A Most Valuable Commodity
You may have caught wind of an extremely large power ball jackpot recently………Over a BILLION Freakin dollars !!!!! Kind of hard to miss a thing like that isn’t it ? I remember as a kid when the Megabucks (which is the East coast version) was near a million and thinking that was more money than someone could spend in a lifetime !!! Boy how time fly’s, and perspectives have changed ??!! And when it would get as high as 4 or 5 million, my dad would drive all the way to New Hampshire (from Maine) to buy loads of tickets for all my family in Maine lol Kind of funny to think about it now, but back then a couple million dollars was this imaginary number that as a young boy I couldn’t even visualize because in MY mind that much money would fill several tractor trailer trucks !!
Like probably everyone reading this, I too found myself standing in line for my chance at a billion dollars. It didn’t matter where you went either because anywhere that had a Powerball machine, you were sure to find a long line of people. People of all walks of life, levels of income, colors of skin, shapes and sizes, etc etc.
Being that I have one of those Type A brains that NEVER shuts off, I found myself having the “what else do I have to do today” moments going on in my head so that I could plan how to make up the lost time of stranding in this LINE !!! As I started to feel myself move towards frustration and annoyance, I reminded myself that THIS year I plan to live MORE IN THE MOMENT and that this could be a time to reflect on something good in my life instead of being angry with the current circumstances of a line that didn’t seem to be moving. Because standing in a line doesn’t mean that my brain can’t be off on some beach planning the next vacation I plan to take my kids on right ?? OR, I could be writing (on my phone) a list of stories to write for these post that i am ALWAYS behind on. And just as the thought entered my somewhat hazy brain (Oh, did I mention I FINALLY gave up dt Soda for good ? 3 weeks and going strong but body is still in a fog without the caffeine) I saw my next story alllllll around me. I will try to put this delicately and without coming across as a judgmental ass.
So standing there observing the lines and lines of people who (like me) are probably missing more important things like time with family, a brisk walk outside staring at the blue sky and breathing in the fresh air, or even a quick workout at the gym, all of which would enhance their lives MUCH more than standing in this line, I found myself dumb founded on the things we choose to spend our time on. And more importantly the things we are “stingy” at spending our time on. But what hit me hardest in this moment was the overall make up of this line. Overweight people, Unhealthy looking people, the smell of tobacco from the smokers, and basically a line full of people who looked sad, unhealthy. And worst of all, every single one of them (I’m guilty of this too) had their faces buried in their phones probably playing some silly game OR posting something on their FB page trying to “bring that positive energy for buying the winning ticket.”
Don’t mis-understand; I am not without skin in this game. I could be healthier, I could lose a few pounds, and I need to remove my face from this stupid Iphone as well. Fortunetly (my perspective lol) is my weakness isn’t FB, it watching ridiculous YouTube videos on every conspiracy from JFK to the “FLAT EARTH TRUETHERS!” Ya, I said it, there is a whole community of people who believe we live on a flat earth inside a bubble like rats in an experiment. But you know what’s even crazier than that belief ?? The fact that if you watch a couple hours of these videos, you will probably at the very least find yourself scratching you head saying “Well I’ll be damned, they make perfect sense !!” lol Who knows, point is that I too waste way more time than I should. Rather than watching one of those videos, I could be watching one to learn how to do something great with my life. Maybe learn a new language, or how to be able to sing !! Oh how I would love to be someone with a voice to sing !! I already play guitar and would love to be able to play a song on my guitar and sing to the first ever true love whom I’ve waited WAY too long to find lol Corny, I know, but there’s something so powerful in the ability to sing in a way that moves people !! In my past bands I always sang a percentage of the songs we did while playing my guitar, but I always chose safe songs that didn’t put me at risk of showing how bad a singer I truly am haha. Songs that were more gimmicky than true vocals (Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy, Love Shack, etc.).
Driving home with my (non wining ticket) I began to write this story in my head. How to express the absolute obvious to all of you. I mean, what idiot doesn’t already know that we waste time on un-important things and we don’t do enough of the important things that truly matter !?!? It’s like diets these days. Do we really need someone to tell us what NOT to eat ?? Do we really need someone to tell us what to do to lose weight ???!!!! Ask any person, and I mean ANYONE this question. “Ummmmmmm, if you want to lose weight and be healthy, should you A) lay on the couch and eat potato chips, OR B) walk daily and eat a balanced diet?” Would anybody answer this question incorrectly ? If you know someone who would, find a smarter group of friends. Haha. But that question is the easy one.
NOW, here’s one that’s a little more difficult. This one I need to use on myself for sure. The question is “What could you give up right now that would free up time so that you could do something Epic that would effect YOUR life in a positive way and which by default would then effect the lives of those around you in a positive way too?” Now that’s a question worth standing in line for right ??
I feel like over the last year I have already narrowed down and shaved off a bunch of the “nonessential” things I waste my time on, but I already know the Conspiracy documentary thing is something I could hack at a little more. But isn’t it scary to think about giving up things that we enjoy !?!? Just typing that makes me feel a sense of sadness like “damn, I have to give up that??” But we don’t have to “give up” anything really, just cut back on some things. When I stop and think about all of the things we have today to draw our attention away from what is important, it makes my brain hurt. When I was a young punk back in Jr High School, we had about 4 channels, 6 if you have HBO and Cinemax, we had NO Internet, NO cell phones, PONG was the only video game, and so we played outside and created!!!! Created forts, created games, created friendships and most importantly we created DREAMS of our future. I remember those days like it was yesterday !! I nt only remember my first kiss and crush, but I remember her name !!!!! Initials are D.A. and that’s all I’m sayin haha.
Thirty five years ago was a long time, and I had big dreams back then as I am sure you ALL did. But could we ever have imagined the life we live today ?? If the YOU of today traveled back to the YOU of 35 years ago, would that you believe it when you told them that “in 35 years you are going to spend 20 to 30 percent of your day staring at a tiny tv in your hand? That you’re going to stop playing and stop calling your friends and instead will type with your thumbs very random and generic “status updates” to tell them how awesome and amazing your life is, BUT you won’t take the time to walk down the road to tell them personally.” What would that younger you say to that ??? I can tell you without a doubt that the younger me would kick me in the dong !! There’s a lot of things I’m not, but one thing I AM and always have been is a HARD WORKER !! I never sit still and need to work more at relaxing. But FB posting and YouTube Videos is not what I mean by relaxing and the younger me would not believe that this older version would be wasting the amount of time I do on things like that ! Those are distractions for sure, but THAT ISN’T LIVING IN THE MOMENT and that is not connecting in the way that our maker (whoever he/she is to you) planned it or had in mind for us. These things will NOT help you find your greatness, they will only keep you from it !!! And like it or not, we all share this big blue ball (Or flat pancake if you believe in that sort of thing). We need to get back to the basics. Get back to what’s important and remember what matters !!
So i’m guessing a good portion of you are saying “But Jay, it’s a GGGAAAZZZZILLION dollars !!” Think how that could change my life.” And you’d be right. It probably would. But let me finish with these final thoughts and if you disagree please send me a message so I know I’m full of shit !
First, would you say things are progressing faster or slower in our world today than they were 35 years ago ?? If at the age of 10, 4 to 5 million dollars was more than I thought I could spend in a lifetime, then in another 30 years, would a billion feel the same ? Will in 30 years there be a new “magic” number of wealth that “guarantees” total and complete happiness?” Or will that number just be a set of digits in a bank account when you’re at an age that fancy cars and big houses don’t matter to you? I don’t know about you, but the older I get the more I realize what truly has value in this world and rarely is it anything made from composite plastic or electronics.
Second, from the time of your first memory to this very moment, can you think of ANY dollar amount that you would settle for that you would be willing to trade years for ?? Start at 10 years. Let’s say I came to you with a magic checkbook and said “how much money would it take to buy all your organs in 10 years ??” If I said $100,000, would you take it? Let’s say you think it over and in the spirit of negotiation come back with 100 million dollars !! So I counter with $100 million but I get your organs in 5 years! Then you counter with a BILLION, and I counter with a billion but get your organs in 1 year. Get the picture ?? Is there any amount worth your life on this planet? If that scenario sounds to creepy (since giving up your organs means death lol) let’s substitute organs for your legs ? Much better right !!?? haha So you can live, but you won’t be able to walk. How much then ? Cause let’s face it, if we keep neglecting our bodies, our diets, our internal and external health and peace, then either of those scenarios is not only possible, but is already set in motion and playing out right now.
I guess what I am saying is, “WHY will people stand in a cold long line to buy a ticket where the odds are ridiculous and when half those people probably need the ticket money to pay a bill, but these same people won’t spend 1 hour a week at a gym where the odds of a positive outcome is 100 PERCENT !!!!! WTF !!???”
Let’s wrap this up for the ICP’s who I am hoping are reading this. OUR CLASSES are as close as some of us will ever get to being surrounded by people who see the value in investing their time, energy and money towards something that will effect their lives in a positive way. I used to teach a class that was so full there was a line and sign up sheet to get in. I miss those days and beat myself up about it not being my reality anymore. I know it’s not all me, things have changed and new classes have been added, but I own some of the responsibility for losing that kind of following. But I still have a decent size class of people who come to be with me in a room full of sweaty people, loud music, and 90 minutes of “Jayisms” week after week. This is the kind of line I want to be in. I can still buy my power ball tickets, but unless I’m continuing to check in with myself and my schedule to see where I can make more time for the good stuff, I am just cheating myself and in doing so cheating the two people I love most in this world – my Daughter Taylor and my son Brady. They deserve a dad who is healthy and strong. A dad who is happy and positive. A dad who may be 45 but looks and feels younger. A dad who wears a smile more than a frown. Because when it comes right down to it, a billion dollars buys a lot of toys……..but a billion dollars can’t tuck you into bed, kiss your forehead, read you a story, pick you up when you fall, explain what “the moon is daddy”, and tell you that they love you with all their heart and would move heaven and earth to love and protect you till their last breath. And my friends, that’s my winning powerbal ticket and I won it the second my children came into this world. Everything else is gravy !!
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