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  • Writer's pictureShay


Updated: Jan 8, 2019

“Today I want to talk to you about big, huge LIFE-CHANGING problems. We all face challenges in our lives–workplace conflicts, somebody bashing into your car without leaving a note, your dog dies, etc. But these aren’t the types of problems I’m talking about. What I’m talking about is when you lose your job, get kicked out of your apartment, get denied health insurance, and have your car stolen in one week. THOSE kind of life challenges. The kind of life challenges that leave you awake at night vividly imagining your own demise next week, in a ditch, with a solitary can of tomato soup that’s long ago been licked clean.

Think of a time when it seemed like everything was happening all at once, all these life-changing obstacles that threatened your very ability to survive and provide. You’ve likely experienced this at least once. For many of us, avoiding these situations and finding comfort and stability is the top priority. But have you ever asked yourself what happens when you avoid big problems? Well, for one, when they arise, they catch you in the headlights, and you panic. You waste valuable time wallowing in despair and self pity. You take far longer and are less resourceful in your attempts to solve them. And at best, you solve them the way you’ve solved other problems before, and so you stay exactly where you were.

But if you are the type of person who wants EVERYTHING out of life–you live BIG, your dreams are HUGE, you are OBSESSED, you are UNSTOPPABLE–then you know that every level up requires slaying a bigger, scarier beast. You can’t function at the next level of life if you haven’t figured out how to solve problems at your current level. Obstacles are the impetus for the next great thing–but knowing that is half the battle. When everything is going wrong, realize that maybe you aren’t so close to dying facedown in a ditch–maybe you’re actually hitting your head on the ceiling.

In the last year, I have had some major, life-changing obstacles thrown at me. Obstacles that threatened my very ability to survive and provide. And at times, I’ve thought “I work so hard! Every time I get on my feet something knocks me down again. When is it ever going to get easier?” When I look back now, I see that the problems I’ve faced in life have only gotten bigger and more critical. But I also realize that I’ve been climbing up these levels in life that have demanded progressively more of me, and that have earned me progressively bigger successes. I’ve been climbing up a mountain that gets steeper and steeper. I realize that I wasn’t put on this earth to dwell at the bottom of that mountain. I was put on this earth to climb that mountain.

I am here to do great things and build great things. I’m grateful for the mountain and I’m going to keep climbing it."

When I wrote this only a month ago, I was losing my workplace lease with very short notice, and was desperately scrambling to find a space in a market with a 6% vacancy rate. I had no idea what was going to happen. I wrote this with a forced optimism, because things looked pretty dire from the inside. But I knew that I had no choice but to make things work. I broke my neck to find a solution. I took on a lease that was terrifyingly expensive, spent everything I’ve saved to buy equipment, and worked harder than I’ve ever worked in my life–working 18 hour days to train and build the new gym. But now, I OWN  gym. Even though it was a super scary experience, I went through it and came out on the other side. I continue to be grateful for the mountain, and I’m excited to see what’s on the next level!

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