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082 – Embrace The Unexpected



Welcome to Monday!  It’s the start of a new week of life…and life, everyday is kind of an adventure isn’t it?  Because you never know whats going to happen.

Well, I am your host, Alf Herigstad, and whats happening right now is this podcast…thank you for tuning in.

So, like I was saying, life…the living of it from one moment to the next is kind of an adventure.  Oh sure, it doesn’t always seem like an adventure, especially if you are letting life happen to you. 

A lot of it you can anticipate and predict…because it’s the same stuff that happens every day, large parts of life might seem boring or mundane…and they are, exactly that.

However…in everybody’s life, on occasion something unexpected happens doesn’t it?  Someone says something you didn’t expect, or the car in front of you careens off the highway, a deer or rabbit runs across the road in front of you, you get a phone call with terrible news…or really good news.

Unexpected things happen all the time, to everyone.  That’s why they are called unexpected…because we didn’t know that was going to happen, we didn’t expect it.

It is in these unexpected moments that adventure can happen.  Some of these unexpected moments can be life changing, while others just become a story you tell at dinner that evening, but each and every one of these unexpected moments are critically important to your life, wether they are good or bad.  They give everything else context, and it is in these moments that we learn.

Imagine for a moment, life without unexpected moments.  Imagine a world in which nothing unexpected ever happens.   I think there is a name for that; it’s called death.

Obviously, what matters most when these moments happen is what we do, how we react, and it is in these moments that we have an opportunity to know ourselves a little better, based on our reactions.

In these times we live in many people have it very easy, too easy in my opinion.  Unexpected moments have become rare for some.  These are soft times we are living in, and we as men in general are becoming soft as a result.

Lets think for a moment about our ancestors.  Regardless of your heritage, all of our ancestors had something in common…every day for them was about survival.  Every day was chock full of unexpected events.  You never knew when you left your shelter in the morning if you would come back alive because almost everything in the world was trying to kill you. 

How they reacted to these events made the difference if they would live or die, if they would have enough food for the winter, if they and their family would remain part of the community, at a time when the community was essential for survival.

Unexpected events were the rule for our ancestors…not the exception, as it is today.  This way of life might sound harsh, and like a whole lot of no fun…but it also had its advantages;  it made them keen, and sharp.  Every man knew who he was, his limitations and his virtues.  It made them strong and brave and let them know on a daily basis where they needed to improve.  Every body back then was living as the best version of themselves…because if you didn’t, you might die.

That is how we got to where we are today.  Because our ancestors succeeded, because they survived, here we are standing in their wake, the beneficiaries of their daily struggle.  We are the product of everything they did.

So, what do we do with that information in 2016?  How do we make this relevant to our cushy lives?  How do we honor our ancestors for ensuring their DNA made it this far?

I’ll tell you how, by living life full steam ahead.  By taking risks and chances, by doing the things we are afraid to do.  By identifying those obstacles that are holding us back and crushing them.  By creating for yourself an environment in which unexpected moments are the rule, just like they were for our ancestors.

Our ancestors didn’t have to create it, it just happened to them while they were trying to live, and they reacted.  That’s how our species developed…that’s what we are really good at as humans; reacting to the unexpected. 

Well, we are not are ancestors, we live in different times, our life has become too easy, so we have to create adversity, we have to name adversaries, we have to imagine the things that are trying to kill us…and kill them first.  It might be our job, our friends our addiction to video games or fast food or it could be your own laziness and apathy.  Whatever it is that holding you back, you need to identify the threat, and deal with it.

I can imagine some of you wondering what in the hell I am talking about.  I’ll try to make it easier to understand.

You can’t let life happen to you, YOU have to happen to life.  If you don’t have any immediate challenges, you have to create them.  If you don’t have a goal you are working on then you need to get one and be committed to it.  That’s the mountain you have to climb, that’s the bear you need to slay, to stay alive another day. 

Is there something you have always wanted to do, but it seemed too hard?  That is exactly the thing you NEED to do.  Take a minute and ask yourself this:

“what sucks the most in my life right now?”  Whatever the answer is…that’s what you need to attack.  That thing, whatever it is, is the saber tooth tiger circling your camp…you are the man, so you need to deal with that thing right now, you need to slay it.

Ok, for some of you the thing that sucks the most is something you have no idea how to deal with.  You feel stuck and helpless.  I’m sorry but that sounds like excuses to me…and excuses are not valid.

We live in a time where anything you need to know is literally a click of the mouse away.  If you don’t know how to fix something then learn how…get on line, do research and figure it out.  You my friend need to generate the remedy…or deal with the consequences.  The thing is…it isn’t anyone else’ job except yours to fix your life.  So stop complaining, and start acting.

It’s kind of funny, starting out I was going to do a podcast on a completely different topic, but when I started talking this is what came out.  I’m just shooting from the hip here, but apparently this stuff was somewhere in my brain and it wanted to get out.  Hey I just realized this has been an unexpected moment in my life, and this is how I dealt with it.

To summarize everything I’ve said here, because I was on kind of a tangent, I’m telling you to…

Relish those unexpected moments in life and if you don’t have enough of them, create an environment that you do.

Honor your ancestors and thank them for your existence by living full out, intend to excel in everything, without excuses, and see every unexpected moment as an opportunity to learn and grow.

Figure out what sucks the most in your life and attack it until it is dead.

If you don’t know how to attack it…take it upon yourself to learn how, because it nobody else’ job.

I guess that about covers it. Now head out into this week of adventure and life that is waiting for you, and meet it head on.  Savor all the unexpected moments, and be a better man today, than you were yesterday.


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