This week on September 20th of 2012, I turned 42 years old. As my brother Antero the astrologer says, I’ve completed another lap around the Sun. Like a spec of dust in our infinite universe, I am simply a passenger along for the ride of this thing called life, a life that continues to move forward with or without us. I’ve always believed in fate or destiny as some call it, everything in our lives happens for a reason. There are elements of our fate that are uncontrollable and will happen regardless if we like it or not, while other elements are completely within our control and will only happen if we choose to act upon it and make it happen.
Time keeps on moving, choose the path that makes you happy with your loved ones.
In the year since my last lap around the Sun, a few major changes have happened in my life, include making a change in my lifestyle to improve my health, expanding my creativity through this blog, and a shift in my working career. As I reflect back on the last 12 months of my life I’ve definitely been in the early transition stages going towards a new chapter of my life, the shift is most noticeably different on my mental perspective and outlook on life.
I’ve had a lot of great experiences and new found appreciations in life, many of which I have written about on this blog. The best part is I’ve been able to share them with my soulmate, life partner, the love of my life, Jenny. Being with her has instilled me with more appreciation in life while empowering us to improve our lives for the better. I am grateful to have her love and share life with her, she is my muse.
When I turned 41, my doctor, Dr. Dhanda, had been telling me that I needed to lose weight and get healthier. Due to my dedication of working at Beachbody, ironically my physical health had been going in decline throughout the years of working there. Funny, I was working at a leading health and fitness company, yet my health was getting worse because I was working too hard.
I needed to make a lifestyle change in my life to improve my health.
As I wrote when I turned 41, I began running regularly as the starting point. I did over 60 days nonstop of running 6 days a week when I first started, going only half a mile at first, and then building up slowly over time. Since then I’ve been running and mountain biking regularly to get in better shape. Averaging around three activities a week, every week, I was on the path to improving my physical health. Here a year later, I’ve lost 30 pounds of weight and can physically endure a lot more activities. On average I now run 5 to 8 miles when out running, I even did my first half marathon distance of 13.1 miles in the San Francisco Marathon this past August. I’m doing the Leona Valley Trail half marathon next weekend. I’m even considering to start training for a triathlon event of swimming, cycling, and running, maybe a half Ironman event in the next year or two.
I have to give big props to my running partner, mentor, and amazing wife, Jenny. She has been my motivation and support, usually running together and kept me going to make this a normal part of my lifestyle for a healthier me. I’ve used dailymile to log all my miles for running, mountain biking, swimming, even snowboarding. It shows for the last 12 months I have logged 1,140.15 miles and 194 hours of activity. That is a lot of miles and it will only continue now that I’m committed to staying active as part of my lifestyle.
Over 1,000 miles of running and mountain biking activity logged in the last 12 months!
It became a lot easier after I left Beachbody at the beginning of the year, all of a sudden I had the time to exercise regularly. No longer getting up at the crack of dawn and coming home after dark. Having time really pushed me to be more active and I really have started to fully enjoy running and mountain biking. The feeling you get once you’re pushing your body, sweating, breathing hard, your heart pounding, is an amazing feeling that empowers you and your body, both mentally and physically. Now I crave that feeling regularly and I feel like something is wrong if I’m not experiencing it every couple of days.
The other big benefit of not being committed to a day job was being able to cook good meals at home. My first career path was a chef, so I enjoy cooking, it is relaxing and usually a lot healthier for you. Throughout the year I’ve been cooking at lot at home, going to the farmers market regularly to get fresh picked vegetables, fruits, and foods to use in our home cooked meals. I’ve even shared a few recipes on this blog.
While I haven’t hit my target weight goal of 190 pounds, I am close, at 200 pounds today I’ve lost 30 pounds in the last 12 months and I suspect I’ll be at 190 in the near future. When you experience weight loss and health improvements that you’ve achieved through steady consistent efforts you appreciate and respect it more. I’ve learned there are no shortcuts to apply to our health, you have to commit to something and work at it to get the end result, only then will you be successful and happy with your body.
Work…Err Not Working
Right into the new year of 2012, after over six and a half years of working at Beachbody, LLC. my position in the company had been shifted to the point of non-existence. This was purely thanks Steve Winshel being my boss after my previous boss Hope had left the company. We never saw eye-to-eye on how to run our departments and teams. My background was creative while his was information technology, we both had different methods and processes of leading the company, both getting to the same end result, but to him the two ideologies and methods could not co-exists, at least not with direct reports. Because I had seniority in the company over him it was a challenge to simply eliminate me, instead my position was strategically shifted around until it was no longer needed.
The years I worked at Beachbody were fantastic. It was a wonderful opportunity and learning experience in my life. Being able to play a vital role in growing the company from a mere 70 people to over 700, with my team alone going from 5 up to 70 made for a very rewarding, yet mentally and physically demanding career at the company. You can read more about it in my Life at Beachbody article that I wrote after departing.
The one thing that did disappointment me is the changes that occurred from that kind of growth. In the early years the company had a strong entrepreneur energy and complete openness that truly empowered everyone to contribute and succeed on all levels. By the time I left, that was all gone and quickly shifting into the opposite direction, the owners Carl Daikeler and Jon Congdon, are siloed out of everything. Thus secrets and negative politics were going rampant, that openness that empowered everyone was being shut down and the moral of all the fantastic people who were running the company was slipping into a downward spiral.
Seeing a successful organization go from a wonderful positive structure to a negative one was the unfortunate disappointment I experienced at Beachbody. Unless Carl and Jon have a serious wake-up call I don’t think things will change there. From what I’ve heard there have been many changes in the company since I left, I hope they are for the better because Beachbody‘s vision is strong, it just needs to keep the heart and soul of the company strong and healthy without any negative corruption.
