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When You Are Not the Person You Thought You’d Be: A Reflection on 34 Years

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Photo Credit: A♥ via Compfight

When you are not the person you thought you’d be keep the following things in mind:

  1. A wise person once told me that where you’ve been should be a paragraph, and where you’re going should be a book. So just remember that where you’re going is far more important than where you’ve been.
  2. Don’t stop dreaming. It’s in the world of dreams that the impossible becomes possible, imagination runs riot and great ideas are born.
  3. Believe in the love you hear about in music lyrics and see in movie scenes. If it wasn’t real the musicians wouldn’t sing about it, the writers wouldn’t write about it, and the movie makers wouldn’t make movies about it.
  4. Fall in love even though I haven’t yet. I’m told there’s nothing like it.
  5. Don’t worry too much about the empty mailboxes, traffic jams, unreturned phone calls, broken hearts and piles of debt. If surfing has taught me anything it’s that the conditions always improve.
  6. Learn how to do something new every year. Last year I learned how to surf. This year I learned how to snowboard. If you kept learning something every year until you were old, you’d never be bored with your life.
  7. Stop waiting for permission to be extraordinary.  By waiting for permission you’re denying the the world the gift of your brilliance. The fear of losing the things they don’t even have keeps so many people from taking the chances that open up a world of possibilities.
  8. When things are really bad, remember that waves come in sets.  Usually it’s going to be better than it’s ever been before when  it’s really bad.
  9. There are no answers in darkness. There have been days when I wondered if it would be better if I didn’t wake up up tomorrow. In those moments of hopeless, despair, and great fear, remember that you can’t always trust the voice in your head. 
  10. Try an extreme sport at least once in your life. Everybody should feel the thrill of a nerve rush.
  11. Ride a wave or a 1000. There’s nothing quite like it. But explaining it to you is like trying to describe an orgasm to somebody who has never had one, even though I’ve tried with many  of my words.
  12. On that note, find a passion that lights your eyes up, something that you can’t imagine your life without, something that defines you.
  13. Don’t settle. People will try to convince you to live life according to a timeline. By 25 you should do this, by 30 you should do that, etc, etc.
    The logic becomes a bit ridiculous when you realize that we could end it by saying “by 90 you should really in the cemetery.”
  14. Put your best foot forward with everything you do because good enough is not an acceptable standard.
  15. Life is not a race.  The only thing waiting for you at the finish line is death, so don’t be in such a damn hurry.
  16. Look for a dare to be great situation.  They’re all around us.
  17. All it takes is one good wave.  After all the false starts, brick walls, failures, and setbacks, the only thing people are going to remember is your moment in the sun.  You’re only crazy until everything you’re doing starts to work, but most people don’t have the courage to stay the course.
  18. Don’t trade temporary approval for a lifetime of mediocrity.  Make a short time sacrifice for a long term gain and you’ll live without regret.
  19. Eliminate toxic people from your life since you become the byproduct of the ones you surround yourself with.
  20. Forgive the people who have hurt you. It’s probably weighing you down more than it is them.
  21. If you have siblings admire them for their greatness. My sister is charismatic and likable in a way that I’ve never been. I’m more of an acquired taste.
  22. Don’t ever forget about the people in your corner. Maria Brophy is a friend that has single-handedly had more of a profound impact on my journey through the blogosphere than anybody.
  23. Don’t give up on things just because they’re hard. Those are usually the things most worth accomplishing.
  24. Share your crazy wild eyed dreams only with the people who inspire you to chase them. Avoid talking about them with those who infuse doubt, disbelief or encourage you to chase ordinary.
  25. Remember that conventional wisdom will produce conventional results.
  26. When you wipe out, shake it off, and paddle back out to the lineup. If you’re not in the water, you’re not going to catch any waves.
  27. Build something with your own two hands. Find your castle in the sky. It will be one of the most rewarding things you ever do.
  28. Believe that you will have a moment that makes them stand back and say “wow.”
  29. Take advice with a grain of salt or shot of tequila. Even mine.
  30. If you find an Indian person surfing, call the humane society and let them know you have found an endangered species. If she’s attractive and female give her my phone number.
  31. Stand on the edge of your comfort zone early and often. It’s how progress occurs.
  32. When you  feel like the situation is hopeless, take one more step forward, give it one more day and remember that your circumstances today don’t determine what’s possible tomorrow.
  33. Even if you die the richest man in the cemetery, remember that nobody leaves this world with a thing in their pockets.
  34. When you get derailed on your journey, don’t be afraid to take the scenic route.

Today at the age of 34, I’m certainly not the person I thought I would be. But when I compare the person I thought  I would be with the person I could be, I see far greater to potential to be extraordinary in the latter. So, I’ll finish with a quote I heard from George Elliott “It’s never too late to be you might have been.” 

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