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(reposted from Marc and Angel Hack Life)

In our line of work, Marc and I hear from hundreds of course students, coaching clients, and blog subscribers during the holiday season.  Through this experience, we’ve witnessed the devastation regrets can cause – to personal and professional success, to relationships, and to the well-being of both the individual dealing with their regrets, and to everyone in their life.

Over the years, it has become clear to us that, in the end, more than anything else, we regret the chances we didn’t take, relationships we were too afraid (or too busy) to deal with, and the decisions we waited too long to make.  Think about it…

The things you didn’t do when you had the chance.  That priceless relationship you neglected.  Those important words you left unspoken…

You know what I’m talking about.

Every one of us has experienced feelings of regret.  But it’s not too late to set things straight.  We’re still here breathing.  Today we have an opportunity to change tomorrow.  Right now we can choose to erase regret from our later years, and make 2017 a year of progress.

It’s time to make the best of each and every day.  Here’s how – seven things you can start doing now that you won’t regret when you’re older:

1.  Exploring what you love and then owning it completely. – If you spend your life trying to define yourself by what someone else loves, you’re going to be miserable.  Try things – try everything.  Explore.  See what makes you hear music inside and what makes your heart swell, and then go do it.  Find out everything you can about it.  Find other people who love it too.  If you waste time pretending to like something because other people you think are “cool” like it, you’re going to end up with the wrong people in your life.  Love what you love and be yourself, and you will end up with a lifestyle and relationships that make you happy.  (from the “Passion and Growth” chapter of our book)

2.  Living YOUR idea of your life, every day. – As you’re working on point #1, you will inevitably meet people who try to steer you in a different direction – their direction.  Just remember, what’s right for you may be wrong for them, and vice versa.  The truth is that the world isn’t really as it is, but as we see it.  And we all see it differently.  If you end up living a boring, miserable life because you completely ignored yourself and instead listened to a parent, a peer, or some gal on TV telling you how to live your life, then you have no one but yourself to blame.  Honestly, the smartest and most courageous act is simply to think for yourself and listen to you own intuition.  It’s better to die your way, than live someone else’s idea of your life.

3.  Waking up every morning and getting the RIGHT things done. – The world does not owe you a living.  You owe the world a life.  So stop daydreaming and start DOING.  Develop a backbone, not a wishbone.  Take full responsibility for your life – take control.  You are important and you are needed.  It’s too late to sit around and wait for somebody to do something someday.  Someday is now; the somebody the world needs is YOU.  Focus on being productive, not being busy.  Don’t just get things done; get the right things done (and this includes things in your personal life too).

4.  Working less and spending more time smiling with people you love. – You’ve heard the saying, “The best things in life are free.”  Well spending quality time with family and friends, enjoying the antics of a pet, seeing your son smile, experiencing intimate and heart-felt moments with your significant other – these times are precious and priceless.  Don’t get so caught up in the rat race, working 60+ hours a week, to the point where you are too stressed and exhausted to enjoy your closest relationships.  By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to live on less, and thus work fewer hours and enjoy more of what truly matters.  (from the “Simplicity” chapter of our book)

5.  Being present with life while you’re living it. – Is there anything worse than getting somewhere and not realizing how you got there?  Even worse is only realizing how great something is after it’s gone.  Living in the present is a basic notion, but as with most simple things, we often find a way to complicate it.  But there’s nothing complicated about learning to appreciate and notice life as it’s happening.  There’s nothing complicated about being present.  Do so.  When life is good, enjoy it.  Don’t go looking for something better every single second.  Happiness never comes to those who don’t appreciate what they have.

6.  Saying what you need to say. – Speak up.  Don’t hide your thoughts and feelings, especially when you can make a difference.  Be brave.  Say what needs to be said.  Many people suppress their feelings in order to keep peace with others, or to shield themselves from potential rejection.  As a result, they settle for a mediocre existence and never become who they are capable of becoming.  Even worse, many of these people develop illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carry as a result.  Don’t be one of them.  Hearts are often broken by words left unspoken, and this includes your own heart.

