I’ve been listening to a lot of Tony Robbins material lately and it has reminded me of many of the lessons I learned between 2002 and 2004 when I attended a number of his seminars. He would often reiterate that your life can change in a heartbeat. We have this fear, often, that change means pain. Sometimes it does but other times it can mean massive pleasure. If you get a phone call at 3 in the morning rarely is it good news, but if you find yourself awake at 3 in the morning talking to someone you’ve just met the time is no longer important. It’s the moment you find yourself in.
Have you ever tried to define your life in one moment? I have. I can’t do it. So many have made me who I am. When I consider my life I come up with a number of them. Beating Ramon Rubia, the 1994 World Champion, at the 1996 World Championships in Los Angeles. The day my child was born – 1.18pm 19th August 1991. The day I saw my sign had been put up at my martial arts centre after coming back from town. 2nd June 1993 – I walked out of my job and began my business. Those moments when I first saw the girl(s) I fell in love – 3 over a period of 25 years. The phone call that told me my father had died. When I learnt one of my best friends had died. His funeral. Being in Cassis and the Gorge de Verdon in the South of France, the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. Crashing the quad bike in the French Alps and surviving.
The funny thing is the more I think about this the more I see. Now in my late 40’s I remember so little of my 20’s unless thinking about specific times. The same is true of my childhood and my teens. It’s almost like I began living when I was 30, when I started my business and yet this isn’t true. I had many happy times until then, I just feel that since I became independent, free of the shackles of working shifts and 9-5 that more moments have happened in my life.
Every day I look to experience new things, meet new people, learn more, teach more, laugh more and love more. I don’t always get all of these things, but this is where my focus is. I once read ‘A day in the life of Ivan Denosovich’ by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. At the time I was working in a warehouse picking baby food for orders. It was a job I hated, but I needed the money. The book made the place seem even worse; it fully focussed me on how cold and miserable my life was even though it paled into comparison with poor Ivan in the gulag. Instead these days I have variety in my work with clients, teaching martial arts, training people in business or speaking at different events. I’m also lucky to have a varied social life and great friends and family.
My focus is on making the moments. Letting the tedium of life pass by and holding onto the raw passion of a life worth living. My motto is ‘every day is an adventure’ and it usually is. Not always great, but I can cope with that if my highs continue to be so high. Think about the moments that have shaped your life and then ask when is the next one going to be created and be ready for the surprise your life throws up to be an unexpected moment. If you focus on what you want instead of what you fear the moments seem to multiple.