I’m an addict. My only regret I have is that I didn’t become one earlier in life. I’m addicted to completing goals. I’m addicted to figuring out my dreams and making them happen. I always have a nagging feeling holding me back because I’m worrying about fear of approval. This feeling gives me the need to figure out the source of that feeling, create a plan, and go make it happen. It hasn’t proven me wrong yet. Over the past few years, I completed a graduate degree, wrote a daily blog, made enough money for my wife stay home full-time with our children, attended Pittsburgh Startup Weekend, ran a marathon, started my first charity event, traveled to the Pacific, dance at weddings, almost escape from Escape Room, write code, and speak in public. These decisions have led to some of the best moments of my life. I wouldn’t be half the person I am today if I never stopped caring about what other people thought I should do and instead started doing what I wanted to do.
Yesterday, I started down a new path towards achieving one of my Pick Four goals. I posted my first blog post to Facebook. It was the first time I ever posted any of my writing there. I’ve been reluctant to share my writing with my family and this was a major barrier that needed to be broken. It’s also the first time I’ve done any type of fundraiser or asked for money.
Similar to the other previously mentioned events, I had doubts about my ability to raise enough money. The question of, “Would I be willing to fund this charity event on my own if I was unable to satisfy the minimum fundraising goal?” I knew I wanted to do this event for my father and I was willing to take the risk. I’m that I’ve been proven wrong again. Yesterday, I received amazing support and feedback for my CrowdRise fundraiser #RunForDad. In less than twelve hours, we’ve raised over three-hundred dollars and are seventy-six percent towards the Team American Heart Association’s Pittsburgh Half Marathon minimum goal of four-hundred dollars. It’s amazing. When I first thought about becoming a charity runner, I thought my parents, my wife’s parents, and maybe some close family & friends might donate. I’ve been humbled by people I haven’t talked to in years or never meet, who have come to help donate to this fundraiser. It’s been inspiring.
I knew this was the right choice after I received the welcome email from CrowdRises’ Latika, which was one of the best welcome emails I’ve ever received from a company. They told me to reply to their email with there super-secret password, “I’m Awesome,” to receive a free CrowdRise sticker. I replied and received a followup minutes later explaining that the sticker is on the way with a number of stick-on tattoos. I realize this was probably automated emails, but the fact that they even take the time to have a personalized system set up is pretty amazing and it’s why I love doing business with forward thinking companies like CrowdRise. They also congratulated me on Twitter by replying to my announcement of the fundraiser. I’ve been really impressed with my first experience with the service.
I’m getting out of my comfort zone.
Setting up this fundraiser, writing a personal blog, asking for donations, and sending it to my family are all things that made me really uncomfortable and reluctant to complete this goal. I’ve backed out of this goal a few times because I let those fears get the best of me, when I should have been following the good examples I talked about at the beginning of this post. Those feelings are fears but they should be warning signs that this was a worthwhile goal and I should start now. That’s the amazing thing about life. It is full of amazing surprises, twists, and turns. There are highs and lows but it’s important to realize this life is what you make of it. It can be horrible or amazing but most people are fortunate to have a choice of living life the way they want.
I did it all
A little over a week ago, I finished Louis Gonzales’, “Deep Survival,” and I’ve been haunted by the final line since. Louis was talking about Charles Conrad, the third man to walk on the moon, who eventually died in a motorcycle crash. Conrad didn’t die instantly, it was a few hours after the crash. Louis doesn’t know what his final thoughts were but he likes to think it was this, “I did it all.” Most of us have the chance to say, “I did it all,” but how many of us really can? I can’t say it yet but I’m working on it. Can you?