We live in a world full of unhappiness.
Everyone’s stressed and depressed, jealous and envious, bitter and angry.
Everyone wants a better life.
We want to be richer, prettier, bigger, leaner, smarter. Nothing is ever good enough.
Or is it?
Maybe the world we live in has blurred our vision.
Information overload, Facebook status updates, a never-ending stream of advertisements and celebrity lifestyle features can make us forget what’s really important.
And what’s really important is helping people; motivating, touching and inspiring them.
It’s about leaving a legacy.
That’s far more important than leaving a status update.
We should strive to make an impact more than we strive to make money. Like Gary Vaynerchuck says, “Legacy is greater than currency.”
When I take my final dirt nap I don’t want my gravestone to read, “Here lies Jay, he was awesome at Facebook,” or “He made a lot of money,” or “He knew a ton about sets and reps.”
None of that matters in the grand scheme of things.
Like Maya Angelou said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
That’s what it’s all about. The relationships you build and the people you impact. Everything else pales in comparison.
I’ve spent the last week back home on the east coast and have spent time with people I haven’t seen in over a year, people who are the absolute salt of the earth. It’s been nothing short of overwhelming. The older I get the more reflective and appreciative I become of everything in life.
This mindset shift has been slow and steady over the last few years but it’s gotten to the point where I’m not even remotely the same person I once was.
I’ve always strived to get better in every way, every day. But now it’s not even just that anymore. It’s about appreciating and being grateful for every… single… thing.
The fact that I’m still breathing, the fact that the sun is shining, the fact that I am able to train every day without any serious injuries, the smell of a great cup of coffee, a conversation with a stranger in line for Pearl Jam tickets, the fact that someone trusts me enough to ask me for advice… anything and everything.
I am so incredibly grateful for all of it, which goes in my daily gratitude journal along with the names of everyone who has helped me or impacted me in some way. (If you don’t keep a daily gratitude journal I would highly recommend it. It’s been life changing for me.)
While hanging with some of the greatest people I know over the last seven days a few teary eyed, “I miss you and you’ve impacted by life in ways you’ll never know,” conversations took place and my future path has been altered because of it.
My mission is even clearer now, the impact I want to make even greater, and the likelihood of me getting down about anything or forgetting what really matters in life has been reduced even more.
I know that having great people in my life, like everyone I spent meaningful time with this week, is more than I could ever ask for and all I really need.
Towards the end of the song Wishlist, on Monday night at the Pearl Jam show in Philly, Eddie Vedder ad libbed a line that gave me goosebumps. It’s a thought I will carry in my head wherever I go, doing whatever I do.
“My only wish is to wish for nothing,” he sang. Then he motioned out toward the crowd and finished up with, “…cuz who could ask for anymore than this?”
Appreciate every moment.