Never peak, your life of relentless positive action

Average life expectancy in the United States is 79 years of age. For most of us we will spend the first 25 to 30, getting an education, starting our careers and hopefully finding the love of our life. The next 20 to 25 you might be luckly enough to have children and raise a family. At 55 you might be thinking about when to retire, 60 or 65? Each phase of your life will have wonderful memories to look back.

What do you think you will be doing at age 70? How about at age 80? Maybe shuffle board with some friends in Tampa or Phoenix. Maybe enjoying a daily afternoon nap, waking up in time to catch the early bird special at your favorite diner. Most of us hope that we make it to age 80 in a healthy functional state. Others have different ideas at a latter stages in their life. At age 80 Japanese extreme skier Yuichiro Miura climbed Mount Everest for his 3rd time, becoming the oldest man to climb the 29,000 foot summit. It was actually the 3rd time that he reached the summit. He previous times were at 70 and 75 years old. At 81, Benjamin Franklin effected the compromise that led to the adoption of the U.S. Constitution. At 90, Pablo Picasso was producing drawings and engravings. In his mid-80s, Michael Angelo was helping to design St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Leonardo da Vinci was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer, wow! I am pretty happy that I just make it to work each day. Leonardo’s interest makes me tired just thinking about everything this guy was into. He produced dramatic works though out his entire life. Do you ever feel you missed out, or you’re too old, or not enough education, money or some other limiting factor that is holding you back? Chances are you could be wrong.

Glory days
Do you remember the guy in high school that was a fantastic jock/athlete? Or the homecoming queen that every guy in the school wished she would show an interest in? Where are they now? Some of them made it and are successful and continue to live a charmed life. Others have not. They, unfortunately, had the early fortune and later misfortune to peak early in their lives and high school or, maybe earlier, junior high was the peak of their human or social existence. Why does this happen? It could be that the level of attention that they had from students, friends, coaches and parents was so high at the time, that when their athletic abilities, looks, or charms dissipated they never again reached that pinnacle of acceptance or appreciation. The high was gone and they stopped working toward the next legal high, which may not be as sweet as the homecoming high or the star quarterback high. They may have settled and felt that life was now as good as it gets. This didn’t a have to end this way.

Celebrities and super stars
We see the same issues occur over and over again inside the lives of public figures such as actors, professional athletes, politicians and CEOs. When a famous person has a moonshot career, when it fades many have have nothing left or an extremely hard time accepting it. They can’t find that mental high or the next big thing to wrap their arms and mind around. Many unfortunately turn to alcohol, drugs or other addictions in an attempt to find the pleasure that they once had when they were at the peak of their careers. Too many of their stories end tragically, Michael Jackson, Kurt Cobain, to name a few. Or they go off the deep end and go crazy trying to draw attention to themselves, which can and generally does lead to trouble. Britney Spears, Lindsey Lohan and Miley Cyrus to name recent examples.

Never peak: I have a wish for you and that is to NEVER PEAK. Beyond the state championship, the new muscle car, the first love, the award cerimony, there are other wonderful things to enjoy and accomplish. The goal should be to keep climbing as the lyrics of they Miley Cyrus song fairly eloquently describe.

“There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose
Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb”

If we deconstruct this part of the song line by line we might find the following:

“There’s always gonna be another mountain.” Are these mountains or problems or challenges that life has handed us? Are these challenges that we took on ourselves or ones that came home to roost because of some neglect in the past? Are the mountains in your life the ones you created or the ones that you’re stuck with? There is a big difference. In some cases it doesn’t matter. We have to work and find a way to overcome the mountains and challenges in our lives.

“I’m always gonna wanna make it move” Unfortunately this is not always the case. Unlike the song many people do not want to make it move and are ok accepting life as it is. How many people do you know that are stuck in a dead end job for the last 26 years? Do you know anyone that has a poor relationship with their spouse or considers themselves married yet single? How about someone who spends beyond their means. You have to want to make the mountain move and overcome the challenge or strive toward the accomplishment.

“It’s the climb” When you look back on raising your kids, building your career, studying for and entrance exam, getting in shape, will you remember all the really tough parts? Or will you remember the firsts steps, when they learned how to ride a bike, when you got your first offer letter, or other great moments. The hard parts are the climb, they are the work, it is what makes it all worth it. As Zig Ziglar liked to say, “you don’t pay the price, you enjoy the price.”

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