Growing up, I was a big fan of the rock group, Twisted Sister. My childhood was not rough, compared to some of my friends, but back then I had nothing to compare my life to, so there were many parts of my childhood that I desperately wanted to change (i.e. school, parents, etc.). In the MTV video of the song, “We’re not going to take it”, the father yells at his son, “What do you want to do with your life” and the kids response was, “I want to Rock”. I was not a rocker, I was a skier, so my mantra, as you can probably guess was, “I want to Ski!” Skiing was and is a massive stress reliever, as anyone who skis knows. So practically every weekend from the moment I got my driver’s license, my best friend and I would take my little red Volvo P1800 up to Mt. Hood to ski our brains out. Fortunately, I learned to drive in the snow and ice in Alaska, so my Mom had no problem letting her sweet little 16 year old and his rough and tumble best friend head to the mountain in a little, old red sports car…ahhhh, the good old 80’s. I had dreams of becoming a ski instructor and someday being a ski school director at Timberline or Mt. Hood Meadows. Sadly, as is the case for most people, childhood dreams usually fade away when faced with the realities of life and becoming a “responsible adult”.
I continued to ski of course, but after a brief stint as a ski instructor in college, at Willamette Pass Ski area outside of Eugene, Oregon, my ski instructor dreams completely faded away. My life up till now has been pretty normal. I take all the good with the bad and in the end I do love my life. I had accepted that I’d be a desk jockey for the rest of my working career (still am as of now), but after venturing in to my late 40’s and feeling the passage of time slowly creep away, I decided to breathe new life in to my childhood dreams. The great Steve Jobs once said,
“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I’m about to do today. And whenever the answer has been, “no” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.”
I had forgotten that life was slowly ticking away and that someday, could be tomorrow or could be 80 years from now, but someday I would not have any more tomorrows to be able to go do what really makes me happy. Now, I don’t mean to say that every aspect of my life sucks because the opposite is actually true. My wife and children are true gifts from God. I live in a great neighborhood, in a very cute little house. My job, is ho hum but is reliable, extremely flexible and pays well, so what do I have to complain about…nothing. BUT, I took a hard look at my life a couple years ago after reading Steve Job’s quote again and it sparked new life into my childhood dreams.
I decided to make a conscious effort to tell the Universe that I wanted a change and the easiest way to start that change was to ski more. Once I upped my number of ski days and REALLY remembered how important skiing was to me and my sanity, I skied even more. I keep asking myself, If today were the last day of my life, would I want to keep working at the job I am today? and the answer is consistently, NO! Now my life story is still unfolding and I’m not going to up and just quit my job, but I have made a really conscious effort to work towards doing the things I need to do to improve my life, with the ultimate goal of becoming a full-time ski instructor and skiing over 100 days a year. I am very specific in what I am putting out to the Universe and imagine myself daily wearing the blue ski instructor coat, teaching a private lesson and then skiing my brains out before heading down to Government Camp (the little ski town at the base of Mt. Hood) to my house and sitting before a huge fireplace with my family, drinking a glass of Pinot Noir wine from Dobbes Winery knowing that I don’t have to drive back to Beaverton to go to a job that I don’t like.
My post today is to help remind me and everyone who is reading this, to follow their dreams and accept no less than exactly what you want, because we all deserve to be living the life of our dreams. So please, please, please, think back to your childhood dreams and refocus your life around moving towards reaching that reality. It may take a year or two or more, but I know that we can all have what we desire most in life, if we just keep our minds focused on it. Push out any thoughts of it’s too late or I can’t have that life, because that will stop your momentum and drag you down.
As the late, great Warren Miller used to say, “If you don’t do it this year, you will be one year older when you do.” So don’t wait till tomorrow or next year to start following your dreams. Get out there and go skiing and change your life!