Everyday is a day to begin your new story…You own YOU.

Right now, I’m living the retired life. When you retire, everyone expects you to be constantly doing something. But this life isn’t just about doing, it’s about being: living in the moment and taking advantage of each of those moments as they come, even if those moments contain nothing at all. It’s not always about pushing to do something.

You see, no matter what your backstory is, you can begin a new story every day. You just need to own YOU. You decide when, how and what will play or not play. You can fall down everyday; just get back up and keep starting a new story until it clicks. With a little bit of effort, it always will!

Right now, I’m three months into this new way of life.  I must say its been a challenge, but I’ve enjoyed every moment. Finally, slowly, all the pieces are falling into place. It’s a process, one that some figure out more easily than others. For me it was hard to slow down from 120 mph pace of my working life to the speed limit of retirement, but I found you can do both…there are no rules, because you make them up yourself. You don’t have to wait to do this until you retire either, you can do this in your daily life right now.

Today I’m living fully optimized. I’m living my authentic truth and life where I’ve spent most of my days on earth: just outside my comfort zone and balancing it comfortably. My time is already spent doing the things I want to do with it. My attention is already in the places it needs to be. I am connected to the people closest to me regularly.

That’s literally my life right now. It’s fully optimized. I’m living my authentic truth. My time is already spent doing the things I want to do with it. My attention is already in the places it needs to be. I’m figuring this retirement thing out day by day and getting more comfortable with every hour that passes. My former co-workers will love that too as I have to have my Monday conversations with them but promised that too will subside as I get deep into me changing priorities. I’m doing keynotes, motivational speaking engagements, mentoring and I’ve even gotten back into basketball coaching in my spare time. Sure, there will be myriad of mishaps along the way, and I still have some things to work on (like taking care of myself on a more consistent basis), but my life is the unconventional five-card 21, and I still took the pot. The dream is real, so why yearn for more? Its life. You can’t ever stop dreaming.

I’ve never been wired for the cookie-cutter life, my friends and family know this about me. Why? Because for me, a dog , a cat, and a house with a white picket fence are not a validation that I’m living my authentic truth. Many people just float through life married and bored and exist day-to-day without ever having lived. On the other hand, many people I admire fully live out the white picket fence dream. Its just a matter of each one’s perspective, and that’s okay.

My book “Off the Bench” has always been about risk, trust, conversations and finding your sense of purpose. These elements, in the right balance, prepare you for extraordinary moments. You don’t need to capture them all either…. YOU choose the moments you want to participate in at an extraordinary level. I choose them all, rise or fall. I mean, even fame isn’t validation that you’re living your authentic truth. So many famous people are average at best, and afraid of living out loud. The exclusive is: you do things “the right way”: your way. That’s the only form of validation that you need. Do things in a way that plays to the expectations you place upon you. Just go for it! Life is short. You will either safely meet those expectations, or spectacularly exceed them. Choose to be spectacular more often than not.

Do what you encouraged you to do. Do good to your friends, family and culture. Follow you first; that’s key. You don’t need anything else because you already have everything I need. You are all you need and that will be enough.

Once you do that you will already find something far superior: you. And you get to wake up and be that person every single day, warts and all (and there are many warts). You know your life and the impacts you make on others daily. And if someone falls in love with that, or someone feels the need to elevate you, because they like the way you do things and think it adds value to their life (or to humanity as a whole), then great! You’re right here because you were you, and that’s all that matters.

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