Would you ever jump out of a perfectly good airplane? Or would you step out of your comfort zone and do something challenging that will boost your confidence and change your life?
Well, this is something we should all do more often. Why?
Because human beings need to challenge and grow continually, this is how we work at our best potential; this is how we become more confident in life.
In this new Ted Talk episode, Ted shares his recent experience. What was in his mind during, how did he feel afterward. Plus, he talks about how you can get out of your comfort zone and find a way to challenge yourself and feel alive again. Remember, life is short. We need to focus on what matters now.
How to do that? Find out from a new Ted Talk episode in which Ted Ryce will talk about his recent skydiving experience and the benefits of challenging ourselves in a way that leads to transformation! Listen now!
- About Ted’s recent skydiving experience
- Why did Ted need to take this challenge
- What did Ted learn from his skydiving experience?
- How to boost your confidence
- Do that one thing you’ve been putting off!
- And much more…
Click Play to see a short video of Ted’s skydiving experience:
Episode Transcript: I Jumped Out of a Plane This Weekend, and This Was All I Could Think ...
Ted Ryce: Would you ever jump out of a perfectly good airplane? In other words, would you go skydiving? Well, I've been talking about it for years, but I finally had the opportunity to go. And I did it last week, and it was incredible.
So today, in this Real Talk Friday, I want to talk a little bit about how to challenge ourselves in a way that leads to transformation, and how experiences are the key to that. And if you've been listening to this podcast for a while, you know this is something that I come back to over and over again. And the reason is, it's not that I run out of things to talk about, it's because repetition hammers this home.
So, if you are just tuning in for the first time, welcome to the Legendary Life podcast. We usually on Mondays have either an interview or we go deep into the science of health and fitness, and behavior change, and sometimes I do these trainings. But on Real Talk Friday, we just have a conversation. It's more conversational, we talk about stuff and things. We talk about life, you know, I talk about some of the things that I'm going through, and lessons that of course, you can take away. And that is really the goal with this podcast.
You know, it's funny, I'm spending a lot of time on Twitter. And I shared in a story there, a story that I've shared many times on the podcast and other places, but I'm kind of new to Twitter, and I shared how I overcame some of the struggles that I had, and how I was in a really bad place in my life before. And then someone said, and it's so funny, we always remember, like, everyone says such nice things, but there's always this one person who says something negative and we just remember it, you know what I'm talking about?
Anyway, this person, I think it was a man, pretty sure it was man—or better, a boy would be a more accurate representation, at least of his maturity level. But, pretty sure it was a male, a cisgendered, whatever. Anyway. And he said, “Oh, yeah, okay, you're just sharing this because your virtue signaling,” is basically what he said. I'm like, “Oh, man, you must be new here because it's not why I'm here.” And again, returning to that idea, I really, you know, I tried to entertain as well as educate. And some people don't like that so much, but that's the...You know, I've got to have fun here.
Listen, let me give you an idea of what's going on right now. I'm recording this episode in my new Airbnb. And the floors are very reflective, so I've got a heavy blanket over not just the computer and microphone but also over me to give you the best audio quality. So sometimes I've got to make some jokes just to keep me in the game here, keep me focused, and to have some fun. And that's how we roll here.
Now, let me share with you my skydiving experience. I've been talking about skydiving for years; I've been wanting to go and do skydiving for years. I've had the money to do it for years. But I just for whatever reason, just haven't gone. And it's something I really wanted to do. It's a test I wanted to...It's something I wanted to check off. I didn't know if it would be my thing. Like, I would get into it and do it regularly, kind of how scuba diving became something that I became very passionate about. But I wanted to do it, I wanted to check off that box.
And I finally did it, and it was incredible. Let me tell you, there's nothing like being in this airplane—and I was in a really small airplane. In Florida, they've got a big airplane where I was going to do it previously, in Dalian, Florida, which is a place where people from all over the world come to get trained in skydiving. They have a big airplane there, but I was in Imbituba , which is a city in the south of Brazil. As you know, if you've been listening, I've been in Florianopolis, so I drove about an hour and a half south to the city to go skydiving, and the scenery was incredible. And if you haven't seen the video, check out my Instagram. I put it up everywhere on social media, but I had a professional video done, and it was incredible.
