Life is short. It’s God’s way of encouraging focus. On this episode, Matt expounds on the pros and cons of recognizing that life is indeed short, or as Matt puts it, life is fast!
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Matt: Hey, this is Matt, “The Do Over Guy,” and today is a great day for your Do Over. It’s Episode 50.
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I don’t know if you knew this or not but I’m absolutely fascinated by clichés. I think I’ve shared somewhat in the past episodes but I really want to just share my fascination with clichés. I mean they’re so short. They’re simple and yet profound.
Sadly many get dismissed by it because of their overuse. Tragically they get dismissed and they just don’t get their proper due in my opinion. But if you know you stop the next time you hear one, just think about it for a minute. I mean really sit with it and analyze what the message is within. How it can be applied to your life? I mean where can it serve you? Where are you in violation of its wisdom?
Or you know maybe it’s pointless because some of them seem to be but I guess you know it really just all depends on what you’re dealing at the moment. Where are you in life when you actually hear it?
Maybe it’s applicable maybe it’s not. But you know I just come across so many that you know there are lessons in and of themselves in like four or five words how you got some amazing life-changing, life-altering, life-transforming wisdom.
I mean for example, actions speak louder than words. You’ve heard that a million times but don’t they? They do. Don’t they? All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. Absolutely. You got to get your playtime in.
I love this one. This is a great one: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” So true. You know there’s one that I apply to my life frequently. It’s “life is short.”
Actually I’ve come to know it, as life is fast. Life is short and fast. You know you’d be really hard-pressed to find an argument for that or against it I should say. I mean life is extremely short and extremely fast.
What magnifies this particular cliché is none of us are getting out alive. Now when I stop and think about these clichés or should I refer to them “facts.” I mean, as that’s exactly what they are most of the time. I mean I wake up p everyday asking myself, what is it that I want the rest of my short-life to be. You know what’s in the past is in the past. There’s nothing any of us can do about it. I mean we are where we are in life because of the decisions we’ve made from the beginning of life to this very point to where we are today.
I mean what’s done is done. You know what? If you’ve made some bad decisions in life so what? We all have. Okay? No big deal. Let them go. It’s done. There’s nothing you can do about it.
You know I’ve been able to maintain this mindset or this attitude if you will. Since meeting a very unlikely source of wisdom, you know when I was in the music business; I remember working on an album. I can’t even remember what album it was that I was working on but I do remember this one studio musician that we hired to play keyboards on a couple of tracks, Janco. Janco was his name.
What an amazing talent, I mean that guy can play anything. I was really rather envious. I mean he can just hear anything and after hearing it just once, he could play it. I was so in awe of this guy’s exceptional gift. I mean he is an exceptional keyboardist.
But you know like many people in life we all have our strengths. We all have our weaknesses too. Don’t we? Absolutely. You know Janco was a little bit scatterbrains. He is a little bit overweight. He didn’t place too much importance on grooming.
He smokes like a chimney. He drank like a fish. I mean he just didn’t really seem to care about much other than you know what was happening at the moment but he has an expression of which by the end of this project. I mean everyone that was working on this project had adopted his expression.
I mean anytime something will come up of which there was any sort of debate or disagreement. Janco would chime in and say, “Hey, in a hundred years no one is going to give a damn.”
He actually didn’t use the word “damn” but use your imagination. It was a little more crass than that but anyway. I mean if we already know how much trouble we need on the snare drum. Janco would say, “It’s close enough. Besides in a hundred years, no one is going to give a damn.”
Or one time we forgot to tip the delivery guy for the food. Once we realize it and Janco, he chimes in and said, “oh well, in a hundred years, no one is going to give a damn.” Or when some one showed up late or some one saying the wrong lyrics or “Mr.-Know-It” or accidentally erased the good take that we wanted to keep. Janco would just chime in to say, “oh well, in a hundred years, no one is going to give a damn.”
I mean it got to the point where everybody involved with the album adopted Janco’s little saying. I mean in a hundred years, no one is going to give a damn about anything. I mean everything inside of the studio got really lighthearted and all the seriousness and the stress of the job at hand really lightened up.
You know eventually there’s none gave a damn. You know obviously the product didn’t end up a smash hit or you know I don’t probably know what the project was. I guess Janco was right: “in a hundred years, no one is going to give a damn.”
I mean that was only like ten years ago that no one is going to give a damn. But you know I’m not recommending by any means that you take life as lightly as Janco did. You know I’m not saying that you just don’t give a damn about anything, don’t care about anything but there is something to the saying, “in a hundred years no one will give a damn.”
I mean meaning how much stuff in your life right now are you giving effort and attention to that really doesn’t matter? That’s not that important. Stuff that you’re stressing over, stuff that keeps you up at night, stuff that ruins your day, stuff that ruins that time you get to spend with the people in your life that you do actually do care about, the people that do matter, the people that you do give a damn about.
You know if anything gets too hectic for me somehow I just always remember Janco. I remember that little saying that kind of makes everything makes okay.
