He’s Gonna Jump!

I read the following quote recently and it really impacted me:

“Do one thing every day that scares you.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

Think about that for a second. To grow as salespeople, managers and humans—we have to stretch our comfort zone. We have to be scared a bit. We can never get better at anything if we are constantly living within some preconceived notion of what our life should be.

It’s up to you to change that.

As some of you know (and I’ve mentioned on this site before), on May 20, 2009 I had triple-bypass open heart surgery at the age of 43. Heart disease is hereditary in my family and I have Type 2 Diabetes, so I knew I would end up in that position one day, I just didn’t know it would be that soon.

One thing I learned after the surgery is while the surgeon can fix the damage I did before, he cannot do anything to keep me from ending up in that shape again. That’s up to me.

I had to take the situation seriously enough to learn everything I could about diet, exercise and how I could live more heart-healthy. (When they crack your chest open and tell you your heart is going to be stopped for anywhere from 4-6 hours while they work on it—it’ll get your attention)

Though my kids are tired of me telling the story and claim I’ve become “that guy” talking about my surgery, I tackled Cardiac Rehab like a madman and ran my first ever 5K 190 days after my surgery and lost about 50 lbs in the process.

Since then, through negligence, laziness or any amount of other excuses we want to make, I put about 30 of those pounds back on. It was something about the farther away from the surgery I got, the less “scared” I got.

Also, I think I lost sight of the true goal. Instead of focusing on my long term health and wellbeing, I focused on the 5K. Once it was over, it was almost like I was done. I could move on. Been there, done that.

Well, I’m back to my workouts. Hard. I’ve dropped about 15 lbs with a goal to lose a total of about 40 before May 20, 2012—the three-year anniversary of my surgery.

The reason? I’m going to do something that day that scares me. But, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.

On Sunday, May 20 (weather permitting), I’m going for my first-ever sky dive. I am truly excited. The strange thing is that I will probably be more scared then than the night before my heart surgery because I had no choice but to have the surgery.

I look at this sky dive like this: after I stand at the door of the airplane and jump—I will be able to look back on it for the rest of my life and say, “If I can do that, I can do anything!” I really believe it will be a tremendous motivator for me—because I did something that scared me.

I faced the fear and conquered it. Again, while I call it a fear (and I’m not going to kid anyone, I’ll be terrified), I’m really looking forward to it because I think it will be a huge rush!

So, get out of your comfort zone. Live. Enjoy your life! Find something that forces you to stretch—to achieve things you thought unattainable.

It’s OK to be scared. And remember, once you conquer that fear, you can conquer anything!

Question: What is the scariest thing you ever done, that you were glad you did?