Jesse Itzler has a list of accomplishments a mile long: He co-founded the private jet card company Marquis Jet, and engineered the coconut-water craze by partnering with Zico, which they then sold to Coca-Cola. He also owns the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks and is married to Spanx founder Sara Blakely.
No one achieves this type of success without a knowing how to push to new levels of “normal”.
Jesse is no stranger to pushing himself beyond the bounds of what most people consider mentally or physically possible. He personally believes life should be experienced not simply survived.
He has challenged thousands of others to believe as such and encourages them to refuse to live a life of mere existence. He likes stepping out of the box and making himself uncomfortable for the sake of a challenge.
The following quote from Jesse best describes his passion for life and unwillingness to ever settle for simply being:
“Most of my successes in life have come from learning how to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.”
Making Life a Challenge
Jesse’s life philosophy was put to the test when he found himself sort of drifting through life in autopilot. He had found success in his life, but felt like he had reached a point in his existence where he needed a new challenge.
That’s when he decided to hire an unconventional trainer to live with him for a month’s time.
This trainer was a former, highly accomplished Navy Seal, who was known by many as the “toughest man on the planet”.
After this experience, Jesse wrote the book, “Living With a Seal: 31 Days Training With The Toughest Man on the Planet”. This book has gone on to become an LA Times and New York Times best seller.
Most recently, Jesse has issued a new challenge not only to himself but to his followers on social media. This challenge takes some of the challenges from the book and expands them.
His most recent challenge is labeled “Everything Challenge for Charity.” It is known on social media as #2017 of Everything. You can join his Facebook group here.
Jesse said he started the challenge as a way to motivate others as well as himself toward a specific goal that being giving up physical comfort for charity. He started the challenge on January 1st and it will run until January 31st.
He challenged followers to do as he was doing, complete 2,017 burpees, 2,017 sit-ups, 2,017 pushups, 2,017 dips and 2,017squats, throughout the month of January.
Once he posted the challenge on Instagram, Facebook, and other social media platforms, he was surprised by the amount of interest in the challenge. He soon realized how many people wanted to take part, so he decided to sweeten the pot so to speak.
He said the following to his social media followers:
“Look, I kinda don’t want to do this challenge alone. For every person who completes this challenge, I will donate $100 to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.”
People from all over the world joined in the challenge. This community joined together on Facebook and the challenge took on a life of its own. Friendships were formed thanks to the fact that it brought people together not only for fitness but for philanthropy as well.
Jesse likes to call it “fitlanthropy.”
Jesse is going to continue coming up with challenges throughout the year and help raise even more money for charities throughout the process. He believes the success of the challenge showcases people’s desire not only to challenge themselves but also to give back to others.
Jesse has achieved abundant business and physical success throughout his life. He believes we should all continue to challenge ourselves to rise above expectations and live life to its fullest.
This, of course, includes giving back to charities along with challenging our bodies on a continuous basis.
Thankfully, Jesse has found an ingenious way to take care of both things by combining a fitness challenge with charitable giving.
Best selling author, Brian Horn is long time entrepreneur and business writer for The Huffington Post, Small Business Trendsetters and Entrepreneur Magazine. He is also an in demand speaker that has traveled the world entertaining and educating audiences.