7.  Leaving toxic relationships behind. – It can be difficult to leave a long-term relationship, even when our inner-wisdom tells us it’s time to let go.  At this point, we can choose let go and endure the short-term pain of leaving behind the familiar to make way for a new chapter in our life.  Or we can stay and suffer a low-grade, long-term pain that slowly eats away at our heart and soul, like an emotional cancer, until we wake up one day and realize we are buried so deep in the dysfunction of the relationship that we scarcely remember who we were and what we wanted and needed to be.  Don’t do this to yourself.  Remember, all failed relationships hurt, but letting go of a toxic relationship is actually a gain, not a loss.  (from the “Relationships” chapter of our book)

I would introduce Eric Lyons to you. He is the Security Director of a Top Energy Company, and the Founder of non-profit organization Hope For The Silent Voices. He has been my renewed private client. We just had another successful VIP Day in New York City. Listen to what Eric would say and has discovered […]

via What My VIP Client Discovered — Springmagiclife’s Blog

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A couple weeks ago I turned 30. Leading up to my birthday I wrote a post on what I learned in my 20s.

But I did something else. I sent an email out to my subscribers (subscribe here) and asked readers age 37 and older what advice they would give their 30-year-old selves. The idea was that I would crowdsource the life experience from my older readership and create another article based on their collective wisdom.

The result was spectacular. I received over 600 responses, many of which were over a page in length. It took me a solid three days to read through them all and I was floored by the quality of insight people sent.

So first of all, a hearty thank you to all who contributed and helped create this article.

While going through the emails what surprised me the most was just how consistent some of the advice was. The same 5-6 pieces of advice came up over and over and over again in different forms across literally 100s of emails. It seems that there really are a few core pieces of advice that are particularly relevant to this decade of your life.

Below are 10 of the most common themes appearing throughout all of the 600 emails. The majority of the article is comprised of dozens of quotes taken from readers. Some are left anonymous. Others have their age listed.

1. Start Saving for Retirement Now, Not Later

“I spent my 20s recklessly, but your 30s should be when you make a big financial push. Retirement planning is not something to put off. Understanding boring things like insurance, 401ks & mortgages is important since its all on your shoulders now. Educate yourself.” (Kash, 41)

The most common piece of advice — so common that almost every single email said at least something about it — was to start getting your financial house in order and to start saving for retirement… today.

There were a few categories this advice fell into:

  • Make it your top priority to pay down all of your debt as soon as possible.
  • Keep an “emergency fund” — there were tons of horror stories about people getting financially ruined by health issues, lawsuits, divorces, bad business deals, etc.
  • Stash away a portion of every paycheck, preferably into a 401k, an IRA or at the least, a savings account.
  • Don’t spend frivolously. Don’t buy a home unless you can afford to get a good mortgage with good rates.
  • Don’t invest in anything you don’t understand. Don’t trust stockbrokers.

One reader said, “If you are in debt more than 10% of your gross annual salary this is a huge red flag. Quit spending, pay off your debt and start saving.” Another wrote, “I would have saved more money in an emergency fund because unexpected expenses really killed my budget. I would have been more diligent about a retirement fund, because now mine looks pretty small.”

Wow! Who knew that saving money could be so sexy and fun?!

And then there were the readers who were just completely screwed by their inability to save in their 30s. One reader named Jodi wishes she had started saving 10% of every paycheck when she was 30. Her career took a turn for the worst and now she’s stuck at 57, still living paycheck to paycheck. Another woman, age 62, didn’t save because her husband out-earned her. They later got divorced and she soon ran into health problems, draining all of the money she received in the divorce settlement. She, too, now lives paycheck to paycheck, slowly waiting for the day social security kicks in. Another man related a story of having to be supported by his son because he didn’t save and unexpectedly lost his job in the 2008 crash.

