When Life resets, new adventures await
Spartan Race Canadian Operations Manager Johnny Waite recalls the time when his Life shifted. From a cozy and bountiful existence, Johnny’s life took an unexpected turn which led to business failure, divorce and sleeping in the back of a truck.
With great humility, the Psychology graduate at McMaster University used this opportunity to reflect on the ways he could improve as a better human being. Engaging in new endeavours, Johnny Waite remembers crying while running a marathon. Tears weren’t motivated by sadness, though, but by the overwhelming emotional processing of his recent Life events. Johnny had just discovered the beneficial introspection forced by endurance sports.
“What you have has no bearing, whatsoever, on your happiness. Now, unfortunately, what people do is what they don’t have, quite often, they let have it bearing.”
– Johnny Waite, Spartan Up! Podcast Co-Host
Climbing the Spartan ladder
In 2011, Johnny Waite tackled the most extreme race on the Planet: the Spartan/Peak Races Death Race. Preparing for the event, he focused on training “uncomfortability”: doing stuff that he hated, performing things that would make him want to quit, experimenting with extreme weather, etc. A few months later, the Spartan Up! Podcast Co-Host was one of the 30 racers – out of 200 participants – who actually finished the event, despite ravaged shoulders and a broken foot.
Catching the eye of Spartan CEO Joe DeSena, Johnny Waite went from racer to Spartan International Quality Manager and traveled the world for 3 years. Grateful for any opportunity he could get within the organization, he later became a Race Director of Spartan’s races in Canada. Johnny’s life was back on track.
Minimalism vs deficit
Reflecting on his past, Johnny Waite discovered that he was as happy – if not happier – sleeping in the back of his truck, than living in his former luxurious house. Life coach at Alter Ego Life Adventures, Johnny explains why happiness is a choice. In fact, he states that what we possess does not determine our level of happiness. According to him, to focus on what we don’t have keeps us from experiencing bliss: that is why gratitude will change your life.
Additionally, Johnny states that people often feel in deficit by design. Abiding by our prominent culture of consumerism, we should realize what we do have much more than we actually essentially need. Will minimalism make me happy ? Johnny answers the question by suggesting that anything above being alive puts us in surplus. Also, we should differentiate “pursuing” something versus “needing” something.
3 ways to achieve happiness and success
#1 | Sensei says: Trajectory Over Velocity
Listening to Johnny, I understand that we should take the time to properly identify what we really want in Life, which will become our trajectory. From that point on, it’s hard work and patience. Instead of wanting things to happen immediately (velocity), we should focus on a worthwhile goal, which is the definition of the pursuit of happiness.
#2 | Sensei says: Gratitude
Following Johnny Waite’s words, I agree that we should appreciate more the true value of what we have. If there’s is something that we do want, we should put our efforts in producing it. Rather than being a consumer of things, we could be a producer and create something that has value for others. That is why gratitude is important and can create happiness in Life.
#3 | Sensei says: It’s not about you
Learning from Johnny’s wisdom, I found that we ought to step out of our egocentric vision of the World. Consequently, considering our place in relation to others and focusing on who we are as a human being are beneficial to our humility. As Life is ephemeral, it’s ultimately about what we do for the World. Giving to others is key to genuine happiness.