8 Life Lessons

My 8 Life Lessons

1.  All of our life stories are unique and special.

I am the youngest of 5 children.  My mother and father immigrated from Ireland with the 4 oldest and I was the first in our family to be born in North America.  For some crazy reason they chose to live in the coldest part of Canada and had the family endure.  Family tradition was very important and the holidays meant a lot to all of us.  My mom stayed home to look after all of us while my dad moved up the corporate ladder.  A full house, a busy life, a happy life.

2.  You cannot always determine your circumstances

My mom at the age of 41 had a heart attack and died.  I was 6 and if you asked me about it I might just pass it off as something that happened a long time ago, yet if you really asked me about it I would confess I remember it like yesterday.  I would say I even have some control issues that I still haven’t quite let go.  Life took a distinctly different path.  As I reflect I am caught up thinking why no second chance?  There are so many people who have experienced 2, 3, 4 cardiac events yet not my mom.  The next few years were filled with change.  My dad remarried and had 2 children.   We moved more frequently as my dad continued up the corporate ladder.  I went from being the youngest to being the oldest at some point.

3.  Good employee and hard worker will only get you so far

When I moved out on my own at 18 I was determined to to be the good employee and vowed I would be the hardest worker.  My first job was being a stock boy.  I moved up quickly although moving up from stock boy wasn’t really all that difficult!!  I went to night school for business and continued to move up the ladder.  By some quirk of fate I got involved in computers and worked as a computer operator and then eventually got in management.  I was a good employee and a hard worker.  I met my beautiful wife Susanne around this time and before you know it we were married and had 3 children.  I was now part of the establishment, the middle class, suburbia.  At some point I realized that I had reached the maximum in job promotion and income.  No matter how good of an employee I was or how hard I worked nothing much was going to change.  I found myself waiting for the 1 or 2% raise every year.  The options to do something else seemed small since I needed to help provide for my family.  For the first time in my life I felt trapped in the rat race.

4.  Change is good

My wife Susanne is an entrepreneur.  No glass ceiling for her!  Susanne has always lived by the motto “Never say no to an opportunity without looking at it first.”  It was a good fit with me being Mr. conservative and reliable and Susanne the risk taker.  One day Susanne was asked to look at business in the network marketing industry.  I was so skeptical that there was no way I would even think of looking at it.  Somehow Susanne got me to look at the company and within 30 minutes I said yes.  Why?  When I was listening to the information being presented I was shown the statistics of people who die of heart disease every year.  I was reminded of my mom and what happened to her at the age of 41.  I was only 36 at the time and realized that I was only 5 short years away in my life from hers when she taken.  How could I be so arrogant that it could not happen to me?  What would happen to my family?  I instinctively knew that being presented this company, the health products was no accident and that I need to pay attention.

We had the good fortune to have a great mentor Ron, who taught us everything he knew.  Do exactly what he said and we can be a success, and we did.  I read books on the industry and learned that my opinion of the industry was unfounded.  We worked consistently using the systems in place for 1995.  We grew fast and at some point it dawned on me that I could take a leap…from the rat race…if I truly had the courage and believed in me.  The security of the corporate job is an illusion and the blinders came off showing me that the only real security one has comes from within.  In 2 short years I fired my boss!

Susanne and I have traveled the world, developing teams and creating lasting friendships.

5.  Life is not always fair

In our journey of life there is no certainty.  There is no promise for tomorrow and just about anything can happen at anytime.  On a beautiful sunny Sunday I was riding ATV’s with one of my sons.  One moment we were having a  blast the next I had flipped the ATV on me.  I was back boarded off the sand trail and after 12 hours and multiple tests I went home.  Broken ribs, dislocated shoulder and a bruised ego.  It was about a year later that my hip started to catch.  I went to the doctor and we discovered that my hip was deteriorating.  The long term prognosis was not good.  I took action and did everything I could to heal the hip.  Chiropractic, physio therapy, acupuncture, deep tissue massages, cold whirlpools, pilates, yoga, diet, and those are the traditional methods.  I looked at everything.  Unfortunately nothing worked and my hip got worse and worse.  I finally made a decision that despite the unknown on the other side of surgery, what I currently knew, the pain everyday, that the other side of surgery had to be better.

There were many times I questioned how this happened and to me of all people.  I am a healthy person, I promote health, teach health, live a healthy life.  Then I stopped having a pity party and realized that life is not always fair and why should it be and if I look hard enough some good can from all of this…and it has!  I am as active as I have been in years.  I live everyday pain free and experience joy in sharing the benefits of health to everyone I meet!

6.  Start with WHY

I recently read a book written by Simon Sinek called Start with WHY.  I highly recommend it.  While reading the book the message reaffirmed in my mind that to be a success in life, whatever that means to you, we must start with why we do what we do.

I wake up everyday connected to my why.  To change someones life for the better by maybe smiling at a stranger, introducing some health options to a new friend, coach a business partner through some challenges, read a book on health or business.  I am always focused on my health.  Going to the gym to work on my strength, increase my flexibility and perhaps learning a new yoga pose that will help my core.

7.  Say NO to the status quo

I have learned over the years that the status quo is another word for mediocre and just getting by.  I believe we are all born on the earth to be so much more.  To break free from the chains of ordinary to extraordinary takes courage.  When I broke free from the corporate rat race it to courage.  I didn’t know it at the time yet looking back it was very courageous.

How about you?  Are you looking to break free?  Maybe for the first time in your health, finances?

I am a person of experience with very little academia behind my name.  I have been there with you and will be there for you in your wellness journey.

All you need to do is say NO to the status quo.

8. Continue to grow

A flower is in a constant state of motion.  It is either growing or it is dying…there is nothing in between.  The same can be said for us humans. If we are not growing  we are dying.   Stand still long enough and world will pass us by.  Join me in our journey of growing and development.  I promise you will learn much from me as I will learn from much from all of you.

John….one hip guy!