The point was clear: save early and save as much as possible. One woman emailed me saying that she had worked low-wage jobs with two kids in her 30s and still managed to sock away some money in a retirement fund each year. Because she started early and invested wisely, she is now in her 50s and financially stable for the first time in her life. Her point: it’s always possible. You just have to do it.

2. Start Taking Care of Your Health Now, Not Later

“Your mind’s acceptance of age is 10 to 15 years behind your body’s aging. Your health will go faster than you think but it will be very hard to notice, not the least because you don’t want it to happen.” (Tom, 55)

We all know to take care of our health. We all know to eat better and sleep better and exercise more and blah, blah, blah. But just as with the retirement savings, the response from the older readers was loud and unanimous: get healthy and stay healthy now.

So many people said it that I’m not even going to bother quoting anybody else. Their points were pretty much all the same: the way you treat your body has a cumulative effect; it’s not that your body suddenly breaks down one year, it’s been breaking down all along without you noticing. This is the decade to slow down that breakage.

Step 1: Laugh. Step 2: Eat Salad. Step 3: ????. Step 4: Profit.

And this wasn’t just your typical motherly advice to eat your veggies. These were emails from cancer survivors, heart attack survivors, stroke survivors, people with diabetes and blood pressure problems, joint issues and chronic pain. They all said the same thing: “If I could go back, I would start eating better and exercising and I would not stop. I made excuses then. But I had no idea.”

3. Don’t Spend Time with People Who Don’t Treat You Well

“Learn how to say “no” to people, activities and obligations that don’t bring value to your life.” (Hayley, 37)

 

Bad Poetry

After calls to take care of your health and your finances, the most common piece of advice from people looking back at their 30-year-old selves was an interesting one: they would go back and enforce stronger boundaries in their lives and dedicate their time to better people. “Setting healthy boundaries is one of the most loving things you can do for yourself or another person.” (Kristen, 43)

 

What does that mean specifically?

“Don’t tolerate people who don’t treat you well. Period. Don’t tolerate them for financial reasons. Don’t tolerate them for emotional reasons. Don’t tolerate them for the children’s sake or for convenience sake.” (Jane, 52)

“Don’t settle for mediocre friends, jobs, love, relationships and life.” (Sean, 43)

“Stay away from miserable people… they will consume you, drain you.” (Gabriella, 43)

“Surround yourself and only date people that make you a better version of yourself, that bring out your best parts, love and accept you.” (Xochie)

People typically struggle with boundaries because they find it difficult to hurt someone else’s feelings, or they get caught up in the desire to change the other person or make them treat them the way they want to be treated. This never works. And in fact, it often makes it worse. As one reader wisely said, “Selfishness and self-interest are two different things. Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.”

When we’re in our 20s, the world is so open to opportunity and we’re so short on experience that we cling to the people we meet, even if they’ve done nothing to earn our clingage. But by our 30s we’ve learned that good relationships are hard to come by, that there’s no shortage of people to meet and friends to be made, and that there’s no reason to waste our time with people who don’t help us on our life’s path.

4. Be Good to the People You Care About

“Show up with and for your friends. You matter, and your presence matters.” (Jessica, 40)

Conversely, while enforcing stricter boundaries on who we let into our lives, many readers advised to make the time for those friends and family that we do decide to keep close.

