Fit For Life: Why Are We Here

Sunday, March 18, 2018


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With today’s culture of busyness, hectic schedules, and scrambling from morning ‘til night to get things accomplished, we very rarely stop, and look deep into the why we are doing what we are doing.

We do what we do to accomplish what we think is important. We get up and workout, eat a healthy breakfast to better our health. We go to work for security and to earn an income and provide for ourselves and our families. We all feel that what we are doing is important, and it is to us. But sometimes we all miss the big picture, and when we hear or read something that sinks in deep, we look up and say ah ha.

I just finished a book written by a guy named Lewis Howes called “The Mask of Masculinity”. It was the second book I have read by him, and I have heard him speak at a business summit a couple of years ago. I also listen to his podcasts. He gets some great guests, and I always retain some nugget to apply to myself improvement journey. I like his content because he seems real, and I can relate to a lot of his material. In the “Mask” book he describes the many masks men feel they need to wear in order to live up to the expectations society places on men. Things like the Stoic mask, The Material mask, The Joker mask, the know it all, and alpha mask are just a few of the masks men wear (myself included) to validate to the world that we are “real” men.

It’s a great book and I recommend both males and females read it. Every chapter is interesting, but the conclusion is what hit me the most. It ends like this: If you were on your deathbed and you wanted to measure what kind of man you were, and what kind of success you had in life, it’d come down to two things.

The first is this: On that deathbed you recognize that all life is about relationships, it’s about the capacity to love and be loved. What does it mean to be a man? It means you can look somebody in the eye and say, “I love you” and receive that love back.

You know what the questions you ask at the end of your life are? They are not about awards, achievements or what you accumulated. They are all questions of relationships. What kind of husband/boyfriend was I? What kind of father/uncle? What kind of partner? What kind of son? What kind of friend? Who did I love, and who did I allow to love me?

The second comes down to this: At the end of your life you want to be able to look back on your life and know you made a difference. That you left some kind of mark, some kind of imprint, that you were here. All of us want to leave some kind of legacy behind.

This is the part that got me thinking the most. Although the whole book was good, this hit the hardest. It made me stop and ask myself why I do what I do, and it brought me some clarity and vision about what’s really important. I started asking myself the first set of questions. What kind of person have I been to date? Then I asked myself, how can I be better now. I don’t want to be lying on my death bed “wishing” I was a better person, because it will be too late. We all have room to improve in all areas of life, so reading something like this prompts me to take immediate action, and work on being a better man and creating better relationships.

The second part boils down to why I do what I do. Yes, I want to be a successful business man and earn a lot of money, so I can buy freedom and a few material things, but I want to earn it doing good things for other people. I am hoping that I can leave behind a legacy of helping people live better lives through health and fitness. I am hoping that with the money I earn, I can create better lives for people working for me and improve their livelihood and mentor them to do great things for others also. I am hoping that I can be charitable and help others in need. I am hoping that people attending my funeral say, “Yeah Matt was a hard ass, thick headed guy but he helped me change my life for the better”.

I heard a quote that said…Don’t work for money, work for people. When you do good things for others, the money will come. Give and you will receive 10 times more.

So, in conclusion, I feel that it’s important to stop and think about why we are here, what we want to accomplish, and how are we going to leave our signature on this world.

It’s easy to get caught up in all the chaos that surrounds us. It’s also easy to spend a lot of our time being concerned with trivial bullshit that doesn’t really matter. We are all guilty of it, so ask yourself…what is it that makes good people good?

Take an inventory and decide what kind of legacy do you want to leave behind.

Then start taking action today, because we will never know when our time will run out.

Committed to your success.

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Matt Espeut, GoLocal's Health & Lifestyle Contributor has been a personal trainer and health & fitnesss consultant for over 25 years. He is the owner of Fitness Profiles, a one on one, and small group personal training company, as well as Providence Fit Body Boot Camp, located at 1284 North Main St., on the Providence/Pawtucket line. You can reach Matt at (401) 453-3200; on Facebook at "Matt Espeut", and on Twitter at @MattEspeut. "We’re all in this life together – let’s make it a healthy one.


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