The guy, by the way, its so funny, people...The video is really well done. And the guy is amazing. He's just one of those people who has a lot of talent, but it makes me look so much better than, you know, I mean, how many people have done skydiving with tandem jumps? So many, right? It's not that unusual or that uncommon of a thing. But it just makes it look amazing. The song choice, the editing, it makes it look incredible.
And so it was kind of funny, the comments that people made, they're like, “Oh, yeah, well, I've been skydiving, whatever.” And it's like, 'Well, yeah, I know, but what have you done lately? This is just something I've done and you know, it's just the video that makes it look so cool.” And the scenery there was incredible, let me tell you, incredible! You've got to see the video. And you'll see just how beautiful the place was. And also, it captures a bit of the insanity, that is, jumping out of an airplane at 10,000 feet in the air or 12,000 feet in the air.
And so I was in this small plane, we're not in a seat, I was in like the trunk area, right? What you would call the trunk area, I guess, of a car, right? Kind of a hatchback type of thing where the seats are down and you stuff your things back there. That's where I was with the guy who I was going to jump with, the instructor who I was going to do a tandem jump with. And we were just having a conversation, and let me tell you, speed on a small plane fuels very fast. The takeoff, I was like, “Oh.” I mean, I fly all the time, but in a passenger jet, you don't really feel it. I mean, you feel it, of course, but you get used to it. But in this small plane, you really felt the speed. It was intense, just the takeoff.
And I thought I was going to be nervous, and I was okay. And I had a cappuccino earlier. And I typically avoid caffeine because I am a person with a high anxiety level, so I can get triggered very easily, my anxiety can get triggered very easily, it’s something I've learned to overcome and live with. But at the same time, it's not a fun experience, it just adds to the already challenging situation, especially if you're going to jump out of a plane. But I never really had any problem.
That said, when I'm up in this four-person passenger plane, and they open the door at 10,000 feet. And the first guy, he just opens the door, looks out and does a flip, just jumps out of the plane, flips, and hits that freefall—so crazy. Actually, talking about it makes me want to get certified just so I have that experience where I have to jump on my own, because that's hardcore. When you do a tandem jump, you don't jump on your own. The instructor had me tilt my head back to make sure that I didn't try to stop the jump from happening, right?
I should have told him, “I'm the guy who always waits a little bit longer in theme park so I can ride in the front of the roller coaster.” It's true, I wait, and I try to get everyone who I'm with, “Come on. Let's ride in the front. We're here, we're not going to...This is just a every once in a while opportunity. Let's go in the front. Let's do it.” It's just the fear that we have to experience, it's not necessarily the, you know, there's no danger, is what I'm saying.
But anyway, he had me tilt my head up and then just jumped. And you feel...And the guy who was recording this experience for me, right? I'm attached to my instructor. I'm like…Have you ever seen...? If you've never done this before, when you're jumping tandem with an instructor, so two people are jumping, you're jumping with someone who's highly qualified in skydiving, you get strapped on.
If you've ever seen a parent with a baby in the front on their chest. That's what I felt like. I felt like this guy's baby strapped on his chest. Not the most, you know…it was a little humbling, let's say. You don't feel like, “Yeah, I'm jumping out of a plane, I'm such a badass!” It’s like, no, you're strapped to some guy's chest. He's really the badass here. You're strapped to his chest like a baby, you know?
But the guy who was recording stepped out of the plane, okay, stepped out of the plane. The plane's 10,000 feet in there, the guy stepped out of the plane, and he's just hanging on to the side. I don't know how fast the plane was going, but you feel the wind when you're out there. And he was stepping out just holding on like Tom Cruise Mission Impossible style, holding on to the side of a plane as it's flying through the air. Yeah. As I talk about this, I start to realize, wow, I really need to get certified and do this.
