Stay active, stay interested and stay young

Bruce wilis stay young blog

My grandmother is not old.  She might have a lot of years on her but when you talk to her you realize just how much you can do if you live life to the fullest.  I was talking to her last weekend and she was planning on a long trail ride in the Black Canyon down in Gunnison National Park. She’s doing a bunch of pre-rides so that my cousins who don’t get out on horseback very often didn’t have problems with some of the horses. She wanted to make sure that the horses had been ridden enough so that these folks who don’t get out much would be able to handle it and I definitely got kind of a kick out of that.

Whenever I think about my grandmother I associate her with somebody who is young and vibrant and is just making the most out of life. I think a big part of that is that every time I talk to her on the phone, for my whole life, she’s always been on the go or doing something.  She’s always been riding horses, working in her garden, on the go to the next thing, or planning her next big adventure. This has made her stay youthful and I think there’s a real lesson in that for everybody.

I hear people say things like, “I’ve been going so hard I just want to spend a week on the couch” or “I just want to do nothing”  all the time. Maybe you’re dong the wrong things in your work life or I guess the ultimate takeaway is that finding the things that get you excited about in your day to day life, whether that is things at work or things that you do outside of work, are a big part of the key to staying youthful. You may not be able to change the passage of years but I think most people know somebody who is in their 70s, 80s or 90s and hasn’t quite seemed to realize it yet.  They’re still going like they did when they were much younger and in a lot of cases they’re outpacing people half their age.

That’s the person I want to be when I get older; somebody who is excited about every day, who is still finding new challenges, and has found a way to be excited about the things that they do. So I think important parts of that are:

  • Figuring out what makes you excited
  • Making sure that you try new things so that you don’t get stuck in a rut
  • Finally, part of it is just attitude, finding the silver lining in anything that you do, and either making it a game or figuring out how it ties into the bigger picture

Slogging through things just to mark the time isn’t going to do much for your quality of life and probably doesn’t do much for the quality of things that you’re doing. I’m curious what other people think.

Thanks as always for reading my blog, I hope you will join the conversation by commenting on this post.

If you liked this post, please consider subscribing to this blog and following me on twitter @jmillsapps. I regularly give talks via webinar and speak at events and other engagements. If you are interested in finding out where to see me next please look at the my events page on this blog. If you would interested in having me speak at your event please contact me at events@joshmillsapps.com.

If you are interested in consulting services please go to MB&A Online to learn more.

Reflecting on Father’s Day: Lessons learned from Dad

Fathes day final

I thought this Father’s Day I’d talk a little bit about some of the things that I learned from my dad. Things that have translated over, or at least things that I like to keep in mind, as I go about my daily business. I want to talk about the things that I see that he’s done that make him successful that I try to emulate. My dad is a small rancher farmer out in South Dakota and when I think of successful it’s a combination of having found something you love to spend your life doing that makes you enough money to enable you to continue spending your life doing it. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re the richest guy in the world or the biggest but I think that the combination of being prosperous enough at something to continue doing it because you love it is pretty successful in my eyes.  Here are few of the most important things that I have learned from my father over the years:

  1. You have to be passionate about what you’re doing.  Over the years I’ve watched my dad have a couple different businesses from solar energy business to farming. The one thing that hasn’t changed is that he’s always been passionate about what he’s doing. He now owns a grass-fed beef business and I’m always amazed at the depth of his knowledge on the subject.  I’ll call and talk to him and he’ll, for example, have just gotten back from a butchers course because he wants to learn more about what the cuts mean to the quality of the meat or the different tastes and palates.  He’s constantly learning. He’s got a grass grown beef newsletter that you can get to on homegrownbeef.com and he’s always got something in there about what kind of micronutrients or macronutrients are out there that come from a particular type of grass. So I think there’s that desire to really understand and know everything about what you’re doing which comes with that passion. That passion also nurtures you through those times when maybe things aren’t going as well or things don’t look like they’re going to work out; passion carries you through.
  2. The second thing he taught me was that you have to be willing to work hard at things you want.  I always am amazed at the type of man hours my dad puts in, even though he probably doesn’t have to at this point in his life. He’s out there working 15 to 16 hour days in the spring because that’s what it takes to do what he loves to do. It just shows you what you can do when you’re passionate about something and you believe in it. That hard work and the level of effort that you put into something is what drives you forward when other people might fail at something. The fact that you push on and push through may be the difference between success and failure.
  3. I think the last thing I want to talk about is how taught me that if you want to try new things and take a different perspective from the conventional, it’s ok. It’s something that my dad has always done, he has been his own guy and learned things for himself. He didn’t necessarily focus in on trying to be different but if different made sense to him or what he believed in, he always stuck to it. He didn’t let the way that everyone else was doing things constrain his thinking and that may be the biggest lesson that I’ve ever learned from him. Just because everyone else is doing it one way doesn’t make it the right thing to do for you. I’ve had many conversations with him regarding this. Whatever everyone else is doing may not be sustainable because once everyone else starts doing it, in a strictly commercial sense, it begins to constrain your revenues. There’s a whole bunch of reasons why trying to something a little bit differently might make sense but the biggest thing is just not allowing yourself to fall into that group thinking trap. It’s important to figure out for yourself what is the right approach for you and what is the best way to do something. That is something that he has always done no matter what everyone else is doing and that’s incredibly impressive to me.

I’m curious to hear from other folks what lessons you’ve learned from your father that have stuck with you to this day? What are things that you think about when times gets tough at work or at home?

Thanks as always for reading my blog, I hope you will join the conversation by commenting on this post.

If you liked this post, please consider subscribing to this blog and following me on twitter @jmillsapps. I regularly give talks via webinar and speak at events and other engagements. If you are interested in finding out where to see me next please look at the my events page on this blog. If you would interested in having me speak at your event please contact me at events@joshmillsapps.com.

If you are interested in consulting services please go to MB&A Online to learn more.