"Stop, stop!" I heard my mother scream up at me, her hands cupped around her mouth, her head tilted toward the sunny stream of light through the pine trees. But I kept going.
I was 11 and determined to climb to the top of a waterfall in a secluded part of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia, where my family had a cabin and we often hiked, fished, and swam. The roar of the falling water almost cancelled out the warning sounds of my yelling family. Hanging on to moss and tree limbs, I climbed to one ridge and then to another and another until I spied the top where the stream water spilled clear over mossy rocks and began its sharp descent over the edge into the steep ravine and the beckoning pool below. It looked beautiful, idyllic. I took a quick survey of the situation. It looked doable. I jumped onto the first rock for a body slide all the way down. It was a glorious ride. I picked a perfect path but I didn't count on the mounting velocity and the giant rock that we had all used for resting and sunbathing right smack in the middle of the waiting pool. Yes, I hit it. And I hit it hard. I took on a few scrapes and bruises. But what a glorious ride!
Not too much has changed. I have more tools to work with now, lots of years of experience in life and in business. I have an MBA so of course I believe in calculated risks and careful analysis of probabilities. But I'm still willing to go for a wild ride if I think it is doable, challenging, fun, and adds value.
That's why I'm an entrepreneur. I love creating new businesses and helping ideas grow into valuable additions to lives. I feel passionate about learning new things, taking small and large risks, and continuing to grow as a person, even if I have to suffer a few knicks and scrapes along the way.
I also know that these same values are the ones that can help keep my mind sharp and my life interesting. I've immersed myself in scientific research on keeping the brain fit and the connections among mind, body, and emotions and overall fitness. Physical exercise, good nutrition, stress management, lots of sleep, and mental challenge and stimulation have all undergone rigorous scientific study and we know that there are actions we can take now to substantially raise the probabilities of living longer and living well. I'll be discussing these in this blog. I'll also comment on other related topics.