The Dawn Wall

As one might enter Yosemite value, presumably on part of a THPL journey, you are  greeted by a majestic, inspiring landscape dominated by el Capitan.  The 3,000+ feet of granite rising from the valley floor captures your attention like almost no other natural (or manmade) structure.  If you are there at the first glimpse of sun washing over the valley you will see a part of El Cap illuminated first before all else – this is the Dawn Wall, a stunning piece of granite that has captivated climbers and visitors alike.  Today was the release of the documentary movie “The Dawn Wall” starring Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgensen as they attempted (and succeeded) to be the first ever to climb the wall.  It took them 19 days, in January of 2015, to get to the top and it is arguably the hardest route climbed around the world.  The story told in stunning video has so many interesting elements that it is just better to go see the movie (or rent it when it comes out).   The key takeaway, other than the remarkable story that is told, is that perseverance does indeed get extraordinary things done.  Kevin and Tommy showed that in 2015 that living an inspired life is indeed a choice that we make and we should make the time to make similarly inspired choices.

Movie Trailer - https://youtu.be/5Hc8tB9uhho

Loving life, for some, on the Dawn wall

 

The earth needs to win

The High Performance Life is, at one level, about each of us, pursuing our goals and dreams and working diligently to achieve them.  At another level it is about the community that we are part of and protecting it and making sure that it is vibrant and functioning to help all of us on our journey  And at a meta level it is about mother earth our land, our home, our ecosystem, all of which is required to support all of life.  It is with this perspective that we have to stay true to protecting the earth, our resources and our future.  We cannot continue to pollute our planet, to waste resources, to compromise our future.  There are some who think it is ok to have money win over taking care of the earth and this is just unacceptable.  We have to fight to protect the earth, we have to make sure it wins, and we cannot allow short-term thinking to drive the way we live on this precious resource that we are so fortunate to inhabit.  Let’s use our pursuit of THPL to serve as a platform to voice our thoughts and make sure that we save the earth for generations to come.

Loving life when I am protecting the earth.

 

What should we do

We take our time along the THPL journey and we have options and choices along the way.  And when we get the opportunity to do something of impact, to make a choice, to treat someone well it is good to remind ourselves that we are indeed here to take care of others, to look for opportunities to d something good, to keep thinking that we are here ourselves to make the world a better place. So, what are we going to do today to make it better?  Maybe we have to make helping into our number one priority.  When we do others will follow and we will have started a movement

Loving life when I do the right thing

 

Time for some feedback

We go on the THPL journey, and we go at it hard.  And when we do this it gives us limited time for a feedback loop.  Yet, we know that feedback is critical if we are to get better, to improve our execution, to better our results, and to feel better about the effort we are putting into what we do.  It is too easy to inadvertently avoid feedback when we are moving so fast that it just does not “pop up to the top of our priorities.  This is where we need to think differently.  We have to challenge ourselves to seek out feedback, to look for people to give us a sense of what we can do better, how we can improve and how we can make this feedback loop part of how we live and what we do.  Feedback is always useful and often times really impactful.  Let’s make it part of our regimen and see improvement come and then some….

Loving life when I get feedback

 

With great enthusiasm

As we go along the THPL journey we do most of it in relative obscurity and privacy.  There are few people watching or going along with us so we might be tempted to be a bit less buttoned up than we might otherwise be.  And herein we run a risk.  We have to think that there is always someone watching, that we are being measured and evaluated even when we do not think we are.  It is something that happens, and we have to be ready for it. Therein lies the opportunity for us.  The opportunity to always do things with real enthusiasm, to do it as if someone is watching, to show the world our most positive side.  It is, for sure a key way for us to make an impression and to bring a great spirit to what we do.  It is good for us and good for all of those around us.  Yes, with great enthusiasm indeed……

Loving life when I do things with enthusiasm

 

Ready for autumn

While Autumn is still a week away in the calendar it is good to think about the change of seasons as we head into the weekend and how we can still enjoy time outside during this great time of year.  Too often we get wrapped up in the things that have to get done on a weekend and we forget to take the time to spend it outside doing things that connect us better to nature and give us the opportunity to renew and rebuild.  There is nothing like going out for a long walk, taking a hike, sitting in the park reading, or having a picnic on the lawn at this time of year.  It is as refreshing and energizing as can be.  So, let’s find a friend or go by ourselves and get outside and enjoy the end of summer as Autumn is just around the corner…. 

