The Secret Is...

Do what makes you happy

“Eat right, Exercise, Die Anyway” 
We’ve all heard that old trope haven’t we? I get to hear it a lot from folks after they ask me what I do and I tell them I help people live happier, healthier, and hopefully longer lives. And making healthy choices in how we eat and how we choose to go through our days can most certainly help us achieve those goals. But sh%t happens. Bad things happen to good people. Any of us could go at any time. These are unfortunate truths. 

That’s why I’m writing about the importance of doing things that make us happy. Because at the end of the day, none of us is going to wish we had watched more TV, spent a few more hours at the office, or cleaned our bathroom just one more time. 

In the late hours of April 1st, I lost a dear friend. He died suddenly from cardiac arrest. He had recently fallen, sustained a head injury and was rehabbing from that at a facility near his home when he died. I have no doubt  in my mind that the fall is what really killed him, and the cardiac arrest was a consequence of him somehow knowing that he might never fully regain who he was before.  

Who was he? He was that guy who could walk into a room and quietly make friends with every single person there. He had been everywhere, and done everything. He was a warrior who rode across deserts with Bedouins, crawled through jungles, navigated urban battlefields and knew the value of loving the people who were caught in the middle. He was an artist of many media. Sculptor, Musician, Jewelry Maker, Chef. He was an athlete. He was humble, loving, friendly, loyal, funny, open, warm, and devoted to his beautiful wife. But one thing he was NOT was a half-stepper. 

He didn’t say no to doing new things. He embraced challenges and adventures. He said YES to life. He did what made him happy. If an opportunity to improve himself, experience something new, or just have fun presented itself, he took it.

And that’s what we all remember about him. He did not lead a life half lived. He packed more into his time here than ten average people.  And it was a conscious decision. We can all make that same decision.  Every day. Every minute. All we have to do is say Yes. 

I took a leap of faith when I started Tenacious Acorn. Years before I did the same when I moved overseas with a big red duffle bag and my knife roll. And before that, when I drove across the US with my truck packed full of my precious possessions, so I could achieve my dream of becoming a chef. When people ask me how I got to where I am, and I recount the weird, winding path from A to L (not Z, because I figure I’m only halfway through this trip), they look at me like WOW! But I’m not any different than any one else. We can choose to take chances, to make the jump, to do what makes us happy. 

When I met my dear friend we had an instant connection and part of that was because we each recognized in the other that part of ourselves that says YES, HELL YESSSSS! to life. And now that my tears for him are drying, I resolve to continue to say yes, to continue to choose to grab life and help other people do the same. Whether by example from afar, or by being their coach, I will be that person. 

So my advice to you today…Say yes. Do what makes you happy. Live your very best life. Be your very BEST self. 

And before I go, I just want to say a special thank you to my dear friend D. for being such a fabulous human. I hope we meet again somewhere, some day. xoxo