Choose to have those experiences! I don't know if, again, skydiving will be my thing, but it was pretty, pretty incredible. In fact, there's one part of this skydiving experience... So I was fine, the freefall, it's insane, all right? It's so quick, though. It feels like after it's over, it's hard to remember, it's why I like diving better, you really get to savor the experience when you're scuba diving. You're down there, there's the descent, there's the staying down there, there's the looking at things, and it takes minutes. And you can see sea life and you can do caves or caverns, and check out these stalactites, stalagmites that are millions of years old, hundreds of thousands of years old, who knows? I'm not a geologist.
And in skydiving, it's just wham bam, and it's just over so quick. But it's definitely an experience that I recommend, that if you have any curiosity about, go do it!
The rest of the day, I was just…Actually, it just kicked me into a higher gear ever since I've done that. I've been more confident. And lately, I've been struggling with confidence, and not that I have any issues about myself, I've got a ton of issues about myself. I don't know what I'm talking about right now. But what I mean is this, what I mean is after my father's death, and everything that I went through at the beginning of the year with COVID and I was in the same city as my ex-wife/business partner, and it was tough emotionally to be with her. And we got sick, and we spent a lot of time together.
And I was very reliant on her at the beginning of the year because I was in Brazil, didn't speak the language. And also, I had a lot of fear about being in Brazil. I mean, I've been to many – Colombia, I've been to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, I've traveled all around Southeast Asia, but Brazil has a reputation of being more dangerous. And it's during the pandemic, and I just...Yeah, it was tough when I first got to Brazil.
So even though I switched cities, I went to Floripa, which is probably the safest city in Brazil. Let me tell you, if you go to Brazil, go to Floripa, the place is incredible. Everybody goes to Rio, or Sao Paulo, and if you know what you're doing in Brazil, okay, but otherwise go to Floripa. You will have an incredible experience here. The food's amazing, the people are super cool. They're a little colder. You know, they're not as warm and friendly as people in the central or north of Brazil. But I mean, I come from Miami so they're a lot nicer, a lot more friendly than where I come from.
Anyway, even though I was in Floripa, I still felt like I was in this situation where I needed something to get me out of my head, like really, in a bit of an extreme situation. Now, I did a bunch of things in Floripa, but none of them gave me what I needed. And what I mean by need. I mean the results. And this is such an important point here, state results oriented in your life.
So many of us, we say, “Well, but I'm doing this and I'm doing that, I'm trying this, I've tried that.” Great, but pay attention to the results. So I just didn't do anything that gave me that result that I was looking for, something to bump me up a level. And so I jumped out of a plane, and you know what? It did it for me. I overcame a lot of resistance. I didn't want to drive an hour and change to the city south of where I was staying. I didn't want to take the time away from... I did it on my last day in Florianopolis, and I could have done other things. And I didn't want to do something that was so extreme, right? I wanted to do something more relaxing. Yet, when I did it, it was exactly what I needed.
And here's another tip here; a lot of times what we don't want to do, what we feel like we...Oh, gosh, I really feel like I need to conquer this. I have some discomfort that comes up for me when I think about this thing. And in my case, it was going skydiving. But you just don't want to do it. Those are the things usually that give you the most bang for your buck, the things that make you get out of your comfort zone.. The biggest benefit, the biggest result, and they tend to be the things that we don't want to do. We don't want to have that conversation with our partner, our children, we don't want to have that uncomfortable conversation with our boss or ask for a raise or switch jobs.
We don't want to do the thing in our heart that we know we should do or really want to do, but we have the resistance to change, resistance to discomfort. And this happens to everybody. Don't let anyone ever fool you, we all develop this resistance.In fact, one of the things that happened, when I shared this skydiving experience is a lot of people came out and said, “Yeah, I did it 10 years ago, it was awesome.” You know, it's kind of funny, you know, when you share something, and then people like, want to tell you, “Oh, I've already done that,” right. But it's like, yeah, I did this, and I did it for me, because it's not something I've done.
I've competed in Brazilian jujitsu, I've done scuba diving 100 feet under the water. I've scuba dived with bull sharks. I've done a lot of extreme things, done zip lines, a lot of extreme things. This is just the thing that I chose now, because it's something I haven't done. Does that make sense? Because things that we've already done, a lot of us…
The point is this, a lot of us try to live in the past, on our past achievements, but that's not how human beings work. What we need to do is we need to continually challenge and grow, probably the number one thing that we need to do as human beings is to challenge ourselves and to grow. Why? Because there's something called hedonic adaptation. And to really shift…
In other words, there was a study that showed people who won the lottery and people who were paralyzed in an accident actually had a brief spurt. In the case of lottery winners, they were super happy. In the case of the recently paralyzed people, they were super depressed, right? But they eventually came back to their baseline level of happiness.
And so the question becomes, if winning the lottery isn't going to improve my life in the ways that I think at least emotionally, right? Yeah, of course, now you're driving around in a more expensive car, now you've got more expensive clothes, now you've got more time on your hands. There's also a dark side to that. Now, it's like, well, all that struggle is gone, trying to pay your bills, and now you're left with your actual problems (the next level of problems). I shouldn't say your actual problems, it's the next level of challenges in life.
The challenges never go away. The same thing, you know, with the paralyzed people, they shifted back to their baseline level of happiness. So how do we shift our baseline level of happiness up then? And it's through, I would argue, these experiences, that we become better versions of ourselves, and continued experiences.
And I'll tell you this, we've got a lot working against us, folks. We've got a negativity bias. You know, I talked about the negative reviews, the negative comments that people make, and why did I focus on that stuff? It just stands out more than positive ones. Do you ever notice that? That's not a psychological thing. It's wiring in the human brain. It's been studied. And the reasoning is that paying more attention to negative things helped us survive, because threats could wipe us out. And good things, although they're amazing, they don't help us survive as much, right? So, I hope that makes sense.
And this has been found over and over again, even with relationships. John Gottman did a TEDx study and found that you need disproportionately larger or greater, I should say, amounts of positive experiences to balance out the negative ones. It's not a one for one ratio. It's like a two for one ratio. It's more, you need more of these positive experiences.
So, I want to ask you right now, what is something that you can do? What is something that you've been putting off? Now, I know it's COVID, I know it's crazy times, I know there's extra risk associated with doing anything, but there's got to be something you can do, what something...?
And it doesn't have to be something that necessarily challenges you, makes you so afraid. It could be something that makes you feel in the moment, gets you into the zone but you've been putting it off because you feel like you need to work more. You need to work harder. You need to give time to other people, give time to your family, perhaps, and you've been putting yourself behind everyone else. You put work first, you put family second, because that's what Americans do. Don't tell me you put family first. We don't put family first, we put work first, work and money first, the vast majority. And if you're one of the exceptions, which you're probably not, great for you. But that's what Americans do.
Go to Asia, you'll see people who really put family first. Or even in Brazil, you'll see people who put family first. In other words, they get a lot of days off from work. And it would be super frustrating for most Americans. It's like, “You're not here 24 hours for me at CBS? How dare you take a day off? You're not working on Thanksgiving? How dare you?” I need to go shopping, or whatever.
So anyway, just our culture, it does... a better way to put it. Individuals, you may put your family first, but as a culture, we don't, we put money first. And so anyway, why not put your...? How can you put yourself first? How can you do something that you need, either something that challenges you or something that just fills you with joy and purpose?
I also want to share this. As most of you know, my dad died in October 2020, on October 3. I still remember the day. It's so funny, right? I don't remember when I got married, the day I got married, but I remember when my dad died. So anyway, another example of that negativity bias, maybe, right, stronger emotional feelings, with the negative events in our lives, encoded into our memory a bit deeper than the positive things.