Loving life when I spend it outside

 

That won’t stop me

We start down the path on our THPL journey and we know that there will be obstacles, challenges, questioning, difficulty, the unexpected and so much more. And when we stop and think for a moment we can internalize that it is for, these “factors”, that we decide to take the road less traveled.  Yet, we have to take our mindset to another level if we are to indeed conquer each and every one of the issues that we will encounter.  What we need to do is to establish our mantra – “that won’t stop me”. Why should it? We are creative, determined, committed and resolved to stay the course.  So, then all we have to do is to work to master our mindset.  To take the time to tame the objections, to control the controllable, and to build the resources (eg. grit, resolve, commitment) inside us to will take us to the place that we intended to go.  Yes, there is nothing that can stop us….nothing at all

Loving life knowing there is nothing that can stop me  

 

With a smile

We like to take on hard things while on the THPL journey.  And there are many reasons why, especially at some tough moments, when we are tempted to let the struggle take over how we feel.  We know that we have to avoid these circumstances as there is no real reason to let the moment take over.  We need to push ourselves hard to take the high road, to appreciate the struggle, to smile no matter how it feels.  When we do this there are so many good outcomes.  We feel better, people around us feel better and the struggle goes from one of burden to one of joy.  And all with just a smile.  It is that simple – a smile changes everything.  Let’s make sure to keep this front and center as we go along the journey – it is a game changer for sure  

Loving life when I have a smile on….

 

911

It seems impossible that it was 17 years ago that the terrorist attacks occurred on September 11, 2001 across the US.  There is really no American that we know who does not feel as if it was “yesterday” when this horrific day happened.  And while we aim to keep our positive feelings about our THPL journey every day it is on days like today when we feel a sadness that rides over what it is that we are doing.  It does not set us back but rather it reminds us of the fragility of life, it reminds us of the heroic nature of the rescuers and the passersby, it reminds us that in times of challenge we, as a nation, come together to defend that which we cherish and love - our nation, our fellow citizens and our freedom.  We need never have a day like it again, and we need to stay true to our beliefs and ideals, our passion for the idea that all are created equal and that we are stronger together.  We take a moment of silence to remember all who were taken from us on 911 and to be resolved that we will protect and defend that which is important to us and many generations to come.  That we will and can do….                                           

Loving life even on sad days such as today

Let’s talk

There are so many ways to learn and we get to leverage all of them while on the THPL journey.  We can observe, we can read, we can watch and of course we can talk to others along the way.  Having a conversation conveys often more than we can write or hear about.  We can go to deeper and deeper depths when the moment requires it, as we can only do when we are talking.  And we can use the conversation to serve as trigger for uncovering those especially important tidbits of learning that makes all the difference on the journey.  So, yes, let’s talk and share and do it more and more.

Loving life when I am talking to others

 

Dare to think big

We love the THPL journey.  What’s not to love.  We guide ourselves, we find ourselves in an amazing community, we do different things and most of all get the opportunity to think big.  It does seem though that sometimes the "think big" opportunity goes to the back burner.  We get focused on delivering excellence in what we do on a daily basis and while this is great we know there is more that we need to tap into and benefit from.  So, let’s see how we can “dare ourselves” to think big.  To dare is to have the courage to do something and we know that on the THPL journey that courage is one of our best attributes.  We have support, we know there is no losing when we try, and we know that great things come when we do indeed take the dare to think big.  So, let’s give it a go and think big.  There is no time like the present!

Loving life when I am thinking big

Ciao    

Joe 

 

A helping hand

There is rarely a time when on our THPL journey that we can find ourselves either not in need of a bit of help or being able to offer help to someone else.  There is something about helping each other out that just never changes.  It feels good to get help, it feels good to give help. And beyond helping each other we set a good example for others to follow.  Which has a wonderful cascading effect on all of us.  So, let’s set out to be ready to help or say thank you when someone lends a helping hand.  It is, after all, a key way to make this journey just that much better and better. 

Loving life when I am helping others

 

What have we learned today

There are countless things that we can do on a daily basis to learn.  Reading, watching, exploring, investigating, listening, seeing and so much more.  We know that the more we learn, the better our THPL journey.  And yet it never seems like there is enough time to consume all of the content that we want to.  There is, after all, the world's information at our fingertips.  But maybe the secret to learning is to stay focused, use the best method possible for the task (like an audiobook) and to stay true to the time that we need to learn.  We might even want to keep track of what we are learning and what else we need to know.  The more focus we put the more we will learn and the more we learn the better this THPL journey becomes! Here’s to learning as the fuel for THPL.

Loving life when I am learning

 

The time is always right...

When we get going on our THPL journey we tend to stick to that which we are good at.  It makes sense, we get a sense of accomplishment, we improve, and we even keep the pressure lower than otherwise.  But there is a mindset that says we can do more, that the time is always right to go do something new and different.  There are feelings and emotions that are turned on that would not happen in any other way.   New is good and the more often we take on new the better we get at it.  Yea, maybe being a beginner is a bit more challenging than being really good at something and then maybe that is the point.  Maybe the more we put ourselves into something new the more we feel, live and learn. And that is really the point….

