If I could send a message in a bottle…

If there was a way I could send a message in a bottle to 20 year old me from 30 year old me it would be these three things:

1. Understand the significance of moments and events

Leading up to and on the day of my wedding, the number one thing people would say to me is “try to enjoy every moment because it goes by so fast…”.  And that’s exactly what happened.  May 29th, 2016 I married the love of my life and before I could blink, the day came and went despite every effort to listen to the most popular piece of advice almost everyone seemed to offer up.

The boys

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve looked back on something and thought “that was a big moment”, but as I was going through it – it didn’t feel that way.  Like a game of cat and mouse, I’m growing more and more aware of big moments and the more I catch a moment and think “wow, this is really cool”, the more I joy I feel on a daily basis.

Time is the most expensive commodity that none of us get enough of or truly understand.  If we did, we would never let one moment go by unhappy.

2. Write things down

When I was a kid I used to keep journals.  I loved it and it was automatic; I would write daily.  I still have them and I remember reading them back and almost reliving my thought process, head space and mindset. And at the time I didn’t realize the significance of doing it, but I gained so much clarity by doing so.

Writing things down (in this blog) is another way that helps me feel like I’m slowing things down.  There has been a lot of change in the last 6 months for me professionally and in there were so many lessons to learn from.  I have so much planned for my next 12 months and I want to write my way through it all.

Nice, France.

Everything I’ve done in my life up to this point has led up to this year ahead of me.  Over the last 10 years, every continuing education course, every rep counted for a client, every early morning class taught, it’s all been building me into the person I want to be and I want to remember my thought process, head space and mindset throughout this transition.  Becoming who I want to be has been the opus of finding myself in my twenties and now I get to be that person throughout my thirties.

3. Be productive, instead of busy.

There’s a feeling I get when I’m doing exactly what I want to be doing professionally.  When living with purpose and intent have lined up with duty and responsibility I feel electric.  When I would write an exercise program a week at a time for 100 athletes; when I pull a barbell over my head, catch it confidently and stand it up; when I see someone finally “get” a movement we’ve been working on; when a client finds out they’ve made hard earned gains and they feel better about themselves.  These are things that happen every single day in the line of work that I do and these are the things that make me feel alive, because they shape my identity and identity gives me purpose.

There’s a brilliant quote that has always stuck with me:

“The community allows me to lead, when they’re done with me they’ll let me know”
-Greg Glassman, CEO, CrossFit

It helps me remember that I what do isn’t just to train or coach people.  What I actually do is to earn their trust every day.  People sort of give you their trust on “loan”, but will take it back at any moment if you don’t respect it.  How you do this is by dropping all traces of your ego, working on removing all barriers to be approachable, opening your ears to what people are asking for and saying, and enthusiastically doing your best to provide the service you’re trying to provide.   Because I see it like this: those who give you purpose are the most precious and are to be looked after and celebrated at every single opportunity.


But what is being busy?  Well, I suppose we all define that for ourselves.  And for me it’s valuing the effect of the time spent on the task and measuring the wake of its completion.  If it makes waves, good; if nothing was achieved, bad.

I’ve found out that if I’m less “busy”, it helps me to find the balance between purpose, intent and duty. It gives you positive energy, and people are drawn to that, like really drawn to it.  Almost like that was the secret all along.

If I could write a little message on a piece of paper, slip it into a bottle and slide it back in time ten years this is exactly what I’d say to 20 year old me.  You’re about to experience so many wonderful moments; be aware of how incredible life is.  Record it all, because what you decide to write down, you’ll learn so much from.  And decide sooner what is really important and what makes you feel alive- do that and only that; there’s no time for anything else.

Thank you for reading, I hope this helped.  Please feel free to comment and share!!

6 thoughts on “If I could send a message in a bottle…

  • June 4, 2016 at 9:34 am

    Your best blog post yet! appeciating what you have , putting in hard work and loving what you do will equal living out your dreams. Excited to see what’s to come

    • June 8, 2016 at 3:40 am

      Thank you Jenn 😀 You always have such a great perspective. See you soon!

  • June 4, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    I so enjoyed reading this. I too, love to be productive instead of busy. Busy to me equals stressed out. Congratulations on your marriage and the start of your next journey. Instead of a message in a bottle, it’s a message from the heart. ❤️

    • June 8, 2016 at 3:39 am

      Thanks Sharon, I’m so glad you enjoyed. Good call, it is really a message from the heart 🙂

  • June 4, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    a quote from John Irving, author: “there are many Moments in one’s life. you just have to be able to recognize them.”
    good blogging Sean.

    • June 8, 2016 at 3:38 am

      Thank you Cathy! I love that quote 🙂


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