This is a self improvement blog that is written by life coach Andrew Carlson. He mentors people in the Friends in Film program along with other people searching to find themselves. Make sure to subscribe for new posts, giveaways, and more!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Life Is Short: 20 Seconds of Courage

So as you all know, I had a heart surgery coming up. Today is that day and I feel content with whatever outcome I wake up to find. There are three different outcomes that are happening. Either option, I'm going to have to have some kind of monitoring device implanted into my chest (3 year event monitor or a defibrillator). Of course if I need to get an ICD implanted it wouldn't be today. I will be more relieved if I have something implanted in my chest when I wake up because that means I'm golden for 3 more years. I despise surgeries and I definitely am not too fond of this one because it's the same procedure I had in 2007 but I had my parents there by my side. Luckily, I have my wonderful girlfriend and my mentor who will be there through it all since my parents can't be in California.

So this surgery got me thinking about my life. Where I have been, how far I have come, and where I still want to be. I think we get so caught up in this world and the "now" consumes us. At least the now we think of. I'm not talking about the "now" that I should be focusing on. Right now, I'm laying in bed next to the love of my life while she's sleeping since we have to wake up in 5 hours to go to the hospital. We have Christmas colored lights strung along the ceiling while our cat Bella lays on my feet. There's nothing else I'd rather be doing.

The "now" I'm referring to is the day to day life we live. Where stress builds up, the money issues are still here, my heart feels like it's going to jump out of my chest. These are just to name a few but it becomes a draining thing to have running around in your mind day after day. I couldn't find a "day" job since I didn't know what this surgery would bring and what restrictions I would have. Anyway.

We don't take enough time to look back at the accomplishments we have achieved. We need to take 10-20 seconds at the end of the week and look at what we've accomplished. I need to remind myself of that a lot more than I do. Going into surgery tomorrow not knowing if I'm going to wake up is a scary thing. We don't ever know if we are going to wake up to a new day but we are always hoping we will. Most expect to wake up day after day after day. Maybe it's intensified because someone is putting me to sleep with chemicals but I know that I'll be okay. I'll wake up and will discuss what the next steps are going to be (if there needs to be any).

Just in case you need a reminder: Look back at where you came from. Look back at how much you've changed since high school, since college, since your 20's, 30's, etc! We, as humans, are always going to be changing. Especially if we take the time to focus on ourselves and change ourselves for the better. Read a self improvement book, take a class, read positive stories, etc. Find out what your passion is if you aren't doing something you are passionate about!

While I was watching the movie, "We Bought A Zoo", there was some very good advice that I want to pass onto you. In life, there are going to be trials the closer you get to achieving something amazing. People are going to voice their opinions if you tell others what you want to do but you have to listen to yourself. So what if the success rate of your chosen profession is only 1%. Do it. So many actors move out to LA daily to chase after a dream. Most will give up when it gets hard but that's why you have to do something you're passionate about. That will be your fuel for when the going gets tough.

Want to know the greatest part? All you need every day is 20 seconds of courage. That's ALL you need during a tough decision. I promise you, your life will change for the better in those 20 seconds. Need an example? I'll give you multiple examples of how 20 seconds of courage changed my life. In 2010, it only took 20 seconds to book a plane ticket to Los Angeles. I ended up on that plane. It also took a whole month before I had to make the decision to go back home to Minnesota but it changed my life forever. I KNEW that's where I wanted to be in a decision that only took 20 seconds. It only took 20 seconds to call my buddy up to see how he was doing and after a 30 minute phone call, we made the decision to move to New Orleans. I THRIVED in New Orleans and so did he! Want one more? It only took 20 seconds to kiss M that changed my life forever. I now live with her in a beautiful apartment in Pasadena, CA. (It took 20 seconds because I was TERRIFIED that someone so beautiful and warm could ever look my way.) But I did it and my life was forever changed.

20 seconds. That's all you need. Working at a job that sucks the life out of you? No, I'm not telling you to quit it but start doing something you are passionate about on the side! Love cooking? Make a cook book or start a cooking blog! Take photos of the meals you prepare for yourself, for your family, or even your roommates. The easiest thing you could do is start a blog or write a book. That will keep your mind occupied with things you love. You can blog about anything which is why I write motivational/inspirational blogs. I do it because I love to do it and I'm going to continuously do it whether people read it or not because I'm passionate about it. I'm going to write about my travels when I get the opportunity to travel because I want to share my experiences with the world!

Life is short. It's not meant to be lived on the sidelines wondering "what if...". I'll be honest, I find myself complaining about where I am because I have crazy big dreams. I'm not where I see myself in my mind but that's okay. Life isn't about the destination. Life is about the journey. Who you meet, what you see, what you learn, etc. Once you die, you are dead. You don't get to take any possessions with you. So when people look back at their life and see that you crossed paths with them, what do you want them to think of you? Will they think that you lived life to the very best of your abilities? Or will they remember those talks about how you wish you could have done something but never ended up doing?

Again, I will repeat: Life is short. You don't know when your time will come. You don't know when you lay down to sleep if you'll be getting up in the morning. You don't know if you'll be in a car crash while you're on the road. The list goes on and on. Take time out of your daily routine to REALLY be grateful for what you have right now. Not the "now" that's cluttered with thoughts of stress, money issues, etc. But right now, after reading this. What are you truly grateful for. Think of 10 things you are truly grateful for. Only 10. Do it daily. There's so much to be grateful for and if you take time as soon as you wake up for 10 things you are grateful for, your day will go much smoother. Stub your toe? Be grateful for your nervous system that tells you when things are painful. Be grateful you still have that toe. Before you fall asleep, think of the best thing that happened to you today. You'll sleep much more soundly.

Life is for the living. Please don't just exist. Pursue your passions. Don't wait until it's too late.

Light, Love, and Blessings!

1 comment:

  1. I love you Andrew. Thanks for never failing to inspire. You are a great man and I have lots of respect for you. I wish the best outcome possible for your surgery.

    Best Wishes,