We all have been guilty of coasting at one time or another in our lives. One definition of coasting is “moving but not being driven by the engine.” Think about that. In other words, we go through the motions—day in and day out—but we are not driven by the engine of purpose, success, passion, and destiny—that inner desire to live life to the fullest. We’ve all experienced that. We will talk more about this engine in the next chapter.
Have you ever found yourself just coasting through life, in business or relationships, in academic pursuits or educational aspirations? Maybe you’ve been coasting in your personal development, coasting as you set and meet your financial goals or in your retirement planning. And we can’t forget about coasting in your spiritual growth and career acceleration. Oh— and many of us are guilty of coasting with our health and nutrition. Do you have any of those “coasting” habits?
OK, Delatorro . . . stop asking!
According to the United Nations, the international average life expectancy is 72.6 years.1
So let me ask you a simple question: At the time you’re experiencing this book, how old are you? For example, at the time of writing this book, I am 43 years young.
Based on the UN research, if I take 72.6 and subtract my current age (43) that means I have 29.6 summers left. Now you do it.
(your age here)
Well, my friend, that’s how many summers you’ve got left.
That alone should make you put this book down right now and SHIFT HIGHER so that you can start living more and enjoying being the best version of yourself that you can possibly be.
Some of you may have 40 summers left, or 50 summers left, but some of you may have only 20 summers left or 10 summers left to maximize and enjoy this thing we call life to the fullest. I have about 30 summers left, and I plan to live not just the summers but the rest of my years to the fullest!
If you knew you only had 10 summers left, how would you spend them?
• What trips would you take? And who with?
• What parts of the world would you go see?
• What experiences would you make sure you had with your family?
• What friends would you spend more time with?
• What old wounds would you heal so that you could be free to love more deeply and more honestly?
• What hobbies would you pick up?
• Whom would you want to attract into your life so that you could feel more complete?
We have to stop living as if we are all promised tomorrow, because we are not.
The adage says that you can be here today and gone tomorrow. The harsh truth is that you can be here today and gone today!
So the time is NOW! The next time someone asks you what time it is, tell them it’s now o’clock!
According to the Worldometer website (https://www.worldometers.info/demographics/life-expectancy/), the ten countries with the highest life expectancy are
1. Hong Kong
9. Channel Islands
The same study found that women outlive men by between four to six years.
What’s the point? It’s time to live all the way out. It’s time to roll the throttle and go for life!
We humans have never been taught to live life to the fullest. Think about it: Did you ever in elementary school, high school, or college take a semester-long course called Living an Amazing Life 101? Probably not. So how do we go about living such a life when we’ve never been taught exactly how? And going back to the Abbott research study mentioned in the introduction, just using the US as an example, we ranked sixty-fifth globally in terms of our feeling fulfilled in life. That’s a failing grade, my friend!
The truth is that we’ve been taught and conditioned from the time we were born to live a one-dimensional, mediocre, status quo life. We were taught to coast! Be average, be ordinary, fit in, blend in, and don’t make waves.
What if I told you that you’ve been lied to your entire life? May I prove it to you? As human beings, we are taught that the most important aspect of a person living a full life is based on one dimension. That one dimension is their length of years. Every year on our birthday, for most of us, we get friends and family together and do some form of celebration of our length of years.
However, I believe that to shift into a higher gear, get 1% better daily, and live life to the fullest, there are two other dimensions of life that we need to focus on. Those are someone’s width of years (how wide someone lives or has lived) and someone’s depth of years (how deeply someone lives or has lived).
One reason that we don’t celebrate width and depth of years is that both of those dimensions are harder to measure and quantify than length. We simply look at a calendar and within seconds, we can use basic math to determine length of years. Width and depth are much more complex, as we’ll discover throughout this book.
I love movies. Do you? I just love watching movies, going to the movies, and even teaching from concepts I learn in movies. And when I want to see a new movie, I always pay to see it in 3-D. I like to see the three-dimensional aspects, the width and depth, of the images on the screen; 3-D brings the movie to life in a totally different way than the traditional two-dimensional version of the film. You need special glasses to see a 3-D movie because your natural eyes simply can’t process all the amazing elements that are baked into the film. And no matter how many millions of dollars that production studio spent on that amazing movie, you can’t experience it the way it was supposed to be experienced without those 3-D lenses.
There is a life you’re meant to be living. And I believe that God, life, and the universe are sending you plenty of action; you just need the right lenses to see it and experience it.
Haven’t you felt that there was something deeper and more meaningful that you were supposed to be doing with your life and career?
Haven’t you had that gnawing feeling in the gut that there’s a wider world that you’re supposed to be experiencing?
That’s life whispering, calling, and eventually screaming at you to shift into a higher gear. My goal in this book is to give you a fresh pair of 3-D life lenses with which to look at, evaluate, and measure the overall size and substance of your life. We all know from mathematics that to determine the true size of anything, you must measure its width, length, and height/ depth. In other words, there are three dimensions that determine size, not just one. The same is true of your life.
I remember when Marvel’s Infinity War first came out. I went to see it in 3-D. Those tickets were expensive, but it was so worth it. Notice that I mentioned that the movie tickets were very expensive. I firmly believe that in life we have to differentiate between price and cost. You’re going to have to pay a price to live life to the fullest. Doing so is not going to be cheap, and it’s not going to be free. You will pay a premium to live life to the fullest. Most people aren’t willing to pay that price, so they settle for mediocrity, for an average, ordinary, and downright half-cocked existence. But please know this: when you aren’t willing to pay the price for an extraordinary life, you incur a significant cost. I’m going to say that again: there is a significant cost for not paying the price to live the 3-D life.
What could that cost be?
• Emotional peace
• Financial abundance
• Professional fulfillment
• Purpose fulfillment
• Destiny achievement
• Life mastery
• Mental fortitude
• Occupational freedom
• Interpersonal contentment
• Spiritual enlightenment
Are you willing to pay these costs, instead of paying the price to shift? I don’t think so. The time to act and the time to shift is now!
Let’s double-click on the “wide, long, and deep” philosophy a little more. I’ve been a traveling professional for about twenty-three years of my life. So I’ve been traveling for work as a speaker and author for twenty-three years (length of years). However, when it comes to the majority of the cities I’ve been to, I’ve just been in and out. In most of those cities,
• I didn’t stay long enough to fully immerse myself in the culture of that city.
• I didn’t get a chance to try multiple restaurants and signature dishes of that city.
• I didn’t explore more of the surrounding towns and parts of the city because the airport and the hotel were where I was needed.
• I didn’t get a chance to do exciting Groupons and other fun events.
I’ve been to New York four times, and I’ve never been to Central Park or the Statue of Liberty, and, as embarrassing as it sounds, I’ve never seen a Broadway show.
So, even though my length of travel has been impressive, my width of travel (traveling to other countries and continents) and my depth of travel (learning new languages, participating in a mission’s trip or a spiritual retreat, staying with natives to better understand the culture) leave a lot to be desired.
Are you starting to see and understand what I’m talking about?
You could work at the same company for thirty years—a long time in terms of length of years—but never once experience a full career.
Did you experience the width of those thirty years in terms of taking on new projects outside your department’s focus? Did you build relationships with people outside your clique? Did you participate in different philanthropic opportunities that the company provided or offered? These are all things that would have helped you live wide during those thirty years at that company.
What about mentoring? Did you mentor a new or struggling employee during your thirty years? Did you take bonus training that the company offered to deepen your skill set in critical areas? Did you take the time during lunches and breaks and outings to get to know your coworkers’ personal lives outside work? These are keys to living deeply during that thirty-year career span.
What do Princess Diana, Jimi Hendrix, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Chris Farley, Selena, Bruce Lee, Malcolm X, Bob Marley, and Anne Frank all have in common? These are all remarkable human beings who throughout human history have been considered to be transformational individuals in their own unique realms. Through their unique contribution to humanity, each one of these individuals goes down as someone who left this world notably different from the way they found it. However, each of these individuals have one powerful thing in common: none of them lived past the age of forty years old. Yep, even though their length of years was relatively short, they changed human history with their impact, influence, leadership, legacy, and profession. They were able to do this because they lived life to the fullest. They lived wide and deep.
Our society tells us that if a person lived until they were seventy or eighty years old, they lived a so-called full life. I would drastically disagree. I don’t believe that just because someone lives until they’re a hundred years old, they lived a full life. They might have seen a lot, they might have survived through a lot, and they might have experienced a lot; however, that does not necessarily mean that they lived, in my opinion, a “full life.” Their depth of years could have been very shallow, and their width of years could have been very narrow.
I’ve heard it said that you can live a hundred years, or you can live one year a hundred times. Let that sink in for a minute. We have a choice to make every single day: Are we going to live life to the fullest? Are we going to shift into a higher gear? Living to the fullest means you must live the width of your years, the length of your years, and the depth of your years. You must live in all three dimensions. You must experience the movie of your life with 3-D glasses!
Jesus Christ is a perfect example of this concept. Now, hold on—this book is not about religion. However, Jesus Christ lived only to the age of thirty-three and a half. So he didn’t live a super-long life; but because of the width of the perspective, impact, reach, and exposure of his teachings, and because of the depth of knowledge, wisdom, healing, and transformation with which he lived his life and helped to lead others, Jesus Christ easily goes down in human history as one of the most influential persons or deities known to man.
When was the last time you celebrated a happy depth day—to honor the depth to which you’ve been living? When was the last time you celebrated a happy width day—to commemorate how wide you’ve broadened your impact, perspective, and vantage point on life? You never see Happy Depth Day or Happy Width Day party photos on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, do you?
