|When I was a young boy, I was fortunate to spend a lot of time with my grandfather. You know how grandfathers are – they are filled with nuggets of wisdom and know the exact right time to dispense them to transform lives.
He would often push me to go outside of my comfort zone. He would always say that’s where success goes to play hide and seek.
Just the other day I watched a short video by Jesse Itzler about the Japanese ritual of the Misogi. It’s my grandfather’s wisdom on steroids.
Here’s the basic idea of the ritual: you do something so difficult one time a year that it makes the other 364 days seem easy in comparison. We are faced with daily challenges that we think are impossible. The Misogi changes our frame of reference. It makes just about anything possible. It’s amazing.
As I watched Jesse explain the Misogi, I realized I’ve been living it my entire life!
Years ago, when I decided to leave my W-2 job to pursue real estate, it was the scariest thing I had ever done in my life. My bank account was bone dry. I had a wife and wanted to have kids to provide for. I had a mortgage. Bills were piling up. But deep down I had a hunger for so much more than working for someone else could provide.
That one act stretched me beyond what I thought was possible. Everything seemed easy after that and the successes came one after another.
But it wasn’t that one act of extreme courage that fueled my success. I’m always looking for ways to stretch myself and those around me.
I have embraced the Misogi as a Boy Scout leader and have shared this philosophy with the boys under my care.
A few years ago I took them on a camping trip in the high sierras of California. I woke them all up at five in the morning and had them take the “Polar Bear Plunge” into an ice-cold lake. That really stretched them.
A few years later we went white water rafting as a troop and that was something that pushed everyone, myself included. The waterfalls we went over were amazing, but it definitely pushed us all out of our comfort zone.
Just recently I went to Philmont where we backpacked for over 100 miles in the rain, mud, heat, and cold while carrying over 60 pounds on our backs. We were out in the mountains for about a week and a half without any connection to civilization. And just about every day we reached 10,000-foot elevation peaks. I learned how much tougher we are if we decide and commit to something.
This year we will be going out to Montana with a group of fathers and sons to hike the 60-mile northern loop of Glacier National Park.
But it’s not just about scouting. Last summer I took my entire family on a once-in-a-lifetime backpacking trip throughout the entire country of Italy. My wife took the challenge one step further by learning the Italian language before we got there so she could speak the native tongue.
But enough about me. What have you done in the past to push yourself outside of your comfort zone? And more importantly, what are you going to do this year to expand yourself to make your dreams a reality?
To your success,
Ernie “Always Stretching” Vargas | The Probate Fox