Why Do I Push Myself So Hard & Push Those Around Me To Do The Same?

by Dr. Monroe Mann, PhD, Esq, MBA, LLM, ME, EMT
Founder & Executive Director, Break Diving, Inc.

People ask me how I am able to do so much, and where I find the energy.  I think it’s partly due to the following reasons:

  • My dad had Alzheimer’s Disease.  Granted, it happened late in his life, but through my PhD studies in psych, I know that it can hit as early as 27 years old.  So why do I push myself so hard?  I could start losing my memory any day.
  • I survived the war in Iraq.  I came home from Iraq after serving there for a year with the US Army.  Did everyone I know survive?  No.  So why do I push myself so hard?  Because I could have died over there.  I didn’t.  I always remind myself of that.
  • My friends Pete Sears and Tom Chiarello both died before age 15.  Both of their deaths were very hard for me as a child.  So whenever I feel I’m getting lazy, or discouraged, I’m reminded of Pete and Tom, and remember that their dreams were taken from them before they could pursue them.  So why do I push myself so hard?  Because I know Pete and Tom would want me to make the most of my life.  As an old saying goes, “I do it for those who can’t.”
  • So many people died on Normandy beach, defending my freedoms.  So why do I push myself so hard?  Because those men, just teenagers, gave up their lives and their dreams so that you and I could pursue ours. 
  • At least once a year, I hear a story of a perfectly healthy young man or woman, who runs 3 times a week, doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink, and doesn’t do drugs, and who eats healthily… who dies of a heart attack, or has a stroke, or contracts a disease.   So why do I push myself so hard?  Because that person could be me.  I intend to do all I can now, while I’m healthy, because tomorrow, I may not be.
  • Sadly, shootings in schools, malls, and offices are more and more common.  I say this not as a pro gun or anti gun person, but as someone who recognizes that it’s a sad reality of our lives these days.  Do I hope it gets better?  Of course.  But in the meantime: So why do I push myself so hard?  Because today I may get shot, killed, or blown up, just like when I was in Iraq, I knew that any day, I might get shot, killed, or blown up.
  • None of us knows what’s going to happen today.  So why do I push myself so hard?  Because today I may get hit by the proverbial bus.  Don’t laugh.   It happens.  Every single day.  Mudslides.  Hurricanes.  Car crashes.  And yes, even buses.Am I being morbid and depressing by sharing all of the above?  No.  It’s called: recognizing truth.  WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIEWE ALL CAN BECOME SICK, AT ANY MOMENT!

    Maybe because of my life experiences, I understand this fragility of life better than most.  Maybe as a result, I understand truly the incredible possibility that I may be dead or unable to pursue a dream in the future.  So what do I do?  I DO IT NOW.  I DO IT WITH PASSION.  I DO IT WITH VIGOR.  WITH ENTHUSIASM.  WITH UNBRIDLED ENERGY.  And I do it even when I have no energy, am exhausted with life, and depressed beyond measure.

    Why?

    Because I know that no matter how sad or depressed or discouraged or exhausted I feel today, THERE MAY NOT BE A TOMORROW.

    So get off your ass, stop complaining, stop whining, stop bemoaning your situation, and STOP PUSHING THINGS OFF UNTIL TOMORROW.  You may never see it. 


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