The First Item Crossed Off

Thanks to my friend Dan for helping me cross the first item off my 40×40 list: Number Six — Learn CPR.

Today I ventured into an exciting world of learning about the latest CPR advancements as well as how to use an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) machine. The instructor made learning about cardiac arrest fun and entertaining, even getting the class to laugh about the seriousness of death. Given his dry sense of humor, his field experience, and the fact that he occasionally reminded me of Ricky Gervais, I couldn’t help but have a great time.

We were given two options for songs to sing while performing compressions: Staying Alive by The Bee Gees and Another One Bites The Dust by Queen. For obvious reasons, we chose Staying Alive.

All in all, learning about CPR was exactly what I hoped it would be and more. Learning about the differences between clinical and biological death, the two different types of strokes, choking, compression, ventilation, and how amazing the heart is, was intellectually stimulating and informative for helping others when the time comes.

In Other 40×40 News

I am officially working on my first homework assignments for the Masters program I am enrolled in (#18). While it is a challenge to gather my thoughts and compose them in coherent sentences, I’m excited to do the work in confronting the benefits and challenges that I face in this program.

It has been almost ten years since I’ve been in school. I have spent almost six years working by myself, and it is going to be difficult to shift into a group-centric frame of mind. It is also going to be a challenge to ask for help, damn self-reliance, but thankfully I realize that if I wish to grow, I need to embrace a group mentality.

Stay tuned over the next 18-months as I share the schooling process, the leadership insights, the successes and failures, as well as the utter insanity of humbling and opening up myself to the critique and assessment of others (including my dad in a couple courses along the way).

It’s Not Going To Be What You Think

I have been slowly plugging away at my 40×40 list since writing it a few weeks ago. Two items on the list have been occupying the majority of my time: 18) Applying for the Master of Science in Management and Organizational Leadership degree at Warner Pacific College and 12) preparing for my trip to Haiti in January.

The best advice that I have heard from students and professors at Warner Pacific College has been this: Get Organized. With that, I have been cleaning my office, getting rid of clutter, finishing projects for work and attempting to write each day regardless of being inspired or not.

On top of that advice, I was inspired by a conversation with a friend this week to remember that my life will not change just because I crossed something off my list.

For 20 years I held to the belief that if I lost weight, my life would change instantly. Guess what? I lost all the weight and I was still me. I still had my problems. My issues didn’t disappear.

Seth Godin wrote about The Paradox of Expectations in which he sets forth the idea that the best approach to life is living without expectations. Perhaps this is just another way of saying that it is better to live life enjoying the journey as opposed to the destination?

As I begin a new chapter in my life, I realize that I am on a journey and I will change because I am traveling from A to B. When I arrive at B, as long as I am charting the next passage to C, I will be living a life free from expectations.

However, when I stop at B, look around and see that not much is different, I must rememer that the only way to really see a difference in my life is to go from A (birth) to Z (death) and see just how much I have grown, learned, changed and experienced living a journey-oriented life.

So, with that, the goal that you think will change your life? It most likely won’t, but it will be another piece in the puzzle of your life that defines who you are, what you do, and what people will say about you.

40×40 Update 1

It hasn’t been a week since I posted my list of 40 ambitious goals before I turn 40 and already work is underway to cross things off.

12. Be A Missions Photographer/Filmmaker At Least Once Per Year

It is confirmed. In January, I will be traveling to Haiti for two and a half weeks with a team from Grace Foursquare Church and East Hill Church. Last night was the first meeting that I attended and things are little fuzzy about what we will be doing, but things are slowly coming into focus. Stay tuned for updates along the way. This will be my first time in Haiti and from what we have been told, it is one of the more difficult mission fields.

6. Learn CPR

People are cool. One person in particular. He read the list, saw that I wanted to learn CPR and invited me to join his workplace’s CPR training class next month.

18. Masters Degree in Management & Organizational Leadership

Monday night was the open house for Warner Pacific’s Masters Degree in Management & Organizational Leaders. We got to hear from two professors (one of them being my dad) and from four students that have gone through the program. A few people asked questions including this one from me: “Obviously the syllabus is written and based on foundational materials, but how important is making sure the curriculum factors real-world and real-time events?”

I was thinking of the Occupy movement as I was thinking that. I knew what my dad’s answer would be because I know how passionate he is about making sure his students are aware of what’s going on in today’s world. The other professor said that he expects people to be bringing in real-world examples and the majority of his courses are built around that.

I liked what I heard. I filled out the application and I’m working on some more paperwork. I might start the end of November. I might start in January/February. It’s still being decided.