And in the last few days of my dad's life, he said, “Ted, I want you to live a rich life,” and I really, you know, something that I've thought about a lot when I think about him, I think about that thing that he said. And one of the things that it brings up for me is my dad did live a rich life. He made more money than I did. Him and my stepmother, they're both attorneys. My dad worked for himself, had many clients. Things took a downward turn after my brother's murder, but he did well financially, and was on his way to doing really well until that happened with my brother. And my stepmom worked for the IRS as a tax attorney prosecuting people and she was making six figures a year, which was very good at the time.
And yeah, they had plenty of money and they lived a rich life in a way, but rich for them was more about spending money on material things. And they wanted nice cars, they wanted nice clothes, but only nice clothes to go out in or work in, but not necessarily lounge around in, so they weren't so well-dressed when it wasn't one of those situations, kind of strange.
And they love to go eat out at restaurants, foie gras and expensive red wine. And they traveled and did some cool trips. My dad did a safari in Africa—that's pretty cool—my dad and my stepmom, but they never really invested in, you know, it's so funny, people are like, they want to live a rich life. And it's like, yeah, okay, I have a $10,000 you know, women with $10,000 Hermes bags or whatever, or Louie Vuitton bags, it's like, it doesn't really change you that much as a person, you know, it doesn't challenge you and change you that much as a person.
Like, for example, I know we're kind of switching gears a little bit here, but I still think it's relevant to what we're talking about today, is that we value money, but what we really should focus on is people's success. And what do I mean by that? I've worked with extremely wealthy people. In other words, I can think of a guy who I worked with, he gave his son a $9 million apartment in New York City, also gave him a million dollars to go start a hedge fund with, and the guy never really worked that hard, the son.
And the hedge fund didn’t do well, and the son was kind of a dick, and he never.... I trained the guy a couple times, the son, and trained the dad a lot. Trained the son, and then someone told me, “Oh, man, that guy, he treats people really bad, like servers in restaurants and that type of thing.” And he never did that to me. But that's an example of how he had all this money but he hasn't been tested as a person. He didn't grow through those experiences. He's still very much a boy because he just hasn't had enough of those challenging experiences.
And I was the same way. In Miami, for a while what I did, I bought a BMW, bought $300 pairs of jeans, $500 pair of shoes and this and that, all this other stuff because I wanted to have…I think the thing I would say is I wanted respect from people, I would say I wanted my business to be better. But what I really wanted, I think, if I really dig a bit deeper, is I wanted better connections with people. And I wanted people to think I was interesting or cool or whatever, and just to be like, “Oh, yeah,” and have cool conversations, cool connections. I didn't really need the adoration, but I wanted the connection. I wanted the connection. And when I was single, especially the connection with women.
And what gives us… Here's the thing, this is an example of trying too hard, and we know it when we see it or feel it, the way to improve your emotional state, the way to improve your relationships with others, the way to—and this is my idea of a rich life—is not to buy stuff. Now, look, I like nice clothes. And when I end up buying a car it's going to be a luxury car. I'll buy a luxury place. I like that lifestyle. I like nice stuff. I would love to live on the water. Living on the water is expensive, but ultimately, it's about I invest in myself. For me, living a rich life has to do with the experiences that I have and the connections that I have with others. I can't emphasize this enough.
I've done a lot of things, folks, lived a lot of different places in the world. I'll tell you, it's the experiences that change you, it's living outside... You know, I wanted so badly my $500 shoes and my BMW to make an impact on people, and nobody ever really cared, especially they're just like, “Oh, your shoes are $500? Well, my shoes are $5,000,” they're wearing the Loro Piana or whatever. You can't compete in that level. And so many people, even wealthy people, for those of you who don't know, they struggle with this big time, they have a lot of status anxiety, “Oh, I'm only worth 10 million, but that person's worth 100 million, I'm just a loser compared to them.”