All right. I got a little off track there. That’s what I was saying life is short. I mean you’ve only got one of them to live. Right? So why spend one day doing something you don’t like doing.
I mean why spend one day doing something other than pursuing what’s important to you. And I’ve said that before, I think it all the time but there’s also a dangerous side to life is short.
I mean there’s a place for Janco’s philosophy most definitely but then again if it ends up hurting someone and I’m referring to hurting yourself as well. Life is short can be a dangerous mindset too.
You see I was listening to another podcast last week. It got me thinking that it has a great metaphor that the life they’re explaining. I mean they’re speaking specifically of business but I think it pertains to life in general as well.
And I’m going to my best to retell as I think it’s vital to anyone’s Do Over. I mean it certainly has been vital to mine. With regard to what I’ve shared with you on the last episode for example, you know my yearlong pursuit of creating a second residual stream of income through an Internet business. I mean I came up against this I’m going to share with you all the time.
I mean it happens to me in my real estate business and it’ happening to me inside of my pursuit of a healthy body and healthy mind. I mean we can get pulled off by seemingly harmless or even seemingly helpful forces so this metaphor. Hopefully I don’t butcher too much but this metaphor just really clicked for me.
Let’s say your lifelong dream is to live the life of a professional long board surfer. I mean that’s your passion: long board surfing. It’s what you’ve always wanted to do. You want to surf the long board and you wanted to get paid for it.
So you know as you’re listening right now, go ahead and just answer your dream into this example and draw the parallels. I mean everything is going be apply.
Okay. So professional long board surfer. That’s what you want to be. Now to be a professional surfer, you’re going to need a beach. Right?
You’re going to need a beach with consistent waves, waves of just the right size and shape so that you can practice your surfing. You’re looking for the environment. You’re looking the right environment to support your surfing pursuits. You find it. You find the perfect beach.
Now you might have even bought or rented a place to live close to this beach for easy access. A place where you could associate other professional long board surfers. I mean you’ve got the right environment now.
Now you need the right long board surfboard to practice with so you go out and you do some research and you find the perfect long board and you make the purchase. Then now you need a mentor so you ask around for referrals of the perfect long board coach. You do some Google searches. You call some local surf shops.
You finally find just the right long board surfing mentor for you. You are set to go. You’ve got the dream in place. You’ve got the environment. You’ve got the right equipment. You’ve got the right mentor. You got a coach.
Professional long board surfing career, here you come. Right? Now every night before you go to bed. You set your alarm clock to wake up with the sun and hit the surf. Life is great. You’re excited. You’re doing what you’ve always wanted to do.
Your coach is excited. He gives you great advice. The advice is working. You’re getting better and better and better. You’re not a professional yet but who cares? This is the life. Right?
You’re getting better each day. You can see the progress then after some time in; your skills are starting to plateau a little bit. It’s getting to a point where it’s not quite as exciting as it used to be. I mean you’re enjoying it still but it’s not as exciting.
You’re standing up a little each night. You miss your first day at the beach to practice then another. Now your mornings at the beach are somewhat intermittent. You know you’re not hitting it every single day like you used to be.
You know your mentor frequently has to come and search for you and finds you lazing to a bit. You’re like, “hey, it’s just one day. I’ll be back tomorrow. I got plenty of time. Right?”
I mean you still love the beach. You still love surfing but the euphoria is wearing off a little bit maybe. I man it happens. Another month or so goes by and now you’ve cut down the time with your mentor. It’s getting to be a little bit of work now. I mean going pro is a little more difficult than you thought.
Now you’re only surfing three to four days a week instead of six to seven days you did when you first got started. One day you’re out in the ocean. This attractive surfer of the opposite sex passes by. You think to yourself, hey, what on Earth? Life is short. Right? Besides they might know a better beach. Surfing with them looks like might be a little more fun.
There might be some additional benefits with this as well. Right? Who knows? So you tell your mentor that you’ll be back in a while. You start paddling and you follow this attractive surfer.
This pursuit it takes away from your beach. It takes you away for what seem like just a few days but in reality was weeks. Then you just discover one day that you’re no longer on your beach. I mean nowhere even close to it. This other surfer that was so attractive originally turns out to be you know what you’ve had hope.
Now you’re stranded on another beach trying to figure how to get back to yours. Eventually you figured out and you get back on your regimen and you re-commit to your mentor. You’re surfing everyday again.
After a few months, you’re out on the sea waiting for the next set of waves. You see a brand new Jet Ski out there just sitting there. Brand new, shiny, just floating there. It’s fueled up. Ready to go.
You think to yourself, “hey, life is short. Why not? It’s my mentor’s day off. I mean what could it hurt. Right? He will never know.”
Maybe being a professional Jet skier would be more of my thing. It’s close to surfing. I still get to enjoy the beach. I still get to enjoy the water. It seems a little more exciting. You know it actually seems a little easier too so you go ahead and you ditch the long board. You hop on to the Jet Ski and you’re off.