“I think sometimes I may have taken some relationships for granted, and when that person is gone, they’re gone. Unfortunately, the older you get, well, things start to happen, and it will affect those closest to you.” (Ed, 45)

“Appreciate those close to you. You can get money back and jobs back, but you can never get time back.” (Anne, 41)

“Tragedy happens in everyone’s life, everyone’s circle of family and friends. Be the person that others can count on when it does. I think that between 30 and 40 is the decade when a lot of shit finally starts to happen that you might have thought never would happen to you or those you love. Parents die, spouses die, babies are still-born, friends get divorced, spouses cheat… the list goes on and on. Helping someone through these times by simply being there, listening and not judging is an honor and will deepen your relationships in ways you probably can’t yet imagine.” (Rebecca, 40)

5. You can’t have everything; Focus On Doing a Few Things Really Well

“Everything in life is a trade-off. You give up one thing to get another and you can’t have it all. Accept that.” (Eldri, 60)

In our 20s we have a lot of dreams. We believe that we have all of the time in the world. I myself remember having illusions that my website would be my first career of many. Little did I know that it took the better part of a decade to even get competent at this. And now that I’m competent and have a major advantage and love what I do, why would I ever trade that in for another career?

“In a word: focus. You can simply get more done in life if you focus on one thing and do it really well. Focus more.” (Ericson, 49)

Another reader: “I would tell myself to focus on one or two goals/aspirations/dreams and really work towards them. Don’t get distracted.” And another: “You have to accept that you cannot do everything. It takes a lot of sacrifice to achieve anything special in life.”

A few readers noted that most people arbitrarily choose their careers in their late teens or early 20s, and as with many of our choices at those ages, they are often wrong choices. It takes years to figure out what we’re good at and what we enjoy doing. But it’s better to focus on our primary strengths and maximize them over the course of lifetime than to half-ass something else.

“I’d tell my 30 year old self to set aside what other people think and identify my natural strengths and what I’m passionate about, and then build a life around those.” (Sara, 58)

For some people, this will mean taking big risks, even in their 30s and beyond. It may mean ditching a career they spent a decade building and giving up money they worked hard for and became accustomed to. Which brings us to…

6. Don’t Be Afraid of Taking Risks, You Can Still Change

“While by age 30 most feel they should have their career dialed in, it is never too late to reset. The individuals that I have seen with the biggest regrets during this decade are those that stay in something that they know is not right. It is such an easy decade to have the days turn to weeks to years, only to wake up at 40 with a mid-life crisis for not taking action on a problem they were aware of 10 years prior but failed to act.” (Richard, 41)

“Biggest regrets I have are almost exclusively things I did *not* do.” (Sam, 47)

Many readers commented on how society tells us that by 30 we should have things “figured out” — our career situation, our dating/marriage situation, our financial situation and so on. But this isn’t true. And, in fact, dozens and dozens of readers implored to not let these social expectations of “being an adult” deter you from taking some major risks and starting over. As someone on my Facebook page responded: “All adults are winging it.”

“I am about to turn 41 and would tell my 30 year old self that you do not have conform you life to an ideal that you do not believe in. Live your life, don’t let it live you. Don’t be afraid of tearing it all down if you have to, you have the power to build it all back up again.” (Lisa, 41)

Multiple readers related making major career changes in their 30s and being better off for doing so. One left a lucrative job as a military engineer to become a teacher. Twenty years later, he called it one of the best decisions of his life. When I asked my mom this question, her answer was, “I wish I had been willing to think outside the box a bit more. Your dad and I kind of figured we had to do thing A, thing B, thing C, but looking back I realize we didn’t have to at all; we were very narrow in our thinking and our lifestyles and I kind of regret that.”

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“Less fear. Less fear. Less fear. I am about to turn 50 next year, and I am just getting that lesson. Fear was such a detrimental driving force in my life at 30. It impacted my marriage, my career, my self-image in a fiercely negative manner. I was guilty of: Assuming conversations that others might be having about me. Thinking that I might fail. Wondering what the outcome might be. If I could do it again, I would have risked more.” (Aida, 49)

7. You Must Continue to Grow and Develop Yourself

“You have two assets that you can never get back once you’ve lost them: your body and your mind. Most people stop growing and working on themselves in their 20s. Most people in their 30s are too busy to worry about self-improvement. But if you’re one of the few who continues to educate themselves, evolve their thinking and take care of their mental and physical health, you will be light-years ahead of the pack by 40.” (Stan, 48)

It follows that if one can still change in their 30s — and should continue to change in their 30s — then one must continue to work to improve and grow. Many readers related the choice of going back to school and getting their degrees in their 30s as one of the most useful things they had ever done. Others talked of taking extra seminars and courses to get a leg up. Others started their first businesses or moved to new countries. Others checked themselves into therapy or began a meditation practice.

