Recently somebody asked me a question I’ve heard many times before. “How do you do all the things you do?” My best response is stupid luck. However, luck is still something you have to create for yourself. There has to be a personal investment of time and energy in order for luck to manifest itself in your life. Recent events have reminded me of this idea. This is an attempt to articulate an answer to the question.
Over the last year the plan was to qualify a Mexican snowboarder for the Sochi Winter Olympics. In the end we didn’t get in, but I’m proud of the efforts made to try and make it happen. It was the most fun year of snowboarding in my 20+ years of riding. We traveled the world, hitting some amazing mountains and meeting incredible people along the way. Even if some in the snowboard community frown on the Olympic movement, and with good reason, there are no regrets. I didn’t even get paid to do it, however my travel expenses were covered.
I had a responsibility to take on the challenge of qualifying because that act had the potential to cascade into an avalanche of positive vibes. Snowboarding gave me a reason to do something extraordinary and interesting. Sometimes all you need is a motive. As a friend of mine, a Colorado skateboard activist likes to say, “the world is run by those who show up.”
Consistently “showing up” is never easy. It’s hard work and dedication, but the rewards are huge if you do. I bring this up because after not qualifying for the Olympics, instead of being bummed or disappointed, I chose to fill that void with a trip to the 2014 Caribbean Baseball Series in Venezuela instead. See a few years ago, while pitching business with a little snack company called Frito-Lay an idea to address the U.S. multicultural through the lens of baseball came about. Fortunately, through my involvement in the Ohio Sports Ad graduate program, I found a way to bring it to life.
So, along with a classmate, we scored press credentials and find ourselves hanging with ESPN Deportes, Univision, and various other Latin media outlets covering one of the coolest sporting events. The Caribbean Series has given me a whole new appreciation for the game of baseball. Yeah I know, Venezuela is not the easiest and safest place to travel, but neither are the Sochi Winter Games this year.
The point is that I find myself going from one incredible experience to another because of a willingness to take chances and a commitment to following six philosophical concepts. Keep in mind, this is me, and is not designed to tell others how to live. They are the reasons why I live an all access lifestyle. It’s my best response to the question, “How do you do all the things you do?”
- Be flexible. Life never goes the way you want it too, no matter how much you plan and try to mold it. Flexibility gives you a fighting chance to achieve what you want in an unforgiving world.
- Don’t be arrogant and show humility. Nobody is as cool as they think they are these days. No matter what persona you try to cultivate in the world of social media you’re still a flawed human being who can always learn a new trick or two.
- Remember people’s names. You will be amazed at the doors that open, and the opportunities that follow when you remember a persons name, or the context of how you actually met in the offline world. Always look at people in the eyes when talking to them. Keep in mind people are what give your social network true worth.
- Have integrity, show a sense of purpose in the things you do. If you say you’re going to do something, follow through. Don’t be a flake, cause really the only person being let down is yourself.
- Never worry about the money. Yes, we all need it, but money comes and goes. Time doesn’t. Invest in the phases of your life that will get you where you want to be, or doing the things you want to be doing. What’s difficult and hard will not always be that way. Eventually the pendulum swings in your favor because of the efforts you have made, even if family and friends tell otherwise.
- Don’t be an asshole or bitch. Nobody likes to be around people who whine and complain and handle personal relationships poorly. Its simple. Treat people the way you want to be treated.