The winds in your hair, the mist in your face, and you’re having a blast. You know when you’re far, far away from your beach, this giant whale catches you off-guard totally blind sides you and wipes you out.
I mean you just got knocked off. You take in gallons of saltwater into your chest and you’re gargling. You’re scramming for the surface. You’re scrambling to get back to your Jet Ski. You track it down. You get back up. You’re knocked a little senseless. You’re little weary and you get back on that little Jet Ski. You noticed now you’re out of fuel.
The Jet Ski ran out of fuel and you’re stuck with no way back to your beach. What can you do but start paddling back. Right? But you’re so far away.
You’ve got to do a lot of paddling. I mean it takes you weeks to get back to your beach. Then when you eventually do get back to your beach. Your mentor is seriously annoyed but they go ahead and decide to give you another chance but under very strict conditions though.
Your mentor is going to hold you accountable. Now they’re trying to get you to professional status seriously now. I mean no more messing around. No more chasing other surfers and no more getting distracted by the other toys that you might find out there in the ocean and you agree. You get back to your regimen of surfing every single day. You love life again. You’re having a blast. You remember why you loved it in the first place. You’re riding the waves and now one day you noticed another surfer on your beach with their own mentor. Their mentor is not yelling at them and holding them accountable as much as yours is.
You know in fact they seemed to be laughing and having a good time. They got a good relationship. You know after thinking about how strict your mentor right now and how becoming professional surfer is a little bit harder than you thought it was going to be.
I mean maybe that mentor knows something that your mentor doesn’t. So you fire your mentor and hire the other one. After a few sessions with your new mentor, you discovered, hey, this professional surfer thing is still pretty hard.
It’s still requires work. It’s not any easier over here. There’s no secret to over here. I mean there are no secrets even with the different mentor. I mean in fact I think my old mentor was probably a little bit better than this one.
Are you trying to get the picture? I mean indeed, life is short. You’ve only got one life to live. So absolutely pursue your dreams but even when pursuing your dreams, there are no shortcuts in life. Regardless of what it is in life that you want to pursue no matter how easy and fun and glamorous it may appear from the outside, it’s still going to be work.
If it’s worth anything, it’s going to be work. I mean indeed life is short so pursue what it is that is important to you when you get there it’s going to be worth. I promise you that. I can attest to that. I mean you’ll wonder why you waited so long to make the decision in the first place but watch out for all the shiny distractions along the way that seemingly make your pursuit faster and easier and more fun because yes life is short.
But there are no shortcuts. You know no one is exempt from the grasps of the shiny objects. You know in the music business I was a straight Hip Hop producer. That’s all I did. Then one day someone came along and offered me a big chunk of money to produce some dance music.
You know I couldn’t resist. I took the gig. It turned out to be huge mistake. It actually cost me money. It cost me a whole lot of time. It took me some credibility with my peers and with my crowd.
I mean it even set me back for a while on a project that was far more important to me. In real estate I mean all the time, different strategies come up, different kinds of properties, different stuff that presents itself as even bigger pay days than what I am currently experiencing.
I mean they never pan out. Massive amounts of wasted time and in the world of Internet business, this new world that I am in. I bet there are more shiny objects available in that industry than anything.
At least anything that I’ve ever experienced. There’s just distractions everywhere. I mean it took all of the strengths and the discipline in the world, I mean everything I had available to me to stay on course.
I think I was swayed off course a couple of times. There were couple of regrets where I took a little detour but I stayed focused primarily. I’ve had my fastest success ever. Here I man having produced a secondary stream of passive income now. That was my original goal. That’s what I set out to do.
You know life is better right now than it was when I started. Now that I am on my “Get Healthy” plan. I’m seeing results. I’m starting to wake up in the morning right now a little slower. I’m making excuses. I’m finding reasons not to work out.
I’m sticking to it. I mean I haven’t falter working for me but I am noticing all the shiny things around me again. I mean the diet pills that promise the faster results. I mean there are new infomercials right now that are taking the whole P90X thing and reduced it to just 60 days now.
That’s an industry that really praise on the unfocused and the immediate gratification crowd. It’s dangerous out there in the deep water. There’s temptation everywhere so the subject today is life is short but there are no shortcuts in life.
I mean if there’s something that you want, stick to the basics and go get it. You’re doing over right now so it’s a perfect opportunity. You only live once but stick to the basics. There are no shortcuts. Wow! I was able to get a few clichés in there. Wasn’t I? I mean life is short. You only live once. There are no shortcuts in life.
Oh, how about winners never quit and quitters never win? I love that one. Oh, and life is what you make of it. No guts, no glory. Oh and, today is the first day of the rest of your life.
Somebody stop me. I’m out of control. Really. Life is short. It’s God’s way of encouraging focus. Stay focused. He loves you and so do I. I’m Matt, the Do Over guy. I will see you on the next episode of your Do Over.
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