, and it was an emotional roller coaster of guilt, despair, hope, depression, optimism, anger, you name the emotion and I went through it. Then, I asked myself the same questions with one difference. How do I want to influence people? And how do I want to make my mark on this world? How can I be my best self?
So, I began my journey of transformation.
I have found it is very true that if something is important you will make it a priority. So, I searched. I searched for what I was passionate for, what I loved, what I wanted to experience, and how I wanted to influence. Man, I’ve had the time of my life figuring these things out. For me, the things I was passionate about were very simple:
My faith, people, traveling, and life experiences.
Over the past five years I have found a church home, helped start a church, created men’s groups, traveled to other countries, surfed in the pacific, went sky diving (multiple times), volunteered with countless organizations, been to countless concerts, done countless things and been to countless places, because I made these things a priority. I made it a priority to think about the world we live in, to make a positive impact with everyone I meet, to be a positive role model my kids will look up to, and to experience everything this beautiful world has to offer. I don’t say these things to brag or make anyone feel less about themselves.
I want to inspire; I want this to motivate someone into believing they can make these changes for themselves.
I tell you these things, because I have grown into a man that I am proud to look at in the mirror. Someone that will be proud if my kids grow up to be like me and I am more than good with. When people talk about me, I want them to say, “Wow that dude loved life, loved his kids, and loved people.” Beyond that who cares right!?
Ask yourself: ”Am I being my best self?!”
If not, no worries, make little changes to put you on the path you want to be on. Look at yourself, ask yourself the tough questions, and be brutally honest. Bryant McGill said, “Real transformation requires real honesty. If you want to move forward, get real with yourself.” Don’t hold back. Then, decide what your passionate about and go after it.
If you want to talk to me more about what my journey has looked like and where I came from, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.
I’m here and can talk more about where I came from, where I’m headed and hopefully in the process help one of you out there Be Your Best Self!
By the way, here we are at year five. Time to transform again, right? This time I’m happy with where I’m at so instead of changing I decided to add something else to the mix.