Take chances.

I've always been fascinated by parkour. Maybe it's because these guys seem to defy the laws of nature, maybe it's because I secretly want to do it, we'll never know. A few weeks ago I got super pumped when I showed up to the middle school where we have church on Sundays and there were some kids outside doing parkour. I asked them to let me video them doing their thing, It was awesome!


Somehow whenever I sit down to do work at my computer, I always end up on YouTube. It usually starts by watching some funny Jimmy Fallon video or SNL skit, but many times I've fallen down the rabbit hole of watching these extreme parkour guys. You know, the ones that like to stand on the edge of buildings or climb up cranes and hang off. There's just something about that numb feeling you get when the camera goes over the edge. How is it that it almost makes you feel like you're there? Like somehow your life is in danger and you might fall any second. I really love that feeling from the safety of my table at Starbucks.

The one thing I have to say about these thrill seekers is, they take advantage of every chance they get. If it takes going up flight after flight of stairs, sneaking past security, or out right breaking the law, they don't let anything stop them from that next thrill.



PLEASE, DON'T JUST TALK ABOUT IT.

Every year, around this time, people start making plans. Plans to lose weight, plans to save money, plans to buy, sell, lose or gain. They plan to run, win, read and write. Plans to do better, be better and achieve goals. But most of them, in fact, wont actually do any of those things. But you better believe they will tell everyone that they're planning on it.


I had a plan when I turned 29 in September of 2016 that I was going to be "better by 30". I told all my friends about it too. I set a goal to lose 50 pounds, to save $1,000.00, and to finish the book I've been working on. Guess what I did? Nothing. I gained weight, spent more than I made, and didn't finish the book. You know why? Because talking about something almost feels like you've done it. It gives you this superficial feeling that you somehow have done something great when you really haven't. This is especially true when you consider that sharing your goals with others will often elicit some sort of praise as a response from them. "Hey, I'm going to lose 50 pounds before I'm 30!" - "YEAH! That's awesome! I believe in you! Go for it!" Next thing you know, you don't do it and somehow don't feel that bad about it.


...talking about something almost feels like you've done it.

Don't misunderstand me, talking about your goals with others can many times help you achieve them. But only if the people that you tell are going to help you achieve those goals by holding you to your plans. Telling these people your plans shouldn't feel like you've already achieved them, you should think twice before telling these folks because you know if you tell them and you don't do it, they are going to make you feel like crap for it.



TAKE ADVANTAGE.

On the newest Apple IOS update, Apple released the screen time counter. It literally tells you how much time in a given day/week/month that you spend on your device and what you did most on that device. Want to talk about a wake-up call?! HA! I literally had no idea how much time I was spending with my phone to my face.


How many times have we used the excuse that there just isn't enough time in the day to get it all done? I've used that line more than I'm comfortable admitting... and you know what? It's garbage. If there is time for Netflix, Instagram, Snapchat, Hulu, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon Video, YouTube, and whatever else we occupy ourselves with, then there is time. Time to work out, time to write, time to read, time to save. We've got to take a serious look at our lives and be real honest with where we are spending our time. Are we really taking advantage of every chance that we get to do what is going to propel ourselves forward in life or are we just out here taking up space and breathing air. Are we being producers or just consumers?


We've got to take a serious look at our lives and be real honest with where we are spending our time.

TAKE A CHANCE.

I recently started a new job as a personal advisor for a credit union. I'm the dude that you call when your debit card isn't working and I magically make it work again - unless you don't have money, I can't help you there. In this job though, sometimes It can be wall-to-wall calls all day with hardly enough time to breathe, but other days we can have small four to five minute lulls between calls. I still remember the first time this kind of day happened. I would immediately grab my phone and start scrolling down my Instagram timeline. The moment I realized I had a problem was when I picked it up after two calls and both times it gave me the "You're All Caught Up!" notice. Boy, was I wasting my time!


The next day I decided to try something different. I grabbed a book that I had been wanting to read (The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg) and started reading it between calls. It took a bit for me to get in the rhythm of doing this, but guess what?! I finished all 350 pages of the book in less than a month. That was just reading between calls at work! Ya'll... I read an entire book and was PAID for it. After finishing a chapter, I would reward myself with Instagram time. It felt like a real treat!


I've started looking at other areas of my life this way and am finding all sorts of pockets of time and space that were just wasted on things that didn't really matter. Now, all I have to do is take a chance and try something new. Trust me, change is never easy and not always fun, but in the end it's usually worth it.


...try something new.

There are so many things in life that we want to achieve. Goals that we set and dreams that we have for ourselves. These things are more achievable than you think! The best part about it is, you don't have to sneak past security or break the law to do it. All you've got to do is take a chance and make small changes in your every-day-life. Stop making excuses and start taking chances!


Until next time.

JT