Jim Harris: Training for Life
How to Navigate Life After a Major Setback
I’m so excited to share this episode with Jim Harris with you. After this episode, I’ll be taking a break from recording and publishing new episodes in order to get my second book, entitled “Live Your Dance,” out to you by early 2019! There’s lots of work to be done, but thankfully, as I edited this episode last week and listened to Jim’s story again, it made me realize how worthwhile stories like his are.
Jim and I met last year, and found that we could easily talk for over 8 hours in one sitting—shout out to the cafe employees who saw that we’d been there a while and gave us free ice cream! After that, though, I knew he’d be a great addition to the podcast—he’s thoughtful, humble, and always willing to learn more.
In 2014, after making the leap from ski bum to adventure photographer. And while in Chile on an expedition with a travel partner, he broke his back while snow kiting and was soon paralyzed from the sternum down. Life as a photographer and athlete, as he knew it, was about to be drastically changed.
He’ll tell you more about it in the episode, but Jim’s had an amazing recovery over the last few years, and it’s ongoing. To that end, he’s been able to return to skiing and biking recently, and his recovery has garnered the attention of many. And earlier this year, he signed an athlete contract with Adidas Terrex.
In this episode, I ask Jim more about his “mental” journey during the physical seeming-set backs. How has he reconciled planning with going with the flow? Why do goals even matter? How can we redefine success in a more healthy way? How can we navigate the aftermath of unexpected life-altering events? How can we avoid getting “stuck” when we have big goals (like learning to walk again, or writing a book)?
I hope you find our conversation insightful, with a few takeaways to integrate into your day. And now on to the episode!
In this episode we get to dive into…
How Jim went from ski bum, to adventure photographer, to paralyzed
His unlikely recovery from bed rest to walking
How his lifestyle, income, circle of friends, and identity had to shift, post-accident
How he’s started paving his own path, against the standard of what “normal” culture dictates (6:40)
How his college choice was unknowingly the beginning of “going against the grain”
Boredom as a luxury
How Jim balances intentional life-planning and “going with the flow”
Jim’s key to success
The difference between “effort-ing” vs. “letting”
The role our “training” plays in allowing us to take advantage of opportunities that come our way
How to cultivate a healthy “detachment” to our work, our craft, or competition
How to use each challenge as “training” for the next event
Will we ever “arrive”?
How to cope with disappointments along the path
The deal with “delayed happiness”
Why do we even aim to reach goals?
How to reframe success so we can experience it more often
How to transform the mundane into something playful
The choices we can have when facing relationship struggles
The question we should all be asking ourselves when it comes to relationships
The better metric to use to measure happiness
Faulty expectations in our relationships (and in life), and how to counteract those
How to navigate the aftermath of unexpected life-altering events
How to avoid getting “stuck” with huge overwhelming goals
The importance of finding where we’re in “flow”
Referred to in the ‘cast…
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi