26 December 2008


Our photo this week is Team MonGo 2008 -- you'll see that Monica bought the family matching pajamas.  Check out the sleeves on Lex!

Today is my 40th birthday and I managed to hold my hair this far... that seemed so important to me when I was in my teens and twenties... while my priorities 20 years ago were normal, they weren't exactly ideal.  

Lesson #1: having a high capacity to work overcomes a lot of personal shortcomings.

Probably the deepest thing that I think about (now) is my mortality.  Being a planner, I ask myself if I have the balance right between the short term (being true to myself) and the long term (preparing for the chance that I might live into my 80s). 

I am sipping on a large latte, the SuperMan mug was given to me prior to Ironman Hawaii 2000, by Luke Wimbush (much more of a super-dude than yours truly).  There are a lot of good memories associated with this mug as well as my pal, Luke.  

Lesson #2: it is only with the benefit of time, that we gain context on the people that, ultimately, bring goodness into our lives.

It took me 30 years to begin the process of figuring out my personal values and a decade after that until I was able to coherently write them down.

I derive tremendous meaning from my current life situation and have a high degree of personal freedom.  Looking back, what are the habits/decisions that had the greatest impact on my current situation?
  • Spend less than I make;
  • Tell the truth;
  • Train daily; and 
  • Control my desires (sugar, alcohol, food, leverage, wealth).
Interestingly, all of the above have periodically imposed short terms costs on me.  They are extremely simple to explain but challenging to implement.

What skills do I enjoy using where I receive positive feedback?
  • Teaching;
  • Writing; 
  • Strategic planning; and
  • Financial, legal and forensic analysis.
So... how best to create incentives for me to stick with my values; maintain my successful habits; and utilize my strengths?

First, I am going to launch a site that shares these items, more about that next week.

Second, I am going to explore pulling the last decade into a coherent philosophy and see if there is a book that can be created from what I have learned so far, sort of a how-to-manual for my daughter.

You get a finite number of years on this planet – make the most of all of them, no matter what is going on around you. - Brad Feld
2009 is going to be a challenging year for many of our friends and family.  The media is, and will be, bombarding us with adverse stories to distract us from the areas that add meaning to our lives and loved ones.

Lesson #3: back your winners.

Take time to consider if you have alignment between what brings you meaning and where you spend your time.

Make time (weekly) to do simple things that recharge your spirit and make you feel good.

Thank you Monsy for making this a very special Christmas.  

I love you, babe.



At 6:45 PM, Blogger tyrod said...

Thank you for thoughtful posts. Have a great 2009. I share much of what you write with my son.

At 5:52 AM, Blogger Brett said...

Happy Birthday! Look forward to reading your book when it comes out.

At 11:22 AM, Blogger Fleck said...


Welcome to the 40's. Indeed keeping the hair is huge! People continue to say I look 10 years younger than I really am (47). You will likely get the same. In the competitive worlds of sport and business, this is not such a bad thing! :)

At 6:01 PM, Blogger Gordo Byrn said...

Fleck -

You do look younger!

Thanks for dropping by.


At 7:31 PM, Blogger dawnelder said...

Priceless!!! Thank you so much for your thoughts. I look forward to them each week (or so :) ). Happy Birthday.

At 11:19 AM, Blogger Bob Mitera said...

Happy birthday, I'm right behind you into the M 40-44 division. My genetics had me losing my hair at 25. At 27, I had the same hairline as my grandfather - nice. But it makes for good jokes with my staff...Every April Fools Day I get a wig and wear it around.

Good times.

At 1:19 PM, Blogger JJB said...

G - Try losing your hair at 22 -- builds character for sure!

Really enjoying the gBlog these days. As a 40 year old with a couple of little ones and my IMs several years behind me, the expanded range of topics is very welcome.

At 9:11 AM, Blogger John Jacobson said...


Long time reader, first time poster.

Enjoy 40. Being able to say it (when asked for your age) is oddly empowering, perhaps because of our penchant for decimalizing time (along with the biggest benefit of habitual exercise: You don't look it by the stereotypical standards for what it's supposed to look like).

It changes a bit in a year. Then you're simply in your 40's. The difference between the two is sort of like the rush you get as the cannon goes off for the start of an IM compared to mile 73 of the bike.

But it's all good in that you know you're going places while doing what you love.

Happy New Year,
John Jacobson

At 3:00 PM, Blogger Chris said...


What are you goals (family,business,sport etc) moving into '09?

Happy New Year to all.

At 4:43 PM, Blogger Gordo Byrn said...


Good question -- I'll need more than a comment to cover it. I will write them up for my January 9th blog. 2009 will be a transitional year for me in a few ways. Should make an interesting read.


At 10:09 AM, Blogger paul said...

thanks for the efforts G. Good luck in the roaring 40's, I'm 2 yrs into them.
Everyones telling us 09 is gonna be a tough one, focus on the family and what's important. Happy NY.


At 1:07 PM, Blogger chip said...


thanks for a great post. Where'd you guys score the matching jammies? Would be a great idea for the 3 of us Christmas 09

so nice to have someone write about the exact things I think of--at having just turned 50, and my son to turn 4 in March, you bet i think about my mortality a lot.

thanks again, chip

At 9:52 PM, Blogger Tony Verow, MD said...

Great stuff, Gordo as usual...I had the pleasure of connecting with you and John Hellemans in Christchurch circa 2003....thank you again, sir.


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