A friend of mine stated that at 29, he decided that his mind was his most valuable asset, and he decided to invest in it. He spent thousands on his own education, on seminars, on various therapies. And at 54, he insists that it was one of the best decisions he ever made.

“The number one goal should be to try to become a better person, partner, parent, friend, colleague etc. — in other words to grow as an individual.” (Aimilia, 39)

8. Nobody (Still) Knows What They’re Doing, Get Used to It

“Unless you are already dead — mentally, emotionally, and socially — you cannot anticipate your life 5 years into the future. It will not develop as you expect. So just stop it. Stop assuming you can plan far ahead, stop obsessing about what is happening right now because it will change anyway, and get over the control issue about your life’s direction. Fortunately, because this is true, you can take even more chances and not lose anything; you cannot lose what you never had. Besides, most feelings of loss are in your mind anyway – few matter in the long term.” (Thomas, 56)

In my article about what I learned in my 20s, one of my lessons was “Nobody Knows What They’re Doing,” and that this was good news. Well, according to the 40+ crowd, this continues to be true in one’s 30s and, well, forever it seems; and it continues to be good news forever as well.

“Most of what you think is important now will seem unimportant in 10 or 20 years and that’s OK. That’s called growth. Just try to remember to not take yourself so seriously all the time and be open to it.” (Simon, 57)

“Despite feeling somewhat invincible for the last decade, you really don’t know what’s going to happen and neither does anyone else, no matter how confidently they talk. While this is disturbing to those who cling to permanence or security, it’s truly liberating once you grasp the truth that things are always changing. To finish, there might be times that are really sad. Don’t dull the pain or avoid it. Sorrow is part of everyone’s lifetime and the consequence of an open and passionate heart. Honor that. Above all, be kind to yourself and others, it’s such a brilliant and beautiful ride and keeps on getting better.” (Prue, 38)

“I’m 44. I would remind my 30 year old self that at 40, my 30s would be equally filled with dumb stuff, different stuff, but still dumb stuff… So, 30 year old self, don’t go getting on your high horse. You STILL don’t know it all. And that’s a good thing.” (Shirley, 44)

9. Invest in Your Family; It’s Worth It

“Spend more time with your folks. It’s a different relationship when you’re an adult and it’s up to you how you redefine your interactions. They are always going to see you as their kid until the moment you can make them see you as your own man. Everyone gets old. Everyone dies. Take advantage of the time you have left to set things right and enjoy your family.” (Kash, 41)

I was overwhelmed with amount of responses about family and the power of those responses. Family is the big new relevant topic for this decade for me, because you get it on both ends. Your parents are old and you need to start considering how your relationship with them is going to function as a self-sufficient adult. And then you also need to contemplate creating a family of your own.

Pretty much everybody agreed to get over whatever problems you have with your parents and find a way to make it work with them. One reader wrote, “You’re too old to blame your parents for any of your own short-comings now. At 20 you could get away with it, you’d just left the house. At 30, you’re a grown-up. Seriously. Move on.”

But then there’s the question that plagues every single 30-year-old: to baby or not to baby?

“You don’t have the time. You don’t have the money. You need to perfect your career first. They’ll end your life as you know it. Oh shut up…
Kids are great. They make you better in every way. They push you to your limits. They make you happy. You should not defer having kids. If you are 30, now is the time to get real about this. You will never regret it.” (Kevin, 38)

“It’s never the ‘right time’ for children because you have no idea what you’re getting into until you have one. If you have a good marriage and environment to raise them, err on having them earlier rather than later, you’ll get to enjoy more of them.” (Cindy, 45)

“All my preconceived notions about what a married life is like were wrong. Unless you’ve already been married, everyone’s are. Especially once you have kids. Try to stay open to the experience and fluid as a person; your marriage is worth it, and your happiness seems as much tied to your ability to change and adapt as anything else. I wasn’t planning on having kids. From a purely selfish perspective, this was the dumbest thing of all. Children are the most fulfilling, challenging, and exhausting endeavor anyone can ever undertake. Ever.” (Rich, 44)

What do you want kid?

The consensus about marriage seemed to be that it was worth it, assuming you had a healthy relationship with the right person. If not, you should run the other way (See #3).

But interestingly, I got a number of emails like the following:

“What I know now vs 10-13 years ago is simply this… bars, woman, beaches, drink after drink, clubs, bottle service, trips to different cities because I had no responsibility other than work, etc… I would trade every memory of that life for a good woman that was actually in love with me… and maybe a family. I would add, don’t forgot to actually grow up and start a family and take on responsibilities other than success at work. I am still having a little bit of fun… but sometimes when I go out, I feel like the guy that kept coming back to high school after he graduated (think Matthew McConaughey’s character in Dazed and Confused). I see people in love and on dates everywhere. “Everyone” my age is in their first or second marriage by now! Being perpetually single sounds amazing to all of my married friends but it is not the way one should choose to live their life.” (Anonymous, 43)

“I would have told myself to stop constantly searching for the next best thing and I would have appreciated the relationships that I had with some of the good, genuine guys that truly cared for me. Now I’m always alone and it feels too late.” (Fara, 38)

On the flip side, there were a small handful of emails that took the other side of the coin:

“Don’t feel pressured to get married or have kids if you don’t want to. What makes one person happy doesn’t make everyone happy. I’ve chosen to stay single and childless and I still live a happy and fulfilled life. Do what feels right for you.” (Anonymous, 40)

Conclusion: It seems that while family is not absolutely necessary to have a happy and fulfilling life, the majority of people have found that family is always worth the investment, assuming the relationships are healthy and not toxic and/or abusive.

10. Be kind to yourself, respect yourself

“Be a little selfish and do something for yourself every day, something different once a month and something spectacular every year.” (Nancy, 60)

This one was rarely the central focus of any email, but it was present in some capacity in almost all of them: treat yourself better. Almost everybody said this in one form or another. “There is no one who cares about or thinks about your life a fraction of what you do,” one reader began, and, “life is hard, so learn to love yourself now, it’s harder to learn later,” another reader finished.

Or as Renee, 40, succinctly put it: “Be kind to yourself.”

Many readers included the old cliche: “Don’t sweat the small stuff; and it’s almost all small stuff.” Eldri, 60, wisely said, “When confronted with a perceived problem, ask yourself, ‘Is this going to matter in five years, ten years?’ If not, dwell on it for a few minutes, then let it go.” It seems many readers have focused on the subtle life lesson of simply accepting life as is, warts and all.

Which brings me to the last quote from Martin, age 58:

“When I turned forty my father told me that I’d enjoy my forties because in your twenties you think you know what’s going on, in your thirties you realize you probably don’t, and in your forties you can relax and just accept things. I’m 58 and he was right.”

Thank you to everyone who contributed.

http://markmanson.net/10-life-lessons-excel-30s

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By Craig Bohnert, FCA.ORG    

February 18, 2014

For Olympic halfpipe skier David Wise, perspective is everything.

In the live-on-the-edge, let-it-all-hang-out culture of halfpipe skiing, Wise is enjoying tremendous success without being drawn into the worldly side of the sport. He says his faith is what helps him stay grounded in an environment that could turn many in a different direction.

