✓ Goal #147) Stand at the Center of Stonehenge

Something about Stonehenge has always captured my imagination.

When I added this goal to my list, like most of my goals, I didn’t want to just go and look … I wanted to immerse myself in the experience. I wanted to stand inside the stones and be surrounded by them.

Last month I went to England and took a tour of Stonehenge. Our bus arrived early in the morning before the crowds of tourists and we split into two groups. I waited to join the second group.

I poked around the gift shop for a while and then went outside to marvel at the stones in the distance, peaking through the morning mist. Once our group was allowed to enter, I walked through the center, took some photos and then walked around the edge holding hands with my girlfriend.

It was smaller than I’d expected but still impressive. One of the guards took us aside to show us how some of the stones had been repaired and others where people had carved their names.

As the people from our group began filtering out of the stones, I had one last thing I needed to do. I walked around to the edge of the circle and knelt down in front of my girlfriend to propose.

She said “Yes.”

We lingered a while longer as the rest of the crowd left and for a few moment it was just us and the security guards.


Wants Versus Wishes

Everything you have in life is because you wanted it. The things you own, the people you surround yourself with and the things you do each day are all your creation. Your decision to want that in your life.

You keep what you want, ignore or remove what you don’t.

You might hate your job but the truth is, you don’t want to leave because you’re afraid of the unknown. You want the comfort of knowing what comes tomorrow.

Your relationship might’ve been over a long time ago but you don’t want to leave because you don’t want to be alone. There is safety in pairs.

You’re always broke and never able to get ahead but you don’t want to work another job to make more money. You can’t afford that new purse but you want it, so you put it on your credit card.

You don’t want to leave your job. You don’t want to find someone new (or be alone.) You don’t want to have money in the bank.

You don’t want to be active. You don’t want to be skinny.

You don’t want to travel the world.

You don’t want to learn how to speak Italian.

You might think you want these things. But you don’t.

You don’t want any of it.

But you wish you did.

And there’s a difference between wanting something and wishing for something.

If you want something, you’ll make it happen. You’re willing to sacrifice whatever you need in order to have the things you want in life. If you hate your job, you’re willing to risk opening the door into the unknown to find work that’s rewarding.

If you’re not happy in your relationship, you might wish things were different. But if you want them to be different, then you’ll do whatever it takes to try to fix what’s broken or have the courage to leave and be alone.

If you don’t want to be broke anymore, you’ll find a way to get out of debt and start saving money. You’ll quit spending money on shit you don’t need. You’ll pick up extra hours at work or find another job. Maybe you’ll start a side hustle to earn extra money.

If you want to travel the world but you’re not traveling the world, you don’t really want to. You’re just wishing.

You don’t want to be fit and healthy. You’re just wishing.

It’s time for you to stop wishing and start wanting. Want it bad enough to make it happen.

Wanting without action is still wishing.

Don’t wish your life away.

You’re Not the Exception

When you look at athletes or artists or anyone who’s better at anything than you are, your immediate reaction is to tell yourself you could never do the things they’re doing. You can’t even run an entire minute without having to stop to breathe, you’ll never be able to run a marathon. When you paint a landscape, your sun is still in the upper corner with a smiley face … you love to create art but who would want to buy your work?

You keep trying different things to figure out if you’re good at any of them. And you’re not. You suck at everything.

If only there was just one thing you could actually do well. Every time you try something new, you always fail … so you move on to the next thing. Maybe that will be the thing you’re good at.

You’re not the exception. You aren’t the only person who sucks.

Everyone sucks at anything when they first start. I’ve tried so many new things in my life (and sucked at them) that I know if you want to find something you’re really good at, first you have to be bad at it.

No one wakes up one morning and becomes an Olympic snowboarder. Or featured on the cover of Climbing magazine hanging off the face of El Cap. You don’t just run a marathon one day. Or paint a masterpiece. Or write the next great American novel.

It takes work. Pain. Frustration. Tears. Anger.

You’ll hate what you’re doing sometimes … maybe more often than you enjoy it. You’ll get so pissed off that it doesn’t seem worth it anymore. You’ll find excuses why you can’t or shouldn’t be doing whatever it is you’re doing. Reasons why you’re not good enough. Why it shouldn’t be you doing this.

I hate running. I even own a shirt that says “Running Sucks.” I wear it almost every time I go running. I really do hate running. It’s hard. It hurts. I know I’ll never, ever be as good as I want to be. But I keep running. Even though I have to force myself to put on my shoes and go to the gym. Even though I wake up in the middle of the night because my legs and feet hurt so bad.

I keep running.

Because despite the pain, I love the feeling of having accomplished something. Of working towards something else. Of always having another challenge to face; the next day at the gym, the next 5K or to beat my best time. Or of the marathon I’ll be running in a few months.

You can’t expect to try something new and just be good at it. And if you try something and you aren’t good at it, that doesn’t mean you’ll never be good at it. If you try rock climbing and you can’t get to the top because your hands are weak and you don’t have the strength to climb, that’s not a good enough reason to quit. You can work on your weaknesses and get better over time.

Even the people who are the best at what they do had to work hard to get to where they are now and have to keep practicing to maintain their skills. They work to perfect their art, their craft, their skill, their strength. At some point, they sucked just as much as you do right now. Even now, they still have moments when they struggle. Did you see Shaun White in Sochi?

Paint. Run. Climb.

Do whatever you want. Even if you suck. I give you permission to be really, really bad at whatever you want to do.

Now, go on with your bad self…