Headed for city lights
Climbed the ladder up to fortune and fame
I worked my fingers to the bone
Made myself a name
Funny I seemed to find
That no matter how the years unwind
Still I reminisce ’bout the girl I miss
And the love I left behind
-Frankie Vallie, My Eyes Adored You, 1975
I’m in an emotional state as I write this post at 12:03am on Christmas morning, 2014. I’m taking stock of my year, and I feel like things are going well. I’m in a great spot physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. I’ve been doing The Daily Practice for around six months now, and doing that has helped me get healthy and maintain my health in all four of those areas.
I’m taking stock of my life and my business tonight because this is the first time in as long as I remember that I’m off the clock and completely taking a break from business. For the past few years I’ve literally worked my fingers to the bone and struggled to create an opportunity for myself. And for a few years I couldn’t figure out it. I was still going through life hating the way I spent my days, and not being healthy in all four of the areas mentioned above.
But now I’ve done it. I’ve created an opportunity to run my own successful business, and things are taking off. I’m helping people, living life the way I want to, and spending my time only dealing with people I want to deal with. I can’t describe how good and how right it feels. I’m never going back to spending my days doing anything I don’t want to, and I’m never going back to spending my time with people who I don’t want to spend time with.
As I mentioned above, I’m off the clock for the next few days over this Christmas weekend, and my guard is down. I’m taking stock of my life and my business, and I love where I’m at. Business is going great, and things are clicking. But it’s not just making money that matters. It’s about spending time with people you love.
I just came from a family Christmas gathering. I spent time with people I love, and it was a beautiful evening. Driving home I felt so grateful to have people in my life that I love and who love me. And even more, I started thinking about the other gatherings I have with other parts of my family over the next few days. And I love those people and they love me too. There’s so many people in my life who I love and who love me back, and I feel so grateful for that.
And it’s not just family. I have friends and customers who I love. And they love me back. No, I’m not talking about kiss on the lips love, but these loving relationships that I have with friends and customers are deeper than the standard friendships and client relationships. It’s deeper. I love these people. Again, it’s not the kiss on the lips kind of love, but it’s a love nonetheless.
And that’s what I figured out driving home tonight. I figured out that it’s about love. That’s all life is about. It’s about loving people and having them love you back. That’s all that matters. Money, success, comforts, security… those are all great things and necessities, but they all stem from love. And my theme for life is now surrounding myself with people I love, spending time with people I love, doing business with people I love, and not dealing with crappy people who I don’t love.
It’s a simple equation. People I love make me happy and make life great. And crappy people make me sad and make life crappy. And life shouldn’t be crappy. So I’m done dealing with the crappy people. I’m finally in a position where I get to choose how I spend my time, and who I spend my time with, and there is nothing more important than exclusively spending time with people who I love and love me back, and alternatively spending zero time with the crappy people.
Life is too short, and this world is too violent. In a world with its fair share of senseless violence, hatred, and generally douchbaggery, I have zero time for crappy people. From here on out I’m only spending time with people I love.
I’ve always heard successful people I look up talk about the importance of spending time with people you love and avoiding crappy people. From people I know personally, to my heroes who I’ll never meet like Warren Buffett and James Altucher, they all seem to give the same advice; that the most important things in life are the relationships you have, spending time with people you love, avoiding crappy people, and practicing gratitude. As a young guy struggling to make a buck and create an opportunity for myself, it was very hard to let that advice sink in. Intuitively I knew that they were right, and that if all these smart people were putting an emphasis on these values then they truly must be the most important things in life. But when you’re struggling to create your opportunity and very unhappy day to day, it is very hard to take that advice to heart and practice it. All you’re thinking about it how to make a buck and make your opportunity happen.
But now that I have my opportunity and have some success, that advice is hitting home, and I’m seeing just how important it is to spend time with people I love, cherish my relationships, avoid crappy people, and be a grateful person. I’m finally getting it, and I’m seeing just how important living by these themes is. And ironically, once you start living by these themes the money, the opportunities, and the success come about a lot easier than they do when you’re not living life this way.
From this day on my life is going to be about cherishing the people I love, avoiding crappy people, being grateful, and spreading love.
Merry Christmas to you and yours. I’m going to cap this Christmas Eve with Frankie Valli’s My Eyes Adored You.