039 - don't take it all so seriously


There's a funny thing about birthdays that not many people care to admit. We think it's all about a day off, a day of celebration, a day of family time, cake, and maybe a couple of drinks with friends - but to me, it's a time of reflection and a catharsis (death of the old, building of the new) 

And in turning 28 last week, I reflected back on one of the most powerful & hard-won pieces of advice I'd pass on to the next generations or former version of myself. And it's prefaced best by this story and viewpoint of Naval Ravikant

"If you study even the smallest bit of science, you will realize that, for all practical purposes, we are nothing. We're basically monkeys on a small rock orbiting a small, backwards star in a huge galaxy, which is in an absolutely staggeringly gigantic universe, which itself may be part of a gigantic multiverse...

There are entire civilizations that we remember now with just one or two words like 'Sumerian' or 'Mayan.' Do you know any Sumerians or Mayans? Do you hold any of them in high regard or esteem? Have they outlived their natural lifespan somehow?

No."

What this has taught me, is to not take it all so seriously. Yes, we need to push, take action, show discipline and make sacrifices - but it doesn't need to be 24/7, 365. We're here to live, to enjoy to smaller things in life - like the most beautiful of sunsets I witnessed driving home last night

Sometimes, we need to slow down in order to speed up, and always remember that we get to take nothing with us when we die - but herein lies the duality of the situation - as I desire to leave a legacy, The Academy, behind when I go... 

I aim for it to live on and continue impacting young athletes and adolescents far after I'm gone...

And in order to do that, I feel like I need to constantly push, like you may feel like you need to constantly push toward your goal too. But here's the truth, a little time off won't hurt you - in fact, it will help you immensely. We can slow down in order to speed up, as we come back refreshed and raring to go again

What if you didn't take life, your sport, your grades at school/uni, or the opinions of others about you so seriously? What if you learned to relax even just a little bit? Perhaps you'd be happier, the process would be more enjoyable, and you might get to where you desire to go at a quicker rate

When that girl or your coach goes off at you...
When you don't get your way...
When they're all out of your favourite food or someone takes the last one...
When you don't perform as well as you wanted to...

Don't take it so seriously, it's not the end of the world

Just as we began, we'll end with some wisdom from Naval too, advice he passes on as something he does when he feels overwhelmed or unfocused:

"I think 'memento mori' - remember that you have to die. All of this will go to nothing. Remember before you were born? Just like that..."

Don't take it all so seriously ladies & gents...


Actionable Tip + Question:

  • What do I overreact to? What do I take far too seriously? Why, what is it about these things that makes me care so much?
  • How can I begin to see that they're not as serious as I believe them to be...
Nick Maier