Finding YOUR success story. By coach K. Hopkins.

Let’s keep this one fairly short and sweet today. Today’s blog isn’t necessarily about CrossFit and your physical health and fitness so much as it is about your mental and emotional health. (Your physical health certainly plays a big part in that though.)

Success is a word we use a lot in modern Western societies. In the U.S this generally has one meaning. “He/She is successful.” What does that mean to you when you hear it? I bet 90% of you automatically thought about money when you read that. Financial well being is synonymous with success in this country. Sure it can be one part of the equation, but is it really what we want the definition of success to be? I was having a discussion with a member of our CrossFit community last night and she told me how much she loves her job. That’s AWESOME!!! I too LOVE my job. I feel so incredibly lucky to be able to truthfully say that. There are days that I can’t wait t get to work. At the very least I NEVER dread going to work. It is sad how few people can say that. At best most people don’t hate their jobs. We spend so much of our time on this earth working that it is terrible to think that it is time spent that drains us of our joy.

Don’t get me wrong. I fully recognize that financial security relieves A LOT of stress. Being wealthy is even better right? Sure I would LOVE to be wealthy. (Check out my GoFund me at Jokes jokes jokes…) Anyone that says otherwise is likely lying to you. At what expense though? To the detriment of my relationships? So I am stressed to the gills every day? Working 60-80 hour work weeks doing something I hate? Sacrificing my health and time with the people I enjoy? For what? What good does the money do you if you don’t even enjoy having it and it sends you to an early grave because your blood pressure is through the roof?

Take a look at societies like Iceland. They have a higher life expectancy than us and studies show that their quality of life is generally very high. They don’t work traditional 40 hour weeks. They spend a lot of time enjoying nature and being with their friends and family. They are physically active people who breathe clean air and drink clean water. Ever watch the CrossFit games? I can guarantee if an athlete’s name ends in “Dottir” they are smiling from ear to ear ALL. THE. TIME. THAT is what success looks like!

When I was in my mid 20’s I was a bit lost. I struggled to feel like an adult. I had friends that got undergrad and Master’s degrees and were already in “careers.” They were buying the houses and the cars and having 1.5 kids. I felt so behind. It left me feeling very down and aimless. I was never a traditional route kinda guy. I felt that kind of anxiety about what I was doing with my life until well into my 30’s. I was waiting tables, playing music, and working out. I was pretty broke, but I was also living on my terms to some degree. I finally took the plunge and risked opening my own business… my garage! Now we are housed in an 8,000 sq foot facility and growing and I still do what I love every day. Let me be clear, we have a LONG way to go to be successful by the traditional meaning of the word. In many ways I feel like we are finally at square 1 and can begin. I have loved the process though. I am rambling a touch. What’s the point of my blog today?

I was recently listening to a podcast and they were talking about Chris Cornell’s suicide. I am not generally impacted by the deaths of celebrities any more than regular people. The value of their lives is not inherently high because of fame, but that one hit me. I LOVE his music and think he is one of the all time great rock voices. Here was a man at the top of his game. At the pinnacle of success in his field. He had it all. He had fame, wealth, notoriety, respect from his peers, and the ability to live life how he wanted to and pretty much do whatever he wanted to. How can someone like that take their own life? Imagine how hopeless you would feel to have all that and still not be happy. How hard would that be to come to terms with? The idea that you have everything you ever wanted and it still wasn’t enough to wake up every day and feel content. You begin to understand that he felt like there was nothing left that would ever make him feel happy.

1 day prior to his death you could have asked anyone “Is Chris Cornell successful?” I imagine you would have gotten a resounding yes no matter who you asked. So my point is simply that you MUST find balance to truly be successful. Don’t get caught 100% caught up in the rat race in the pursuit of money. Yes it is important to make a living, but are you really “living” if it consumes you? Make time for yourself and to build quality in your waking hours. Take care of yourself. Take care of your friends and family. Be successful in multiple areas of your life. Stop making success synonymous with money. We ALL have that wealthy friend or friends that seem stressed and angry all the time. Don’t let it happen to you. Don’t be afraid to take bold leaps and be proactive in creating your own version of success. You don’t have to go broke to do it, but a long slow march to your grave with a fist full of dollars isn’t going to bring you any happiness either. MAKE the time to bring more quality to your life. Nobody else will do this for you!

Be happy! You can choose that.

Kyle HopkinsComment