The other day I was taking Teddy for a long walk.
I have a Provincial Park right next to my house. It’s who knows how big, filled with deer, the odd cougar or black bear, bobcats, skunks, porcupines, and a bunch of coyotes.
It’s awesome. And lately I’ve been walking Teddy there a lot more and the reasoning for said walks have to do with testosterone and cortisol.
Let me rewind a bit…
For the latter part of last year and the first parts of this year, I’ve been working long, long hours. The 16-18 hour days were in a quest to finish two books and get them to you as fast as possible, and at as high quality as possible, among a bunch of other things that were more behind the scenes.
My parents came for Christmas, and even though I don’t get to see them as much as I’d like, I couldn’t allow myself to take a day off.
Work is great. What I began to realize, however, is that I was almost beginning to work for the sake of work.
That is, I LOVE to work. But working hard and working smart don’t always align, they often oppose one another.
Well, I found myself working all day, every day, putting a ton of unnecessary pressure on my shoulders, worrying about outcomes, stressing about this and that and I realized I needed to stop.
Not work, but stop working for the sake of work.
In fact, I WAS working on the wrong things too often. I wasn’t moving the needle of my business, pushing it to where I wanted it to be. I needed to step back more often, and think.
Thus, I’m on this walkthrough that wonderful park when Teddy runs into a dog he doesn’t like.
If you don’t know Teddy, he’s a solid 110 pound dogo Argentino. They’re powerful dogs, so holding him back is a workout in itself.
As I got control of the prick an older fella watching the malay had a bit of a chuckle, and asked what his breed was…
I answered, then noticed he had a cigar in his hand.
We began chatting about stogies (he’s been smoking two a day since he was 12 years old, thanks to his old man introducing him), how often he smokes, his health, and inevitably government intervention.
Every man’s man I’ve come across despises being told what to do, especially by their government. It’s an interesting shared trait.
We both agreed that cigars calm our minds, they ease our thoughts and probably lighten the load that any ambitious man carries.
The conversation was great.
And it made me think of another cigar smoker: Richard Overton, the 111-year old, oldest living man in America, and Veteran.
Overton smokes 13 cigars per day, and has done for YEARS.
He tops that off with a few glasses of whiskey and his daily dose of ice cream.
He still drives. He’s still truly alive.
When you watch that Youtube video above you’ll notice Overton’s mindset.
He doesn’t worry, because he knows there’s no benefit to it. He’s resigned that his life is in God’s hands, and that fearing death or the unknown is a colossal waste of time.
He doesn’t stress, never has, not even when bullets were flying by his head in the Second World War.
And thus, I walk, and I smoke a cigar.
I do both because they give me time to think. They allow me the time to decide if what I’m doing is what I should be doing. Walking and sitting with a stogie help me determine if what I’m worried about demands worry at all.
In Overton’s story, you can see the power of the mind (and genetics).
By all counts, his lifestyle should have killed him 50 years ago. But it didn’t.
It didn’t because he isn’t plagued by the stress and the worry that consumes our lives, that clouds our reality, that crushes our happiness, joy, and freedom.
We all know that cortisol is one of Testosterone’s greatest killers. We also know that we can largely control our cortisol levels through mindset, a mindset like Overton’s.
In our lives there is no such thing as free time, there’s just time, and it’s winding down.
MAKE time to think.
Make time to be at peace.
Make time to ensure you’re thinking in a way that will help you live how you want to live.
Worry has no place in the heart of any man.
And now, Teddy and I shall go for a walk.