My Name is Mike, What’s Your Excuse?

2 Weeks Post Brain Surgery – 29 Staples – IV Bag treating Brain Infection – February 2013

Seriously!What is holding you back? Are there places you have always wanted to go or things that you have always wanted to do that have been shuffled to the back burner so many times that they have become distant foggy memories? I’m not talking about busy stuff or New Years resolutions like getting to the gym more often. I mean the real deal, DREAMS so big that you shiver a little when you think about them. Maybe an adventure into a different country or culture that you have always been attracted to but are uncertain why. Maybe an activity or sport that you have dreamed of since your were a kid but have always been afraid of trying… Hang Gliding & Big Ocean Surfing often tug at my brain stem. Why do so many of us find it easier to make the excuse, “Oh maybe I can do that next year”   and allow these deep seated ambitions to fall prey to an otherwise mundane daily ritual of busy ness, stress, anxiety & boredom?

Is there more to life than what you are living?


A few months ago I found myself intrigued with a great conversation I was having with a dear friend. He generously came to spend a few hours with me while I was in the hospital. As the conversation casually evolved from my current state of affairs to family matters to work, we somehow became engaged in a significantly more gut churning discussion about life. The previous day, Felix Baumgartner, had completed his supersonic free fall from space. My friend confided in me that he couldn’t stop thinking about this jump, I didn’t know much more about it at the time, other than a short clip I had seen on the news so he was eager to tell me all about it.

As he did, it became kind of surreal, his eyes started to glaze over and I became somewhat hypnotized at his distant stare as he recounted the events.

Hallucinations took over my imagination as I started to picture my buddies face in the space helmet riding up inside of the capsule.

As Felix opened the hatch and stepped out onto the platform, the mystique ended as the story teller snapped back into reality. He was somewhat bewildered. He tried to explain how he couldn’t wrap his head around what Felix must have been thinking at the time. Looking down at earth, over 39 kilometers away, knowing there is no chicken escape. To continue rising in the capsule would mean certain death, and what was the outcome of carrying through with the jump – I am sure there were lots of scenarios modelled – but did anyone really now for sure what the outcome would be. Felix must have – I have to believe he had accepted his own mortality. I believe he made a courageous decision that this was what he was meant to do and he was going to do it or die – NO RETREAT.

I have seen a documentary on the planning and execution of the mission since this conversation. The mission was 7 years in preparation, a serious amount of time, energy and millions of dollars went into the project. Felix had to overcome anxiety from claustrophobia from the pressure suit, the documentary shows that he struggled mentally for more than a year prior to the mission. In the end, he made a decision – He was bigger than his FEARS.

Are your excuses bigger than your dreams?

As I thought about all these things, I was taken back to that discussion with my friend. What could he have been thinking, why was he so enchanted, was there something he was dreaming of doing? The intensity of the story was far greater than a recount of current affairs and after writing this, I am going to have to get together with him and ask him. But what gets you fired up? If money and time were no object, do you have a passion that you would throw yourself into? Do you keep telling yourself that the timing isn’t right. Do you build a chicken door into all of your plans? Perfect timing does not exist, if we wait for just the right circumstances, just the right people or perfect timing our lives become wasted with what could have been. I think its time to burn all the bridges, stop planning the escape and take action.

Your life is what you make it – you only get one shot!



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