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A Legendary Lifestyle: What Is That?

by Chad E. Cooper

In media interviews, I am often asked, What does it mean to live a legendary lifestyle? And why would I want to do that?

As the author of Time Isn’t the Problem, You Are, I suppose I set myself up for that question. Legendary may seem like a big word, but isn’t your life suppose to be big? Isn’t the goal to have the biggest, best life possible in the number of years you may have on this earth? So, what got us into the habit of living smaller than we are suppose to?

The best place to begin is by trying to explain what a legendary lifestyle is to me… It is really about living life on my own terms. It’s about living a life full of rich experiences full of strong positive emotions. 

The most common experience for many has been ‘life will be good when I win the lottery, get married, or get the job of my dreams’. It’s as if they are waiting for something to happen to them to make life complete. This concept that someday when you can afford the right house, get the right job, or meet the right partner, then your life will be fulfilled,  not only detours you from living a full Legendary Life, but odds are, it just won’t happen. This limiting thinking just allows you to stay in a place of where your cup of life is half empty. A Legendary Lifestyle is about creating fulfilling experiences and extraordinary feelings that you’re able to remember and talk about for a lifetime. 

Your purpose for a Legendary Life is not a goal, it is a feeling and this is where most people run awry.  It’s not to be confused as many do, with a destination you are working toward, like an amazing trip to Bali or going off to ski in Aspen. Those are simply vehicles. What people really need to be happy and fulfilled are the feelings they have when they go to Bali, skiing or in serving their community; the emotions and feelings of lying on the beach with your loved one sharing the beauty of Bali overcome with love and joy, or the feeling of being on the slopes teaching your 3 year old to ski for the first time, seeing them smile from ear to ear and the excitement you share. Maybe you volunteered to help people less fortunate than you, and felt their gratitude penetrate your heart. These are the emotions that you remember and form as a foundation for your purpose. Knowing the difference between the vehicles and the experiences is the golden key to living a Legendary Lifestyle. It’s not about keeping up with the Jones’s; that was the big lie of past generations.  Having stuff is never going to make anyone truly feel fulfilled or happy.  You must first have a purpose in your life to make life matter. 

I know it can be very frustrating to see when you’re stuck in a state of lack because you feel you don’t have the money, feel you’re stuck in a horrible unfulfilling job; or maybe you think you have so many family responsibilities and no time to do anything for yourself. But stay with me. Finding your purpose is not hard and does not take a lot of time. 

When speaking to a group and I want to show them the shortest way to find their purpose, I ask the audience to think of the two happiest memories in their past. Then write them down with as much detail as you can remember. Once all the details are written down, circle the values, emotions and feelings that you can extract from those memories.  What you will see are words that keep repeating in those happy memories. Those are your core values.  So, you have these happy memories, how do you apply them to things that currently suck in your life? 

Take all of those emotions; take all of those values and experiences, those feelings, and find other vehicles, other methods, where you can live those same values again and again and again. For me, whether it has been missionary work in Guatemala, or leading a team across New Zealand, or building fresh water wells in the South Pacific, or leading a team across the Grand Canyon, or leading a team of 10 coaches through the world’s toughest workout: 3 days of Navy Seal bud school, the commonality in all my vehicles I choose, is that every single one produces the experiences that are rooted in my common values. 

You may have examples of where your values have shown up in a memory, where maybe you made every Friday night a family movie night and game night. Where you splurged a little and you brought home a pizza. Maybe every person in the family each week got to pick their favorite movie or their favorite game to enjoy together. Or did your family have a tight budget and everybody went camping in a tent, then it rained and everybody huddled together laughing and trying to stay dry? Maybe the weather cleared up the next day and you all watched fireworks for the 4th of July in some special way. The values are underneath those experiences and the feelings of connection to others; Joy, Laughter, Serving Others, Feeling Loved, Accepted, Gratitude, Sharing, and the list goes on and on. 

Now that you know your values and your feelings, which bring you to your spiritual happy place, take a courageous look at all the responsibilities that you’re playing out in your life - including finances, family, health, and your career. Ask yourself, how many of these values, how many of these emotions, are showing up on a regular, consistent basis? And if the answer is far too few, then you need to make a decision as to what you’re willing to do about it. It may mean getting resourceful in finding a way to transition out of a situation and into something that does fill you up.  You may even find that the vehicles have always been there you; just didn’t know what you were experiencing because you were busy waiting for something else to arrive.

Wouldn’t that be a great way to start your Legendary Life?

For info on Chad Cooper visit http://chadecooper.com 

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