On the shortness of life
A reminder to live today
Hello my friends and welcome to a rare Sunday edition of Intentional Wisdom! And Masters Sunday, no less! A few things I wanted to share with you and then I’ll let you get on to enjoy a hopefully beautiful Spring day…
The latest Intentional Wisdom podcast episode featuring THE Kat Cole.
Some thoughts on the shortness of life.
A few of my favorite pieces of content.
Finally, a very HAPPY 70th BIRTHDAY to my Mom today. The original Intentional Wisdom came from you. Enjoy your day!
Let’s get to it!
Ep.7 - Kat Cole - On a 'Vicious Mission' to Improve Foundational Nutrition
I’ll be honest with you. I was damn lucky to score this interview. Kat Cole is the President and Chief Operating Officer of Athletic Greens, one of the pioneering companies advancing the foundational nutrition movement. I happen to be a massive fan of the product myself and was interested not only in talking to Kat about micro-nutrition but also about why she chose to join this company when she could have written her ticket to go just about anywhere.
Kat's background, in a word, is IMPRESSIVE. From managing the international expansion of Hooters restaurants in her early-20's to overseeing brands like Moe's Southwest Grill, McAlister's Deli and Cinnabon in her time as President and COO of FOCUS Brands, Kat is one of the leading marketing and branding minds in the world today.
If you’re interested in nutrition or even just want to hear how one of the leading execs in the U.S. today is thinking about brand-building, I think you might like this one.
If you end up listening and get hyped up about Athletic Greens like me, follow this link to receive 5 travel packs for free.
Also, if you’d like to help spread the word about this episode, here’s a Twitter thread I wrote on it that I’d be grateful if you shared.
Life is short.
This fact has been smacking me in the face lately.
As I said upfront, my mom turns 70 today. I have no idea how that happened. I reached out to many of her dearest friends and family and asked them to send me a short video of them sharing a memory or something they love about her so that I could assemble it into a short video homage to her.
I got back some beautiful messages and I'm so grateful to be able to share that with my mom and to memorialize this moment in time.
Going through this exercise made me realize how many of these people I have not seen in years or even decades. My mom's friends and co-workers, even siblings and in-laws—the ones who were influential adults in my life when I was a kid—are now in their 60s and 70s. And seeing them in these short videos gave me a bittersweet feeling. On the one hand, it’s amazing to see all of these familiar faces—many thriving and as full of life as ever; on the other hand, it makes me so conscious of the passing of time. Having moved away from my home state of Connecticut some 25 years ago, the mental picture I carry of many of my mom’s contemporaries are those of people in their 30s or 40s. But time, of course, has marched on. And now, these are the faces of folks in their 60s or 70s. I remember them as they were at my current age. But now they are Gramma’s and Papa’s.
It seems like it happened in the snap of finger. And when that finger snaps again, I know it will be my kids looking at me and saying “Dad - when did you get so old?” Oh who am I kidding… they already do that.
It goes by so quick. We forget it sometimes when we're in the middle of it. We've had a rough couple of weeks at my house—the flu and a stomach bug back-to-back. That's meant holding kids’ hands at 2am while they vomit one night and soothing the non-stop crying of a near-2-year-old the next. They say the days are long and years are short at this stage of life. Our last few weeks can confirm this is true.
But we need to take it in stride. I found myself getting pissed off this week after my little league team lost a game. I thought the other team cheated and used some players that technically weren't allowed. I felt strongly enough to call the commissioner about it after the game. Was I right? Sure. Technically, speaking. But does it really matter? Of course, not. Today, I'm 43. Tomorrow, I'll be 73. It’s only another snap of the fingers away. Just ask my mom's generation. If I remember anything from my kid’s little league baseball when I'm 73, I hope that it's pride in having coached and made a positive influence on the lives of others. The win/loss record will be forgotten tomorrow as will so much else of what we stress about today.
I think about what I might regret at 70. I'm pretty sure it'll be the things I was too afraid to do right now. Or time I wasted or squandered. Or not having achieved my potential. Or not having been kind enough to someone.
Some people (maybe rightly) worry that they're not preparing enough for their future. I'm worried about the opposite. I'm worried I might not be living enough today. Not traveling enough. Not being ambitious enough. Not challenging myself enough. Not taking big, scary risks that could either go terribly wrong or improve my life ten-fold.
That's what I'm worried about.
I guess I'm worried about not appreciating it enough right now as well. I don't know this to be the case, but I venture to guess that if I asked my mom's contemporaries if they'd like to go back—even just for a day or a week—to their 30s or 40s, they might jump at the opportunity. To see their kids young again. Maybe to see their spouses or parents alive again. Well, those of us in our 40s still mostly have the opportunity to do those things today. We can’t forget how lucky we are.
I can only speak for myself. But what I'd like to challenge myself to do is this:
Be more present with my family
Get out and see more of the world
Take bigger risks in my career
Challenge myself physically while I still can
And be grateful along the way - even during those 2am calls to kids' rooms
You know all the cliches. Life is short. You only live once, etc.
But the words themselves pass us by without meaning until we actually live them.
You and I are living it right now. Let's make sure we're actually giving the best damn effort we can possibly muster. Because friends, this ride is coming to end before we know it.
🎙️More on Kat Cole…. Seriously, she is great. I wanted to link to a few other podcasts she’s been on besides mine because we spent most of our time talking about Athletic Greens. Elsewhere, she’s talked more about her incredibly impressive background and leadership principles. Here she is on some of my favorite podcasts
- Invest Like the Best with Patrick O’Shaughnessy
- Where It Happens with Sahil Bloom & Greg Isenberg
- The Knowledge Project with Shane Parrish
📗Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World - I’ve realized recently that my knowledge of Eastern history is woefully lacking. I am a sucker for history books that are written in a fast-paced, fiction-like, storytelling fashion. In fact, nothing melts my daily stresses away and pushes me off faster into a blissful sleep than a well-written history book. This is one of them. Join my one-person book club and read it with me.
💻A Tweet from “Coach Clint” reminding us to invest in ourselves. An important lesson not to forget. I have more on coaching coming your way very soon…
That’s it for this week, my friends. Leaving you with a pic of my now deceased Dad and me at the Masters back in 2010. It’s as good a reminder as any I have to stop waiting for tomorrow and to live TODAY.
See you in two weeks.