Living Your Why Nots


A secret to a rich life is to have more beginnings than endings.
-David Weinbaum

Point To Ponder:
Will you answer your ‘why nots?’ with excuses and keep putting life off or will you saddle up, take the bull by the horns, and ride into the sunset?

Action Item:
Compile a list of your ‘why nots?’ and without a single excuse, start now! (Example: Why not learn to swim? Why not learn another language? Why not start or finish the day in prayer?)

by Neissa Springmann

by Neissa Springmann

A few weeks ago, Kathleen Parker and I were asked if we were planning to compete in the Austin Fittest Competition. I responded with a “no”, while Kathleen quietly and humbly said that she was considering it, especially after having seeing the movie, We Bought a Zoo. She explained that during the movie Matt Damon described (to his children) how he had met his wife, their mother. He told them that he spotted her in a coffee shop and was instantly mesmerized. He very easily could have let the fear of rejection dissuade him from approaching her, but instead he asked himself “Why not?” and decided to say hello. Needless to say, they fell in love and ended up a married two-some.

Interestingly, this was the last that Kathleen and I discussed anything about the competition, until one week later when I found out that that she placed first in her age division… INCREDIBLE!  Upon learning about her tremendous success, we celebrated over a delicious slice of chocolate cake while reviewing the details of her event. Ironically, upon arriving, Kathleen was completely unaware that she would compete with a Camp Mabry size group of competitors, which I can honestly say would have intimidated me to the point of becoming ill… but not Kathleen. Instead, she enthusiastically adopted the “Why Not” attitude and gave 100% effort in the following fit tests:

  1. Standing Medicine Ball ThrowKathleenParker-1
  2. Standing Broad Jump
  3. 40 Yard Dash
  4. Agility Cone Run
  5. Precision Throw
  6. Pull Ups (until giving up)
  7. Burpees (one minute)
  8. Hand Grip
  9. Interval Run
  10. 1 Mile Run

Read about Kathleen’s competition story here

What I love about Kathleen’s story is that she did not let the fear of the unknown or failure stop her from trying. After all, what did she have to lose? Money? No. The registration fee was only $35.00. Pride? No. She wasn’t participating for the notoriety. An opportunity to meet new people, try something new and encounter a physical and mental challenge? YES! In addition and most importantly, Kathleen was honoring her spirit by participating in something that she wanted to do. Had she not at least tried, she would’ve always wondered and possibly had regret, which in my opinion is the worst thing we can do to ourselves and others. Inspiration begets inspiration and fortunately, Kathleen has two amazing parental role models, Marjorie and Bill, who gave her a foundation of confidence and continue to be sources of strength.

Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.  -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Unfortunately, I never had the blessing of meeting Mrs. Swinney, however Kathleen describes her as unconditionally kind, faithful, calm and compassionate, even while raising six children! And, she always encouraged Kathleen to try her very best and chase her wildest dreams. Today happens to be Marjorie’s birthday and there is no doubt that she is a very proud mother.

As for Kathleen’s father, at 88 (almost 89), Mr. Swinney is one of a kind, as he is the definition of hard work, perseverance and strength. I have had the fortunate experience of meeting him several times and there’s no doubt that he is living life in a BIG kind of way. For example, he recently sold his house and ranch (that he built) to now prepare for the adventure to personally build another. He doesn’t believe in downfalls, but rather views them as challenges to learn from and overcome. Age for Bill is simply a number and will never limit his goals and aspirations.

With or without encouraging parents, we’ve all experienced setbacks and disappointments, which have most likely created scar tissue around our spirits (our hearts). However and fortunately, scar tissue can be broken down and doesn’t have to stop you from pursuing a career, hobby, relationship, activity, new habit or the life you’ve always wanted! In fact, you have the final say in what you can do with your life. It’s not up to fate, money or anyone else to pursue your spirit’s callings. It is your responsibility to fill your life with moments of insane courage, embarrassing bravery and give yourself the gift of living your why nots. After all, why not?


JOIN THE DISCUSSION- What is one area of your life that needs a ‘Why Not?’ 

Related Posts:

Other related resources we think you will enjoy:

2 thoughts on “Living Your Why Nots

  1. Pingback: The First Step | the iGnite blog

  2. Pingback: The First Step: Be True to Yourself | the iGnite blog

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s