Peter Spann at 53 – always get weighed naked and other life lessons
Peter Spann at 53 – and feeling fine. First let me say I don’t feel 53. I know many of you will relate to this. I don’t know what 53 is meant to feel like but whatever that is I don’t feel it.
To be fair I still have a baby face so most people think I’m much younger than I am. I look around at a lot of other people my age and they look olllllllld! All I can think is, “man, I hope I don’t look that haggard?!”
JLo says she feels 28 and I sure as heck believe that!
Actually I’m feeling fine in the song sense of the word not in the “fine but not fine” sense of the word.
I am feeling hyper alive and positive about life and looking forward to wonderful things happening.
After all age is just a number isn’t it? At twenty 50 sounds ancient. But I still see myself as 30. Even if my bones don’t always agree.
Peter Spann at 53 – life is meant to be lived
If you are a regular follower you know that lately I’ve had some health issues. And they have been aggravated (but not caused by) my weight so my doctors gave me a simple choice. Lose weight or die.
So, essentially I decided the world deserved me in it – am I right? LOL
Actually I just thought hanging around is better than the alternative.
No matter what your belief, there’s no guarantee of what will happen after we die. Like, what is heaven? A weird concept. Pop-culture has it as Angels sitting in clouds hanging out with God.
But seriously, that’s not going to happen and sounds ridiculously boring to me.
Apart from the searing heat I always thought hell would be a cool place to be, mostly because all the cool people would be there.
So what could even be the afterlife?
Surely its some form of consciousness transfer at best. I guess you could be a Buddhist and come back as a frog or something.
So whatever it is we may as well make the most of the life we’ve been given. I can’t imagine any God, or god like being wanting us to have any less than the best we could be.
So here are Peter Spann at 53 – Top 10 Life Lessons from 2019…
1. Always Get Weighed in the Nude
Really, in all things we have to make the most of what we’ve got. Now I’m cute, but I’m not good looking like my mate Ben Doyle. He’s hot. His wife Marie is hot. Women know he’s hot and he knows he’s hot. And he’s stylish. Back in the long, long ago I literally had women ask me to set them up with him while drooling on my highly polished shoes.
I’m not Ben.
But I know my strengths. People (women) like me primarily because I’m funny, I’m rapier smart, and I am generous of spirit.
So I play to those strengths and I’ve done very well, if I don’t say so myself.
It’s good to know what you’re good at. And it’s also good to take advantage of life’s opportunities when they are presented to you.
So always get weighed naked – those undies always add unnecessary grammage! Taking them off gives you an edge!
2. Fear is not worth it
It’s been a long time since we had to run away from Woolly Mammoths. And yet our minds are still wired for fear.
The number one desire of any human is to remain is stasis. That is, to stay exactly as you are. Our minds will play cray cray tricks on us to get us to remain exactly as we are.
And so anything that takes us towards the edge of our box sends our minds into various levels of fear. Even adrenalin junkies have fear and many of them do such extreme things to conquer fear.
In reality most of our fears are more simple than that but appear as life threatening as jumping off a cliff without a parachute.
- What if I’m not good enough?
- What if they don’t like me?
- What if I don’t live up to my/others expectations?
- What if I fail?
- What if, what if?
And none of these fears are worth the pain and regret they give us.
When I look back at the regrets I have in my life, they are almost always decisions I made out of fear.
Even if bad things happen they are rarely as bad as our fears make them out to be. Reality I can deal with, fear I let go.
3. Friends, family, loved ones – it’s really all that matters
The people who are closest to you, the people you choose to love and who choose to love you are everything.
You won’t care how much stuff you have, how many awards you’ve won, how many things you have accumulated, how high you have risen in your profession, how many accolades you have been given when life delivers you a low blow.
On your worst days and your best days those people we love are everything. You know it. Prioritise them. Put in the work. Make them happy. Be of service. Be grateful. Care for them as they care for you. Forgive them. Be honest. Be true. Let them be them.
4. Things aren’t worth it
Things can be fun. But you can rent them.
Otherwise they mostly gather dust.
I put five container loads of things into storage in 2012 and it cost me a small fortune to store them.
They were carefully gathered over the previous 30 years and I thought they were important to me. I valued them otherwise I wouldn’t have stored them.
I reflect now on the pain it caused me to finally sell it all, throw it all, give it all away but now things to mean me obligation.
I love the freedom of a simpler life. When I moved to Byron I decided, deliberately, to live in a “tiny house” (it’s a thing). And I also decided that nothing would be stored. Everything had to go.
It was so freeing, liberating and amazing to finally let go. To have only what I needed. Now that I am moving out of my current house I am going to repeat the process. Why store Ikea shit? I can buy a new one for a couple of hundred bucks.
Let it go!
And if you are going to go into debt to by stuff. No. Nothing is more humiliating than being in debt for things you have long since forgotten exist or are taking up space in the spare room or garage.
The only thing debt is worth is tax deductible assets preferably that grow in value.
5. Choose Experience
What appears in your photos albums? Or on your facebook. Or insta for my younger friends. Or Snap for my even younger friends?
I hardly think its photos of the aforementioned “things” (unless you’re truly shallow, in which case you’re probably not reading this).
I’ll put a large sum on the fact it’s photos of you experiencing the best moments of your life. You’ll be laughing, you’ll be with friends, you’ll be in amazing places, in foreign lands, you’ll be doing things you love or things that thrill. You’ll be hot or freezing or celebrating. You’ll be seeing something new or special or amazing or wonderful.
And you’ll feel alive. You’ll feel connected.
Believe in that. Do more of that shit. Invite more people to do it with you. LIVE!
6. Just say “no” to anger
When I was younger I was angry. And I don’t even know why. I didn’t take much for me to blow up.
But I think of the worst moments of my life. The things I hate most about myself, have usually happened when I have been angry.
Anger manifests itself in lots of ways. It can be yelling and screaming and throwing things (and I’ve done my fair share of this) but even if you don’t act out like that it can be that burning sensation we get inside when someone has “wronged” us or that vindictive streak that we can unleash from time to time.
Sometimes it feels good. But let’s face it, the hurt it causes outlasts that feeling. The words that can’t be unsaid, the hearts that are broken, the bruises that never heal, the pain that never goes away. For them and for me.
When I get angry now, my goal is simply to check myself quicker, not let it get out of control, to actively think if it’s worth risking my mental health and the damage it might incur.
Like any emotion, my goal is to you it as a tool, to control it before it controls me.
I’m not saying for one second that we shouldn’t stand up for ourselves. But I needed to find a way I could do that in a healthy way. A way that had integrity, a way that communicated.
And if that didn’t work I needed to learn to walk away and let it be. Anger, like fear destroys lives.
7. Frozen is right – Let it Go
“Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.”
This quote is normally attributed to Confucius but it’s unlikely it came from him.
But the sentiment is right.
“Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”
This one is often attributed to Buddha but again, I doubt. The most likely attribution is Malachy McCourt or even Alcoholics Anonymous.
“Let it go, let it go
Can’t hold it back anymore
Let it go, let it go
Turn away and slam the door”
- Elsa, Frozen
I can’t quite get myself to forgive and forget for everything. Sometimes it’s worthwhile remembering who has hurt you, how that affected you and why they did it. That’s just smart.
But holding onto slights, resentments, hurts and past injuries only hurts you. The other party probably doesn’t give it one iota of thought and if they do probably can only use it as a weapon against you.
When you hold onto resentments that other person has power over you. Talk about them, stew over them, recount the story in your mind or out loud. It all just gives away your personal power. It defeats you without a shot ever having been fired.
If a person is constantly hurting you mentally or physically (or both) get yourself out of there. There is no reason not to do so as soon as you possibly can. Not “love”, not loyalty, not family, not fear of being alone, nothing.
