We’ve heard it before. Live on the edge. Live fully. Live like it’s your last day on this earth.
But what does that actually mean?
What does it take to put those ideas into practice?
And is that for you anyway?
In light of the 2 recent deaths of BASE jumpers Dean Potter and Graham.. I’ve curated the 3 things you need to confront to truly live life on the edge.
I present them to you with a word of caution.. if something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. Stop, re-evaluate and re-consider your options.
In mountain climbing, people that push on despite signs of danger are said to have ‘summit fever’. They go for the summit above all else and sometimes pay with their lives by doing so.
Live on the edge, but only when it feels right.
Here are the 3 ‘C’s You Need to Confront to Live Life on The EDGE..
What it is: Our society is absolutely OBSESSED with comfort – to a fault. It turns out more people now die from OVER-eating than under-eating. Obesity kills millions and now more than ever, people are comforted by technology, luxury and conveniences that Royalty a hundred years ago didn’t have access to.
What to do: We need to get comfortable being uncomfortable. It’s where all growth happens and it’s the only way innovation, progress and fulfillment enters our lives. Practice small and work on building momentum with it. By doing this, our comfort zone expands and we can live closer to the edge of our limits.
Final thoughts on comfort: It’s all about baby steps and building momentum. Keep it rolling and soon you’re comfort zone will be double it’s current size.
What it is: To some people, certainty is like a Swedish massage. Smooth and calming. Just what they need to feel good and confident that everything’s going to be alright. What they don’t realize it that the only constant in the world is change and if you’re pursuing certainty and never take risks, you can be certain you’ll be left behind. It’s also the ultimate cause of complete boredom. If you’re 100% certain how your future looks, there’s nothing to be excited about.
What to do: We need some certainty in our lives, and people’s needs with it differ, but we also all need variety, spontaneity and some risk in our lives. We all live risky lives anyway as any of us could die any day in an instant. To embrace the uncertainty, risk and variety is to live a full life, a life on the edge. Embracing it to the point where you’re maximizing growth and learning while containing the risk is an energizing and inspiring way to live.
Final Thoughts on Certainty: Certainty is cool, but needs to be balanced with pushing yourself, seeking variety and pursuing growth to truly live on the edge.
What it is: Criticism comes in a few forms. If you’re a celebrity, it comes from every direction, but if you don’t find yourself in the glare of the spotlight, criticism comes in two main forms. First and most powerful is your inner critic, which tells you ‘I can’t’, ‘That’s too scary’, ‘What if I fail’, etc. Second and often as powerful is your inner circle. Your friends and family that tell you those exact things ‘You can’t do that’, ‘That’s too scary’, ‘What if you fail’, etc. The motivations are different, but the result is the same. Criticism of pursuing your massive goals and dreams keeps you locked into an average life with average results.
What to do: Limit their power. The one inside your own head is scared of death, pain and social rejection. Fair enough, but you don’t need to risk any of those things to live life on the edge. You can find a mix of living on the edge that works for you and train your inner critic to listen to YOU, not control you. If you’re surrounded by critics in your life, you need to seriously consider investing in more empowering relationships. It can be hard, but once you realize the power of people that lift you up, it’ll be a no brainer.
Final Thoughts on Criticism: I’ll just leave you with a quote from Tim Ferriss.. ‘You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with’. Let the critics criticize, do your thing and enjoy the rewards that come with the territory.
Final Thoughts on Living Life on the Edge:
Remember that we’re all calibrated differently. Your life on the edge is unique to you and only you. The important piece here is to recognize a few things that could be holding your back and to get to a place where you FEEL like you’re living on the edge, ‘cause that’s when you ARE.
Side Note: I took part in a 90 mile open road car rally with my dad in Nevada recently. We were in the 125MPH class, meaning we were aiming to average exactly 125MPH over the 90 miles. That might sound fast, and it was to us. To me, that was living on the edge, but some people averaged 160MPH and up to +200MPH. Far beyond my ‘edge’ but that was living on the edge for them.
Story: In 2010 I was doing some scuba diving in Panama getting certified as a Rescue Diver. We had the opportunity to do a night dive, and I was terrified. Keep in mind sharks, eels, etc. were prevalent in the area. After much negotiating and prodding, I was convinced to do one and decided to go far beyond my comfort zone. We cruised out to a shipwreck, each held a small waterproof flashlight and dove in to the dark Caribbean waters. The dive was exhilarating and went off without a hitch. The next day we did another one and the instructors were soon pitching another diving area in Panama where we could dive with sharks. A few days later we were on a bus across the country and a few days after that we found ourselves diving with sharks. After those experiences, running ultramarathons, mountaineering and even being an entrepreneur don’t feel as scary.
PS… Speaking of Living on the Edge.. I’m expanding The EDGE high school training program this Fall. Still have a couple spots open. Click here to find out more.. The EDGE
Keep Well and Keep Inspiring!!