Please don’t get me wrong. I want you to live as long as humanly possible. But just be clear that as you’re living long, you must also focus on living as wide and as deep as you can.
Now I want you to think of ten people whom you admire personally and/ or professionally. List their names here.
Nice job! Now, one thing that I know for sure about these ten individuals is that they were people who played full-out. They went all the way in. Whether it was a grandmother, someone in your community, a professional athlete whom you enjoy watching, a high-net-worth CEO whom you admire—the people on this list mean something to you. You might have listed even a kid who’s overcoming health challenges in the hospital. There could be someone who, against all odds, has succeeded at a level that makes you want to be better. Regardless of whom you listed, the common thread is that they each lived wide, long, and deep.
They didn’t half-bake, half-ass, or half-do anything. I’ve traveled all across the world, and one of the things I’ve realized is that all of humanity admires people who live full throttle. We aspire to be like people who live wide, long, and deep.
• We admire people who play full-out.
• We admire people who “lean in.”
• We respect people who put it all on the line for their dream, their family, their beliefs (or yours), their aspirations, their country, their freedom and civil rights, and their greatest passions.
• We admire people who risk it all to manifest a vision that, many times, can only be seen initially by them alone.
If you cannot risk, you cannot grow.
If you cannot grow, you cannot become your best.
If you cannot become your best, you cannot be happy.
If you cannot be happy, what else matters?
There’s a big difference between living and existing. You could exist on the planet for a hundred years. Be born, exist, and die one hundred years later—still without having lived a full life. This book is all about helping you change that dynamic in your life. For example, let’s take a quick look at last year.
If you’re reading this book, you clearly survived the 365 days of last year.
You can think of the following questions about your year as hypothetical, but I encourage you to take some time and in a separate journal really sit with some of them and determine whether you’re pleased with your answers. If not, it’s time to shift into a higher gear!
• Did you widen your perspective on issues that you care about?
• Did you widen your reach of people whom you wanted to connect with and meet?
• Did you widen your vantage point by seeing a situation more than one way?
• Did you widen your beliefs about what’s possible for you and those you love?
• Did you widen your lenses to see more in people than they can see in themselves?
• Did each day count, and did each day matter?
• Did you get the most out of each day by planning your day intelligently?
• Did you get the most out of each week by working hard and playing hard?
• Did you lengthen your time with those you love and care about?
• Did you lengthen the time you had on vacation by making the most of your days?
• Did you lengthen your patience with an issue that you normally would cut short?
• Did you lengthen your stamina by not quitting on that business when you wanted to?
• Did you deepen your relationships by loving the people in your life harder?
• Did you deepen your impact by spending more time on projects to ensure a higher level of excellence?
• Did you deepen your understanding of God’s word by studying scripture, perhaps?
• Did you deepen your business acumen by enrolling in some online classes or an additional certification or license?
• Did you deepen your philanthropic agenda by contributing to causes you care about?
• Did you deepen your emotional maturity by having crucial conversations led with love?
All of these are simple examples of how we can make the most of the years that we are blessed to experience. Each of us has a whole lot of living to do! Each day counts, and each day matters. Whatever you do daily, do it to the fullest.
The life that you want is going to require that you give it your all. You can’t coast your way into an amazing life. You can’t half-ass your way into an amazing life. No matter what you want, it will require your best effort. In my travels, I love to ask audiences what they want. I love to ask people by the thousands exactly what they want; what’s amazing is that we all (regardless of our culture and creed) want the same things in life:
• Nice home
• Beautiful family
• Great vacations
• Good earnings
• Healthy kids
• Healing from the past
• To be loved
• Good friends
• Great experiences
• Contribution to causes we believe in
• Romantic love that’s intoxicating
• Learning, growth, and self-development
• Healthy bodies that support us daily
Don’t you see a lot of the things you want on this list? I sure do. In order to manifest these things so that they aren’t just wishful thinking and imaginary craziness, we have to become intentional and purposeful, and we must kick our lives and careers into high gear. To achieve the things on the list, you’ve got to learn to shift!
1. You were not designed to coast in life. You were meant to engage. Life is meant for you to actively participate, so get both hands and both feet involved in reaching your next level.
2. Just because you’ve done something for a long time doesn’t at all mean that you have done it fully. Life is meant to be a three-dimensional experience. You’re meant to live wide, long, and deep!
3. Think of a few areas in your life right now that you can deepen and widen. Whether it’s your academics, parenting, romantic life, health, career, finances, body, mindset, or emotions—some area of your life is craving expansion. Shift . . . now!
4. Three-dimensional living also requires that you have on the right lenses to see your life the correct way and to process the magnificence of your life for all the vibrancy and multifaceted beauty that it provides. Change how you see your life, and your life will change.
5. Go back and look at the list of people whom you admire most. Write down three things that they all have in common. Whatever those three things are, consider how you can model those traits within yourself.