Friday, February 18, 2011

Let Go Of The Ordinary

Apache over Baghdad
I'm terrible.  I'm now getting lifestyle advice from television commercials. This morning over coffee and my daily dose of CNN I overheard a travel commercial claiming, "Let go of the ordinary and grab a hold of the extraordinary.  Be who you could be, not who you used to be".  What a great mantra for life!

My life has always been about the pursuit of the extraordinary, and I humbly submit that this idea has served me more than just well.  I tell young people all of the time, at the first opportunity go out and do the hardest thing that you can think of, whether that's an Ironman triathlon, getting an advanced degree, or trekking some remote mountain slope.  Set yourself up for an extraordinary life. Don't accept the mundane.  Take the path less traveled, and carry your own pack along the way.

None of this is to say that we all have to be globetrotting, adventure seekers to have an extraordinary life.  Be an extraordinary parent, partner, son or daughter.  Take whatever you have and make it that much more special. Set exceptionally high goals for yourself.  Never compromise or accept excuses.  If you found yourself on your deathbed today could to look back with a massively satisfied grin?  Would you know that you had lived and loved at a level that most only dream of?

One of my favorite stories that I tell has me, as a young Captain, sitting down over a couple of beers in a dusty Panamanian bar with my Special Forces battalion commander.  It was just the two of us; the older Lieutenant Colonel was weaving tale after tale of a lifetime of doing the King's bidding in Latin America, stories of intrigue, adventure, sacrifice, and failure.  At a point I looked at him and stated, "Sir, you should write a book". He smiled and with the wisdom of age replied, "I would, but I don't want my mother knowing what I've done".  Awesome.


lorraine said...

I have always maintained that I stick to my Do Not Resuscitate even at 62 - why? Because I have lead an extraordinary life. I have traveled around the world carrying my own back pack - in a day when going across the middle east was a possibility - Afghanistan by land (a road that didn't blow up) and staying with the people along the way. Couldn't do it now for love or money but wouldn't trade "nothing for my journey now". Good advice for any young person. Thank you for continuing to write about your adventures.

canvas artwork said...

you have a gift with a camera

Eric said...


Thank you but not really. I've just spent a lot of time learning how to edit :)