Have you ever been told that you are crazy for doing what you are doing?
I have. Plenty of times. In fact I’ve had it said to me so many times now I see it as a good thing!
I recall when I first decided to enrol in a post-graduate university program as a part time student, people said, “You’re crazy!”.
When I decided to become the senior coach of a local football team, people said, “You’re crazy!”.
When I decided to study part time at the masters level at university, people said, “You’re crazy!”.
When I decided to form my own business with my business partner, people said, “You’re crazy!”.
When I decided to run my first marathon, people said, “You’re crazy!”.
When I decided to write my first book, people said, “You’re crazy!”.
When I decided to write an ebook and give it away for free, people said, “You’re crazy!”.
When Michelle and I announced that we had our fifth child on the way, people said, “You’re definitely crazy!!”.
When I decided to run a marathon four weeks after having had my appendix removed, yes, you got it, people said, “You’re crazy!”.
This list could go on and on. But it wouldn’t be fair to keep going because I think you understand the message.
I don’t know why people say that you are crazy when you tell them that you are doing something that they can’t see themselves doing, even if they really wanted to do it.
I do know that I have enough evidence to see that statement as a positive. In fact, if people weren’t telling me that I’m crazy then I suspect that I wouldn’t be striving hard enough to create the life that I desire.
You see the only reason that I have done all of the things listed above is that each of those little achievements contribute to me living the life that I desire.
As a simple example the reason why I run marathons is so that I can be healthy and fit for my family. Also I am so busy that if I did not have something as big as a marathon to train for, I might not do any training. It is the very fact that a marathon is what it is that makes me prioritise the time to train. But again my real reason is even bigger than that. I want to be an example of health and fitness for my children, so that I can physically do whatever I want to do with and/or for them.
My eldest son plays both Under 10 and Under 11 Australian Rules Football for our local club. Recently the umpire did not arrive for the start of the U11 game. Fathers were approached to pick up the whistle. They declined. “I can’t do it, I’m not fit enough.” is what I heard them say. I even overheard one father say, “Someone else will do it”.
I raised my hand. “I’ll do it.”
The simple mathematics of the situation was that if someone did not step up to umpire, the game would not happen and the children, including my son, would miss out on a game of football. That’s not an outcome that I want.
I knew that I was fit enough to do it and I also felt confident enough that I knew enough rules to do a reasonable job.
After the game my son thanked me as did many of the other children and their parents. Again, many of them said, “Thankfully you raised your hand because I could never have done that. I’m not fit enough.”
For me, for as much as I can control I never want the statement, “I couldn’t do that because I ‘m not fit enough” to come out of my mouth and stop me from helping out my children. Michelle and I also talk a lot with our children about the importance of showing initiative. Well, I can’t just talk about it, I have to show it too!
I never got up that morning expecting to umpire a game of football. Wearing a shirt, jumper and jeans I was clearly not dressed to umpire. But I didn’t let that stop me either. Who cares if people laughed at how I was dressed or looked or if they thought I was crazy! The important thing was that I was out there having a crack and helping the boys have a game of football.
I can’t even begin to tell you the benefits of having completed each of my post-graduate degrees. Once again the important outcome has been that I have been able to live more of the life that I (and my family) desire.
I’m not sharing this story because I want accolades. Rather I am sharing it because it is an example of the benefit of taking the time to work on my health and fitness. You never know when opportunities like the one I have described above can pop up, and personally I want to be able to seize them. It is part of the future that I desire and an example of living out my purpose for being healthy and fit.
So, what are your examples of when people have told you that you are crazy?
What have been the benefits of not listening to those people?
Please share your examples with us.
Gary Ryan enables individuals, teams and organisations to matter.
Visit Gary at http://garyryans.com