But most resentments are stories we have built in our minds about how another person was meant to be, how they were supposed to act or treat us or something they said.
Letting go gives us power, it makes us stronger, it removes leverage over us, and it makes us happier.
8. You Can Only Be You
Personal development is great. We can be better versions of ourselves and learning, growing, teaching, feeling, opening ourselves up all help us get there.
But in the end you are you.
And you are amazing.
Not everyone will think so but what other people think of me is their business.
What I love about my friends is they love me for exactly who they are. They see me.
Sure, they are there with an encouraging word, a helping hand, a leg up when I need it but they don’t want or need me to be anything but who I am.
I choose to surround myself with people like that. I wrap myself in the warm snuggly blanket of love and acceptance that creates for me. And it feels good.
If I’ve been a dick they will tell me. But they forgive me for my stupidities. They protect me from my worse self and they grow me by being the most amazing examples of themselves. And from that inspiration I know what I need to do to be a better person as well.
That lets me be vulnerable to them. Fully open. Fully grateful. And that, practiced with people who love me and will do anything for me heals me. And it allows me to become more real. More authentic. And loved.
And that allows me to be the best me.
Just me, because I am amazing. But the best me.
And that’s what life is about.
9. You can be right or happy. Pick one.
I used to say “the world will be a much better place when everyone realises I’m always right”. And I believed that.
I guess in some way that was the self confidence that I needed to build the empire I had. You need to have rock solid belief in yourself to get that successful, that fast.
But then I got it wrong, big time. In many ways.
And I realised not only am I not always right I don’t have to be.
Being “right” is the easiest way to be “stuck”. It closes you down, it removes choice, it’s makes opportunities disappear, it sucks creativity, it isolates you, it shuts you down. And worst of all it destroys intimacy.
I see people fighting and it’s almost always one of them, or both of them choosing “right over happy”.
Again, that doesn’t mean we have to be a pushover. Sometimes people want to hold onto their positions out of ego or fear or addiction or pain. There’s nothing you can do about that. It’s toxic – get away from them.
Ok, I’ll admit sometimes I still choose “right” over happy but at least I can laugh when it so obviously blows up in my face!
10.It’s Never Too Late – But Get On With It
Many of you know that I have started a late life change of career.
I always wanted to be a filmmaker but for many reasons I found excuse after excuse not to get on with it and only started when I was 49.
And so far it’s been interesting. The ups and downs of makes movies is for another post but fact is I really would prefer doing this than anything else.
So I can truly encourage anyone contemplating changing it up to do so.
And this is an important but, if you have a calling do not hesitate to freaking get on with it.
Lots of people use that old platitude, “Your life has led you here”. No life lead me away from here. If I had done this when I was twenty it would have been easier to deal with all the ups and down starting anything brings.
So yeah, I’m grateful I started at 49 but there’s only one thing I would say to my 20 year old self. “Do not listen to others, start now.”
It is generally assumed that most feature films take 3 to 5 years in development before they are even green lighted for production.
Tarantino has only made 9 films up until now. Spielberg has made 44 films over a 52 year career. 6 in his first 10 years as a Director.
So that means, even if I get my skates on it’s likely I’ll only make 4 or 5 films for the rest of my life. What a missed opportunity.
I’m sure you’ll find plenty of similar examples from the thing you want to do. Now, stop dwelling and get on with it.
Remember, overnight success takes 15 years. The sooner you start, the better off you’ll be.
A Million More Lessons
We only teach what we most need to learn ourselves.
So these lessons reveal my flaws more than anything.
There are a million more life lessons I could share but I’m already starting to sound preachy and I hate people telling me what to do.
Just sharing my humble thoughts in the hope they might help.
Happy birthday, Peter Spann at 53
Written by Peter Spann
Peter Spann – Film Maker | Director | Business Coach | Writer | Public Speaking Coach | Presenter | Investor.
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