As my fighting career has slowed down a bit and I’m focusing on other things, I’ve become much more aware of what’s around me. For almost ten years, the only thing I saw in front of me was making it to/staying in the UFC. There was nothing else. I didn’t necessarily take things for granted or lose touch with friends and family, but it was the little things that all of a sudden have recently caught up with me. I’m now 34, have a few gray hairs, a few shoulder hairs, and I have a family. When did all that happen? At this rate, I’ll be 65 in no time.

Being 65, 75, or even 85 isn’t a bad thing at all. I look forward to those days…in due time. The important part of aging, though, is valuing and giving attention to what’s right in front of you. You have to stay focused on the goal or vision in your life. Revisit it. Make sure it makes sense. BUT, don’t ever lose touch of what really matters. The little things really are the big things.

And what will happen if you don’t slow down? You’ll be a lot older and will have spent a great deal of time on things that don’t necessarily matter.┬áThere’s perhaps no better example of this than the American Businessman and Mexican Fisherman. Do yourself a favor and take 5 minutes to read this parable. I guarantee it’ll make you sit back and say, “Hmph.”

Takeaway: Slow down, take inventory of what really matters, and trim the fat. Your family and friends will thank you. It’s a gradual process, but start now.