Thursday, February 28, 2008

When "Later" becomes "Never"


It's amazing how time flies.

Not all that long ago, I can clearly remember my son's birth, him learning to crawl, him learning to walk, him learning his first words... and the first time he showed interest in a kettlebell. :-)

Today is Squealie's 2nd birthday.

And I can't help but reflect on how many times I thought that little milestones passed me by, and that leads me to think back on my dear friend Rannoch Donald RKC's words... "Later has a way of quickly becoming never."

Funny how that works for all aspects of our life, ain't it?

It's all too easy for us to procrastinate and put things off until a more convenient time, a time when we're more rested, a time when we feel more motivated, a time when traffic's not so bad, a time when money's not as tight, a time when it's not so hot or not so chilly, a time when gas prices are a little lower. There's no shortage of excuses that we can use.

The bottom line is that we've got ONE life that's subject to the inexorable march of time. And just like Rannoch said, "later" does have an unsettling way of becoming "never". In other words, "I'll do this later" often becomes "I never did that" regrettably.

The list of things I want/need to do are formidable. Improve my own kettlebell & Naked Warrior (bodyweight training methods) strength, study more of Gray Cook's Functional Movement Screen technologies and travel to his FMS seminars & cert (which I'll write more on in my next post), improve/review/refine my own combative martial arts skills with just the systems I'm already familiar with (nevermind the new stuff out there that I haven't been exposed to yet.... so yeah, I'll blog on this topic of martial arts styles & training in the near future before I roll out to Scotland), and certainly spend more time with my family (as my wife & son spend most of their week an hour away - without traffic - because of my wife's medical residency program).

It's funny that nowhere in that list was "make more money", isn't it?

I've been fortunate enough to love what I'm interested in enough to be able to make a good living through my participation in those fields. I've had the best of the best when it comes to my teachers and mentors. And perhaps most importantly, I got a quote from someone I respect greatly to help distill many of life's decisions down to a crystal clear lens.

One of my big brothers, Chiefmaster Taejoon Lee, the son of Dr. Joo Bang Lee, the founder of Hwa Rang Do, told me that his father once gave him very simple advice when it came to making a living: "Let the money chase the man, not the man chase the money."



When I started to implement that motto in my decision making process, I found out that I had a lot more time to do what I loved and a lot more energy & resources to do those things with. If you live your life in a way such that you are passionate about what you do, you exude the energy to not only do your own work, but also motivate others to do it too. Money follows you. And perhaps most importantly, you find a real balance between having to say "later" and "now"!

7 comments:

Rannoch Donald RKC said...

Happy Birthday Squealie!

Mark, time flies. When I was 20 years old 30 seemed a lifetime away. At 30 being 40 was inconcievable. At 45 I am 15 years away from 60! But none of that matters. What makes you smile, what makes you soar? What gets you up and keeps you moving?

Family, friends and doing. I think that's all there is for now.

Tim Ferris made a great point on his blog recently that most people who spend their lives trying to retire haven't stopped to consider what they will do with all that free time when in the here and now each weekend passes in a blur of television and processed food.

Getting busy doing now what you think you want to do in the future. We need to wake up cos THIS IS IT!

Can't wait to have you here in Scotland Mark!

All the best to you and little you!

Rannoch

Playing with Iron said...

Happy Birthday Squealie!

BTW Doc, you talked (blogged) me into it. I just signed up for the RKC Certification Course at UCLA.

It seems like it's been over a month since I've seen you at the beach. Oh, maybe it has.

The weather looks good for this weekend. So I hope to see you there.

-Rich Endo

Franz Snideman said...

Happy Birthday to your son!!!!

"Let the money chase the man, not the man chase the money."

Great post and great quote. This post of your is really speaking to me as I am struggling to find a balance right now with all of the things I want to achieve on a personal level and how to balance that with our new daughter now in this world.

I like Rannoch's statement as well that this is all there is! Live life right now.....because now is all we have. I'm 35 later this year and 40 seems just around the corner. The brevity of life is unbelievable. As one smart man once told me,

"Life is not measured by the amounts of breaths you take but rather by the MOMENTS that take your breath away."

Takeonestripperpole said...

Wow ... I have been thinking about time a lot lately too. Seriously ... where does it go? Wasn't I just 25 and living abroad?

Mind if I steal Mr. Donald's quote for my fridge? It is a very good reminder to live each day as it comes. Looking forward to your post on Gray Cook and FMS as it interests me a great deal as well. I have his Core Training System Kit on order for work from the folks at Perform Better of course!

Also wanted to say thank you for the email. Gmail is blocked at work and today was a 15 hour day ... but I will reply a soon as I can! Plus I have smoothie questions ... lol.

Boris said...

Thanks Doc and Rannoch. Great stuff.

"The days come and go like muffled and veiled figures sent from a distant party, but they say nothing, and if we do not use the gifts they bring, they carry them as silently away."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Dr. Mark Cheng said...

Rannoch, Franz, Boris, Rich, et. al, thank you for your kind words, and more importantly, thank you for your inspiration.

I used to think that a life lived with too many people around you pushing in the same direction meant that you were prone to tunnel vision. Now I know that while that may be the case for some younger folk, it also gives you an amazing synergy that carries you and supports you to greater highs and pulls you back from the lowest lows when they do occur.

We all have our own things going on, our own groups, our own lives - whether they be Kettlebells Scotland, Revolution Studios, KBLA or whatever. But one thing remains constant and unique as parts of the RKC family, the non-territorial synergy we offer each other. No ankle biting allowed! :)

Rannoch Donald RKC said...

Guys,

I'm proud to be part of this family. In these divisive times it really is something unique. A good Scottish welcome awaits any of you who have the time and inclination to cross the water.

On a seperate note, Mark. Your offer of training time, the t-shirt etc is very generous. Truth is penny for penny, pound for pound, the RKC experience is simply the most inspiring challenge I've ever had. I did it as a test and a gift to myself. It has been a gift to my friends and family as I am more "present" than I have ever been. The benefits and rewards have been incredible.

At 45 I look forward to each day in better shape than I have been in years, mentally, physically and emotionally.

Doing is it's own reward.

Ours truly is a universal Clan!

Slainte