I time-traveled yesterday.
Over the weekend, my friend/design Yoda Mike Bridgman wanted to give Nerd Fitness headquarters a more nerdy, retro look that screamed “NERD FITNESS!” Boom – I honestly get giddy just looking at it.
Seriously, if you’re reading this in an email or RSS reader, come check out the site 🙂
Anyways, during the weekend we also updated a whole bunch of other stuff and plugins on the site; one of those new services managed to revert EVERYTHING back to November 2011 yesterday. Things SHOULD be back to normal now, but for a few hours there I felt like I was trapped back in time, six months ago.
It was a rare (though forced) opportunity for me to see what the site looked like, what the message boards looked like, and how many members we had.
It taught me patience as well, as we’ve run into all sorts of snags, problems, glitches, and so on over the past two weeks getting this read…and then the site just didn’t work yesterday!
Last but not least, it also had me thinking of what my life was like six months ago (thanks to Mama T for the inspiration), and what life will be like six months from now.
Shall we go back in time?
Back to the Future
I want you to hop in your imaginary DeLorean and set the date for November 7th, 2011.
[If you actually have a DeLorean, get it up to 88mph and let us know how things go.]
Read some of your old work emails, IM conversations, and/or message board posts and see what your goals and missions were. At the very least, try to put yourself back in your 2011 shoes (which shouldn’t be too tough as they’re the same size as your 2012 shoes) and think about all of the life decisions (or lack thereof) you’ve made in the past six months.
Looking back, you’ll have different feelings:
- Elation about the decisions made that worked out in your favor. Maybe you changed your diet and workout strategy and lost a bunch of weight, or switched jobs and paid off a bunch of debt, etc.
- Sadness that something you tried didn’t work out or made things worse. You agreed to go on a date with a total jerk, or you took a job that you ended up hating two weeks later.
- Regret that you had an opportunity to make a change or try something new but didn’t. You could have asked that person out but didn’t bother, or you could have taken a _________ class but passed on the chance.
Now, if we actually had a time machine, we could go back to make sure we did the stuff that made us happy, stop ourselves from trying the things that didn’t work out, and force ourselves to try the things that we failed to attempt.
Unfortunately, our flux capacitors are broken, which means we don’t have that luxury…yet.
Although we all want to have elation, we spend so much time worrying about the potential for sadness that we end up giving up the possibility of both, which results in a giant pile of regret.
I say no more!
Fortune favors the bold nerd
Every day is an opportunity to learn.
Right now, I’m can’t help but think about two lessons I learned on my recent trip to Ecuador:
1) I’m proud of myself for trying sushi. I don’t even like cooked fish, but I tried sushi and discovered that – although I didn’t particularly care for it and probably won’t be adding it to my normal menu – it actually wasn’t as abysmal as I had expected! I can now say “yes I’ve had it, and it’s not for me.”
2) I’m kicking myself for not trying kiteboarding. Ecuador has great, reasonably-priced kite boarding lessons. And yet, I spent too much of my time behind a computer telling myself I was too busy; in reality, I had the time, I just chose not to make the effort. Now that I’m back in the states, there’s nothing I can do about it!
Both lessons are valuable. I’m glad I learned the first one, and I’m absolutely pissed at myself for the second! Yeah, I could have broken my leg or hated it or really had a miserable time, but at least I would have been able to say “I tried it.”
If you thinking “sorry Steve, but I’m not as adventurous as you and I don’t like to try new things,” stop it.
I’m extremely risk averse, I’m a a picky eater, I have self-confidence issues, I get terrified when walking into a party of people I don’t know, I’m afraid of public speaking (this was the scariest moment of my life), and if I didn’t force myself to try new things, I might never leave my apartment – hell, 3/4ths of the items on the Epic Quest of Awesome exists because they scare me.
Why do I do it?
For three very important reasons:
- Because I’ve learned that new stuff can be freaking awesome! Oftentimes, the new thing is even better than imagined.
- Because more often than not, the “bad” decisions aren’t nearly as life-ending as I expected them to be. After a brief moment of disappointment, I get to say “welp, that didn’t work out! moving on!”
- Because regret is the toughest lesson of all to learn, especially when it’s too late to do anything about it. “What if” drives me absolutely BONKERS.
I vow that I will continue to try new things and report back here with my findings. After all, I can’t be preaching this stuff without practicing it myself, right? Without change, there can be no progress, and that progress is key to my happiness.