Faith plays a huge role because it enables me to be confident,” says Wise, a 23-year-old husband and father. “I don’t have to worry about what’s happening or the outside influences as much because I feel like I can trust God, and He’s going to see me through. I can look back on my path and realize that God had a pretty significant part in taking care of me. It takes the pressure off and I can enjoy it.

When you ski backwards and fly into and out of a two-story-deep snow ravine for a living, pressure relief is a valuable commodity.

Video: David Wise Wins Olympic Gold in Ski Halfpipe

David Wise Wins Gold Men’s Ski SuperPipe Final X Games Aspen 2014

Follow David Wise through a Typical Training Day for the X Games

When you ski into a halfpipe, the first thing anybody says is ‘Wow, this thing is huge,'” says Wise. “When you see it on television it doesn’t quite give you the perspective, but when you stand in the middle and there’s a 22-foot wall in front of you, and you realize people are flying up out of that, it’s pretty intimidating.

Wise is on an impressive run of success, one that began during the 2011-12 season. He’s collected five X Games medals (including three golds), was second in the AFP World Tour standings in 2012 and moved to the top of the chart the following year, and is the reigning world champion. For many, that kind of success combined with the lifestyle of the sport could lead a person off the straight and narrow path. Instead, Wise stands out because he doesn’t succumb to cultural pressures.

I definitely get singled out because I don’t live the same lifestyle,” he says. “I go to the parties, but I’m not there from bell to bell. I get a little heat for it from the industry, but my thing from the beginning was that I’m not going to let this sport change who I am. I’m going to do the best I can to be a big part of the sport, but who I am is who I am. I don’t think my fellow athletes look down on me for the way I live my life. They can see that it works. They have to have respect for the way I do things because I’m the guy out there winning the thing – at least thus far in the season. It’s a cool dynamic that we have going.

Instead of looking down on Wise for living his faith, in a number of ways his teammates look up to him. As husband to Alexandra and father to two-year-old Nayeli, some may consider him the father figure of the team.

More like an older brother,” he says with a chuckle. “I’m the one saying ‘Guys, maybe you shouldn’t do that. Maybe it’s time to focus a little bit.’ We definitely have some fun times. Being a teenager on the road, as I remember it, is a pretty fun and interesting experience. Sometimes I have to be like ‘Guys, it’s time to stop throwing bread at people. Tone it down a little bit.’

Being at the top of any sport is a minefield of distractions, but Wise says that staying connected to God is an important part of each day.

If I’m not spiritually in tune, then the rest of me is not going to be in tune either,” he says. “I always try to wake up and spend some quiet time, try and center myself and really feel connected to God and what He’s trying to say or speak into my life. As long as I have that, it becomes easier for me to just go out and enjoy what I do.

He prefers to let his faith speak through his actions.

My faith is something that I’ve wanted to live out, not talk about,” he says. “I would rather be known for my actions rather than my words. If you ask me about it, I’ll tell you about it, but I’m just going to try to live the best life I can and be an example in that way.

His involvement in FCA is one avenue where he can share his faith with others, and he values the opportunity the organization provides for athletes to live their faith.

FCA is a cool thing,” he says. “I think that a lot of athletes feel isolated and feel that there aren’t a lot of Christians in sports. It’s cool to see an organization like FCA bringing us all together, and you realize that there are actually a lot of Christians in these sports.  I do my part as best I can. I go and speak at schools around Reno that have FCA.

Character vs Reputation

“Your reputation is what you’re perceived to be by others, but your character is what you really are. You’re the only one that knows your character. You can fool others, but you can’t fool yourself.”  John Wooden

Never look down to test the ground before taking your next step; only he who keeps his eye fixed on the far horizon will find the right road. – Dag Hammarskjold

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Other individuals affect us more than any other factor in the world. They are the most unpredictable, the most mysterious and the most exciting — at least, some are. There are other types of individuals, however. There are those who are more toxic than they are precious. If you want to live the best life possible, you should surround yourself with the best people possible.

More importantly, you will want to avoid all the toxic ones who will make you worse off for knowing them. Mentally strong people understand the importance and influence that human beings have on one another and use this knowledge to their advantage. The mentally strong aren’t flawless and aren’t impervious to all. With enough damage coming from enough sides, even the strongest will fall. The trick is to plan ahead and avoid those that make up the worst of the worst:

1. The Showoffs

Those who feel the need to be showy are always compensating for something and trying to prove their worth to themselves. Unfortunately for them, this is how you know they have little worth. Showing and trying to make other people envious is a waste of time, unless you’re trying to make yourself feel better about yourself at the expense of others. People that do such things are not the kind of people you want to keep around.


2. The Unintelligent

I’m not talking the kind of dumb that can’t be helped; I’m talking about the kind of dumb that is a result of an immense ego, voluntary ignorance and self-righteousness. Most of us know at least one or two people who are completely unintelligent as a result of continually making bad decisions and not learning from their mistakes for their entire lives.


3. The Leeches

Growing up, we’ve all had or been that friend who was always a bit broke and always happy to take a handout. When our friends are at a difficult point in their lives, there’s no reason not to help them out or to offer to pay for a few rounds of their drinks so they come out and have fun with the rest of the group. The problem is when the person seems comfortable in the position and is making little to no effort of improving their financial situation.


4. The Lazy

Laziness is a disease, one that is highly contagious. Lazy people make other people lazy. The more you hang around the immobile, the less you will feel the need to be mobile. The mentally strong are not impervious. Hang around lazy people too often and you’ll notice your productivity and general enjoyment of life plummeting.


5. Anyone Who Lives By The Saying, “YOLO”

Understanding that you only live once can put your life in perspective. In fact, it should put your life in perspective. Yet, the Biebers, Drakes and Mileys of the world somehow managed to get the message completely backwards. YOLO: Let’s get wasted and high, do stupid sh*t, throw up all over ourselves and possibly die while we’re at it! Yes, YOLO. The whole origin of this saying doesn’t suggest doing pointless, dumb crap. YOLO means you should spend your time doing something meaningful, with a purpose. YOLO: You have once chance; don’t screw it up.


6. The Big Talkers

Those that spend their time running their mouths spend little time doing anything else. It’s the mentally strong that don’t bother doing the talking because the work they are doing speaks for itself. The talkers, on the other hand, have nothing but the empty words they’re speaking.


7. The Constantly Depressed

Not those that have an actual chemical imbalance, but those who act like they do. We all know people who are always feeling bad for themselves, always complaining about how difficult their lives are and how unlucky they are. Bad luck is not a lifelong circumstance. If your life sucks, then guess what? It’s mostly, if not entirely, your fault. Don’t keep these folks around unless you want them to bring you down with them.


8. Those Who Stay Within Their Comfort Zones

If we wish to live a life of adventure, then those who aren’t adventurous need be avoided. All those you meet and come across in your life are partners on your journey, if only for a few seconds. Those we keep around more regularly end up steering our direction more than we realize. If you hope to leave your comfort zone regularly, then don’t hang out with those who aren’t willing to leave theirs. Their chain simply isn’t long enough to go for the ride.


9. The Non-Dreamers

Those who can’t dream don’t live. Life is about believing that things can be better — not just for you, but for everyone. What makes people human is dreaming and hoping that the change to come will be for the better. Those that don’t dream won’t allow you to dream, either, and will do their best to prove to you that your dreams are just that: dreams.


10. The Non-Believers

Worse than those who don’t dream are those who dream, but don’t believe that they can turn those dreams into reality. Those who don’t believe in themselves don’t amount to anything in life. They are the losers — those that are always there, but don’t influence the world. They live in a gloomy and depressing world where their lives are out of their hands. They go with the flow and never attempt to achieve any sort of success. Don’t rely on them to support you when you need the support, either. If they don’t believe in themselves, then they sure as hell won’t believe in you.