And it's like, no, that's not true. That person could totally be a loser. They're overweight, their kids hate them, their wife left them. I'm assuming it's man, right? Could be a woman, maybe. But that person could be a total loser: poor health, going to die of a heart attack or cancer. People don't like them, but they got a lot of money, right? That's not winning. That's when you spend too much time in one area of your life and neglect the other areas.
Three big areas here. There's our health, there's our relationships, and there's our money. And what I'm telling you here is focusing a bit more on the experiences that you have and not traveling to someplace and staying in an all-inclusive resort where all you do is eat and drink. I'm talking about getting out there and experiencing life: jumping out of planes, doing scuba diving, seeing ancient ruins, going through tours and hearing about the history of a place and letting it change you, experiencing a culture, the way they do things differently, like the way Mexico celebrates…oh, gosh, I've been speaking so much Portuguese, I can't even say the name, but Dia de Muertos, The Day of the Dead, they have a very unique perspective on death.
Having experiences is what changes you, it's what makes you a more interesting person. It's what automatically gives you the respect that so many of us longed for, or at least I longed for, like why don't people respect me? It's like, “Well, because you're not that interesting, man. All you do is you work.” And it's not completely true, because I did a lot of cool things when I was in my 20s, I went to Tahiti, went scuba diving for the first time in Tahiti. I've travelled quite a bit, but I got into a rut.
And when I shared that skydiving video, that's what came up for me when I saw a lot of people, they were talking about their past achievements, and it's like, “What have you done today? What have you done lately?” Like that...What is it? I don’t know is it’s a Paula Abdul song, What Have You Done for Me Lately? I think that's Paula Abdul. Anyway, what have you done lately? That's what matters. It's staying in the game. It's continuously challenging yourself, continuously growing. We're never standing still, we're either moving ahead or falling behind.
So, after listening to this, what can you do? What's something that has been on your list? What's something that you can do in spite...? And I don't mean like, oh, in six months… I mean, this week, today, how about that? What's something you can do today? What's something you can do this week? What's something you can do this month?
And I would even say, let's start with today or this week, something you can do today or this week. A hike even, in nature, if you haven't been in nature for a while. A trip to the beach, if you live close to the beach. What is something that you can do? What is something that you can do and experience and let that experience change you automatically without working so hard? We work so hard to try to improve our standing with others, and it doesn't...
I’m lazy, I don't believe in—I believe in hard work. But the hard work is usually figuring out okay, what do I really need to do here? And then go and doing that, that's what's hard, not working 100 hours a week, when you're working 100 hours a week to avoid talking with your family or dealing with the other things in your life. That's escapism, but as a society, we’ll turn around and say, “Oh, yeah, that's great. You're make a lot of money. You're working hard, 100 hours a week. Oh, yeah. You're a millionaire. Yeah, great.
Who cares?’ Nobody cares, really, you know, except the people who over glorify financial success, or you know, just that part of success, the financial success, but not the journey to get it, you know, and who we have to become and how we balance the other important areas in our life to get it.
So again, what can you do today? What can you do this week? It's something that when it comes up with me and my clients, something that I always coach them on. Once they start getting really comfortable with the fat loss, once they start getting really comfortable with the workouts and they want to do a little bit more like, what else can I work on here? It's like, well, what have you been putting off, that's what you should go and do.
All right, that is up for me. Let's wrap things up now. And I just want to say I love doing these Real Talk Fridays, it allows us to get a bit deeper. I love sharing this stuff with you. And if you haven't subscribed to the podcast, the best way to do that is to wherever you listen to podcast, just click that subscribe button so every time one of my episodes goes live, you'll be the first to know.
That's all I've got for today. And again, I will have an amazing weekend. And I'll see you on Monday. But until then, love you, and go crush something, go do something that either challenges you, emotionally challenges you or makes you feel amazing, something that gets you into the moment like being in nature, taking a trip to the beach. It doesn't have to be a challenge and so hardcore, it could be relaxing, but just go do something.
That's it for me. Speak to you on Monday!
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