So, I apologize in advance if Nerd Fitness breaks again for most of the day (the past three days have been incredibly frustrating for me, but I know it’ll be worth it), or something doesn’t work right, or if I launch a new project and it completely bombs. I’m sorry if I miss an article because I was out learning how to __________, or I make a declaration and then change paths two months later. I want to continue to innovate and grow and explore opportunities and possibilities and chances. I’d like to think that most of them will work, but quite a few will probably blow up in my face, injure or humiliate me, and/or cost me a bunch of money.
That’s learning and I look forward to the ass-kicking life will deliver.
We can’t predict the future, but we can look back on our past and remember the things that made us feel the way we do:
- Six months ago, you might have been in a dead-end job that made you miserable. Do you still complain every day about it without actually taking action? Or are you taking daily steps to improve your situation?
- Six months ago, you saw that cute girl/guy in the coffee shop but didn’t say anything because you were scared. Do you still admire from afar and regret each missed opportunity? OR do you now approach and say something like “hey, I think you’re really cute and wanted to introduce myself, I’m [name].”
- Sixth months ago, you said you wanted to take Karate/cooking/dance classes but never got around to it because you were too busy. Are you still busy, or has the realization finally hit that you’re not too busy and you DO have time?
There will be moments when you attempt something or say YES to something that you shouldn’t have.
And there will be moments when you try something new that breaks your website for an entire day and makes you want to punch a hole in the drywall 🙂
As long as you look at those opportunities as learning experiences (“trying to eat the Heart Attack burger was a bad idea,” “I now know that I can’t fly by jumping off my roof with cardboard wings”, and so on), then you will be able to avoid making similar mistakes in the future.
Look back on your past 6 months, and think about the moments where you wished you had done something but didn’t. Figure out WHY you didn’t do it – was it fear? Lack of time? Lack of resources?
It’s time to put systems in place to remove those road blocks so you can take action without regret:
- Lack of confidence? start here.
- Lack of money? read this.
- Lack of time? practice better time management, and make time – I’m going to write a post on this very soon.
- Too scared? Here’s why you need to do more sh** that scares you. every day.
- Afraid to fail? Failure is awesome.
Its far more desirable to look back and say “that wasn’t for me” or “too bad that didn’t work out” instead of “I wonder what if?”
And who knows…the damn thing might work out and actually change your life 🙂
We can’t be like Marty McFly and go back to change what’s happened. We can only learn from those experiences and apply them moving forward.
I’d love to hear from you today with THREE things:
- One change or something you’ve made in the past six months that HAS worked out for you – take a sentence to celebrate your success.
- One opportunity you passed up on in the past six months and are still kicking yourself for.
- One new decision you’re going make or new thing you’re going to try as a result of that experience you missed out on.
MEGA SALE PS: NF Team member Staci handles the merch around here – When you order a shirt or a hoodie, she’s the one who packs it up and ships it out. She also stores all of apparel, which means her apartment looks like a full blown Nerd Fitness store.
Well, she’s moving in a month, and she’s got a closet full of ridiculously comfortable Nerd Fitness hoodies. On top of that, we’re about to enter into a new partnership for merch that will allow us to offer way more options for Rebels (performance shirts, anyone?) Rather than make her move all of these hoodies to her new place, I figure why not just sell them in an epic sale so they don’t need to be moved again!
It’s late Spring, which also happens to be perfect Nerd Fitness hoodie weather. Funny coincidence, eh?
Here’s my latest attempt at trying something new. First and foremost, we’re dropping the price on hoodies:
Add $3 for 2XL sizes, and add $5 for international shipping.
On top of that, in honor of this new site launching, we’re gonna sweeten the deal.
From now until Friday night at midnight, buy a hoodie and get any Nerd Fitness ebook 50% off! Or, I guess you could look at it like “buy an ebook and get a kickass NF hoodie ridiculously cheap.”
Whichever method works best in your brain.
Here’s how it works:
- select a zip up or pullover hoodie.
- select the Rebel Fitness Guide, Rebel Strength Guide, or Rebel Running Guide, either deluxe or regular version.
Then, on the payment page, put the code “TALIM” and it should apply the discount!
Offer valid for one hoodie and one ebook. No returns or refunds on this (if you order the wrong size, email us and we can try to figure out a solution).
One more thing. We also send out kick-ass Nerd Fitness decals (one red, one white) in each package when you buy a hoodie or t-shirt. If you don’t want hoodies or shirts but just want the decals, $5 bucks will get you one red and one white. You can add a set of decals to your shopping cart here.