Loving life when I do something new

 

With the right spirit

We know that the attitude that we bring to our THPL journey drives a lot of how successful we are as we take on the challenges that we have set out for ourselves.  There can be a big burden when we make commitments that span Life, Learning and Fitness.  They can be significant in the time that they take and the level of effort that we put and the skills that we need to build so as to deliver at the highest level.  And yet, we know that we cannot bring burden to our endeavors, that our spirit and our attitude drive a lot of what is possible and how we achieve it.  Might it be then that a bit of naïveté, a bit of “boyish” enthusiasm, a bit of eagerness and excitement can be the way to balance the significance of what we do with our time and our lives?  It could be the way that we can bring our THPL journey to the level that does indeed bring personal fulfillment to each of us as we embrace the journey.  It does seem like an important way to be and live….

Loving life when I have that je ne sai quoi

 

A good reminder

We have the risk of using a lot of resources as we traverse our THPL journey.  And the more we learn and do the more we seem to need.  So, it is important, then, to think about how to counterbalance our need for stuff.  Innately, we know that using less is better and thus it is good to start and end each day thinking reduce, reuse, recycle.  Let’s count each day how many things we have not used, let’s make it a point to reuse at least two to three things a day and let’s never miss an opportunity to recycle – even if it means holding an empty plastic bottle till we can recycle it.  With just a bit of effort, we can make a big impact.  And we can show others, by example, what they can also do.  We can, together, save our natural resources and make the earth a better place to live, one reduce, reuse and recycle at a time.

Loving life when I live by the three r’s

 

Time for friends

We spend a lot of time while on our THPL journey focused on our mission, our goals, our objectives.  And there are a lot of people who we interact with while on our journey and most everyone we interact with matters to us but just in different ways.  They could provide near-term help and support, camaraderie, challenge and so much more.  And yet we know that this mostly temporal kind of relationship is not enough…that we need more for our journey to be fulfilling. This is where our friends fit in.  Friends are those special kinds of people in our lives, the ones who we have a deeper relationship with, a kindred spirit, a connection that is lasting and there for a lifetime.  While we might have a lot of acquaintances we have just a few friends in our lives.  It takes a lot to build a long-term friendship – we have to give more than we get, be there whenever it matters, and support each other regardless of cause or purpose. And every time we have the opportunity to spend time with our friends it has to be a priority, it is a blessing and a gift, and it is to be cherished for sure…here’s to spending time with friends….whenever that might be.

Loving life when I spend time with my friends,

 

Estes Epic

The journey that we take is sprinkled with big events that crystalize for us the work and effort that we have put into our version of THPL.  These events give us the opportunity to test how much we have learned and how to apply those learnings “live”. Today, I participated in the Estes Epic, an ultramarathon in Estes Colorado.  A true mountain event of 55k it provided an opportunity to go out and embrace the challenge and see what ensued.  And the race delivered.  From the first step, we took a nine-mile “climb” into the mountains and then toured the beautiful forest for what seemed to be an eternity of ups and downs.  In a race like this, the real skill that was tested is staying in the game when the going gets tough.  There are many moments when all we want to do is to stop, find a way out and yet we still stay in it – focused on getting to the finish line.  And when we get to the end we realize that discomfort is temporal, it is real for sure, but it should be assessed and/or ignored and often not acted on.  So, let’s keep putting ourselves out there – doing the hard stuff.  It makes us better….every time

Loving life when I work through discomfort

 

Embrace it

We have the opportunity on our THPL journey to take on a new challenge or address an issue that we know needs to be dealt with.  There is a similar theme in each situation.  We have to work ourselves to a place so that we can deal with the obstacles, barriers, fears, the unknown.  It takes effort and resolve to get it done.  And it all starts with deciding what it is we are trying to accomplish and how will we get there.  A thoughtful approach is required, an acknowledgment that it might be messy as we move forward and a sense of purpose and commitment that will help us get beyond being stuck.  In some instances, we are told to “embrace the suck” and when we do, we realize that nothing bad happens, in fact, it becomes the beginning of the path forward to getting done what it is we want to get done.  A path to THPL, it is indeed.

Loving life when I embrace it! 

 

The city that never sleeps

There is a level of energy that comes naturally to all who choose to take the THPL journey.  Something inside all of us that keeps us ticking, moving forward, exploring.  And there are places we go along the journey that play some role in validating how we feel and what we are drawn to.  NY, the infamous city that never sleeps, is one of those places that by its sheer nature can captivate anyone because of its enormous natural energy.  It vibrates, dazzles, sparkles, screeches, echoes and shines in ways that have to be experienced.  For when we do, we can feel it viscerally, and emphatically.  Its pace wakes us and challenges us to be at our best and we can leverage that into what we do and what we know is possible.  So, if we have five minutes, enjoy the video of NY in time lapse.  It is a remarkable rendering of what energy and alive in an urban setting is like

https://youtu.be/sCGuSqBjhfE

Loving life when I am energized