Since leaving the company I’ve been taking a nice long hiatus and simply decompressing. I had poured a lot of myself into the company and it really took a while for me to get it out of my system. My outlook on work has changed, I no longer wish to help other people succeed without being rewarded for that success, instead I’ve been moving into a direction where I’m in more control of my future.
It was a year ago when I turned 41 that I decided to finally start this blog. Since then it has become a great creative outlet for me to express my thoughts and share parts of my life with the world. Not that I really care if the world reads what I share, but more for a journal or diary that I can get things out of my head and written down to express what I’m experiencing in life.
Over the last 12 months I’ve written over 70 articles and blog posts on the site. Ranging from a wide variety of topics including food recipes, video games, music, gardening, photography, to life experiences. It has become a great way for me to express myself, write and improve my writing skills. While I know my writing is not great, it would seem that my writing has become better throughout the year and hopefully it’ll continue to progress.
I’ve really enjoyed writing and sharing the topics on the site, at times I wish I could do more of it. For example in the music category I started a series about My Favorite Music, which has become a bit daunting as there is so much to write about and I realize that it is not something I can write in a couple of blog posts, it has to be ongoing and continuous. I’ve tapered off on those topics lately but I will get back into them and continue to share my favorite artists and the albums I love.
Music is a huge source of creative inspiration in my life, I can’t live without it.
Same with my photography, I’ve started off with a decent collection of photographs that I’ve made available to download as wallpapers. However I want to dig into the years of my past photography and find the best photos to share. There are some fantastic photos, but I just need to take the time to go through, select, prepare, and write about them. I’ll be making an effort to do so in addition to continuing to share my new photos.
Instagram is a new addition to my amateur photography habits. Often I’m snapping off photos with my Google Nexus One phone or the much improved camera on the new iPad and sharing the photos via Instagrams social platform. It is impressive how Instagram has exposed and surfaced a world of great (and not so great) amateur photographers. I am constantly impressed by some of the photos people take. You can follow me @majamaki and checkout my photos over at Instacanv.as/majamaki.
Other areas I’ve enjoyed sharing are select milestones in my life including many of the running events I’ve participated in, along with my addiction to video games. I am easily captivated by video games, these days they provide an incredible amount of immersion that engage you into an captivating story and experience. When I find one that really shines I’ve taken the time to share my thoughts and written a review to share in the hopes that other gamers, or even non-gamers, will appreciate and want to pickup the game.
Wow, this has become a lot longer article than I had anticipated. A real blog post compared to my turning 41 when I first started blogging. I suppose I have more to say and share this year, it feels good to get these thoughts out and written down. As I mentioned in the beginning of this article, life continues to move forward with or without us, and our fate is partially controlled by our destiny and partially controlled by the choices we make to mold it into our destiny.
I suspect the next lap around the Sun will be a different journey for me. Jenny and I have become involved in a network marketing business that help people live healthier happier lives while having the opportunity to financially succeed at the same time. No more working for a company to help them succeed while all the people who do the work get unrecognized and under paid. Instead this is about individuals taking control of their fate to succeed and help everyone around them succeed together.
The business is through Jeunesse, a network company that has only a few select products, but products that help improve our lives from within and on the outside. Modern stem-cell and DNA repair medicine and technology that actually heals and repairs our bodies, fighting off diseases and caners, allowing us to live longer. Jenny and I have teamed up to build a team and help our friends and loved ones to take the steps to become healthier and, if interested, make some money through the business opportunity.
Witnessing modern medicine that heals our bodies and prevents disease is impressive.
In this day and age, working for a company is no longer a valid option of providing financial security for you and your family. The average company only employs people for 3 years, and that is shrinking. Gone are the days where you can be with a company for 5 or 10 years, let alone 20 to 30 years and retire. No, people are hopping from company to company every few years and starting all over. There are no guarantees in the career market today or in the future when it comes to working for another company.
You have to find alternative sources of income and sustainability to ensure the future for us and our loved ones.
That is why Jenny joined Jeunesse, and I even became a Beachbody Coach, to begin building the foundations for our financial future, to have residual income that continues to come in, even when we are not working. No longer relying on the linear income of hours worked and getting paid for those hours. Now we are making money around the clock, even while sleeping. While it is small now, in this type of business it grows and continues to grow to the point that you become financially independent.
At that point, you don’t need to worry about your bills, instead you truly focus on life, caring for and sharing life with the ones you love. Those are the steps we are taking now towards our future. This year might prove to be challenging one for us, but will also become a rewarding one for our efforts and work that we put into it. If you are interested in making a positive change in your life let me know. This isn’t about keeping it secret and hoarding it to ourselves, instead it is about being open and sharing it with everyone.
For those of you who know me, I’ve never been driven by money, but instead I’m driven by being passionate in life and humbly sharing that passion with my loved ones and friends. As a long time believer in the buddhism way of life, I continue to be humbled by what life has to offer and how I’m able to be a part of it and share it with my loved ones. This next year I want to continue to improve my health, support my amazing wife Jenny, spend more time with family, especially family that is further away like my brothers Antero and Timo, grow our new business, and enjoy the simple things in life that bring a smile to my face and warmth to the heart.
Here is a toast to the next lap around the Sun, living a healthier happier life with those you love. Cheers!
So now that you’ve read this far, do you have any thoughts you’d like to share? Please feel free to use the comment section below and thanks for reading.