10 Lessons I Learned After Moving To California

Written By: Todd Kuslikis
October 01, 2016


Its been one year since my family and I moved to California.

When we started this journey we didn’t know a single soul here. It was a leap of faith. A lot has happened since then and I thought it was about time to update my Shot of Adrenaline family on the more personal side of Bodyweight Todd’s life. 😉

I once heard a great man say, “When climbing the steps of success, it is important to often stop, turn around and see how far you’ve come. This helps create the drive to continue on because you realize how far you’ve come.”

With this said, consider this post to be me turning around, stopping and reflecting on the lessons learned over the last year of my life. I hope that you’ll find value for your own life as you pursue your own version of greatness.

Top 10 Lessons Learned After Moving To California

  1. On the plane to California!

    On the plane to California!

    You Can Not Discover New Oceans Unless You Have The Courage To Lose Sight Of The Shore ” – Andrew Gide

Growth occurs when you are stretched. This picture to the right is of Allison, Emma and Landen as we were flying from the only home we ever knew to a city 2,322 miles away, San Jose, California.

We left the comfort of family, friends, and church.


We felt called by God.

When you have a calling, a vision, a dream… pursue it. Believe that things will work out. Step out in faith. No man has ever found new oceans without losing sight of the shores of comfort.

Christmas 2015

Christmas 2015

2. “Everyone needs a house to live in, but a supportive family is what builds a home.” – Anthony Liccione

After moving to California, both Allison and I were deeply lonely. It was difficult to make real connections. By the time Christmas rolled around both of us felt isolated and home sick. Normally, Christmas is filled with family traditions and large get-togethers.

Knee Health Score 2

This last year, we celebrated Christmas with just the four of us. It was hard but we relied on each other and we grew from the experience.

It taught me that you can create your own family traditions and start anew. It taught me that you can feel at home wherever your family is, as long as you support and love each other.

3. “As you grow older, you learn a few things. One of them is to actually take the time you’ve allotted for vacation.” – John Battelle

screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-10-24-15-pmFor vacation this year we went to Yosemite. We went in the Spring time and it was incredible. There where beautiful waterfalls and hiking.

The picture to the right was taken just before a majestic bald eagle flew within 20 feet of us then soared off to perch on one of the distant trees.

Now that we live in Silicon Valley, we experience a pace that is much faster than Grand Rapids. Entrepreneurs and professionals buzz all around us striving to create wealth, disrupt marketplaces and make a name for themselves.

But I ask, “At what cost?”

Often times we get swept away by what the world tells us is important. But we forget that this life is also a gift for us to enjoy.

Our trip to Yosemite was a gentle reminder to stop… and enjoy the moment.

screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-10-24-33-pm4. “Like timidity, bravery is also contagious.” Munshi Premchand

Emma is typically our very timid little girl. She will measure twice and cut once. She moves slowly to make decisions and is truly the definition of “cautious”.

That’s why it was so surprising when we brought her to the dentist for the first time. Even though it was new and a bit scary she showed bravery and it made us so proud.

Why is bravery contagious? Because it dispells unfounded fear. I believe fear is most often unfounded. Fear is believing lies that things will not be alright. Its sad that some people live their lives in fear. But bravery can be contagious because it kills fear and allows the human spirit to rise up and achieve great things.

And isn’t that what we were made to do?

Emma with Brad Castleber

Emma with Brad Castleber

5. “You couldn’t have strength without weakness…” – Jodi Picoult

In the last month, I have been learning the importance of weakness. When I first started my journey into the arena of “success” I believed the lie that success depended upon me.

I had to make myself a “self-made man” and learn more, do more, achieve more.

Now, I realize that true strength, lies within weakness.

There is a power that can live in and through you if you choose to surrender. To stop the fight. To rest.

A coach of mine used this analogy to describe true surrender… “There was a traveler walking on the side of the road carrying all of his burdens. He then heard something from behind. It was a man in a carriage. The man welcomed the traveler onto the carriage which he happily expected. A moment passed and the man saw the traveler still carrying his burdens. ‘Friend, why don’t you set your burdens down in the carriage. I can carry them for you.’ The man replies, ‘Oh no, I must carry them. I don’t believe the carriage will be able to carry them.'”

Be weak. Surrender. Trust. Let go.

It is for freedom… that you have been set free.

screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-10-24-48-pm6. “The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.” Albert Schweitzer

Yep, that is Landen stuck, literally inside his chair.

The funny thing is that he kept going in there over and over again. Then he’d realize he can’t get out and start crying.

We’d pull him out and he’d go right back in there.

Don’t we all do that sometimes? Sometimes we don’t learn our lessons. We are like children that know something is not right for us but go back to it over and over again.

I learned the importance of having compassion and the importance of serving others. Be open to the needs of others.

screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-10-24-57-pm7. “Some days there won’t be a song in your heart. Sing anyway.” – Emory Austin

The picture on the right is a growth on Landen’s gums (I’m actually tearing up writing about this).

It was a big scare. We noticed this growth getting bigger and bigger several months ago on our trip to Michigan. We immediately brought him to the ER at one of the top children’s hospitals in Michigan.

Two experts assessed his gums and had no idea what was going on. We then brought him to experts here in San Jose and received the same news that this could be a very serious problem. The deepest fear of a parent started to become real for Allison and me. We braced ourselves for the worst.

Finally, on the recommendation of a friend from church we brought him to another pediatric dentist and he found the cause of the problem. A small chip of Landen’s tooth had gotten lodged up in his gum and was causing severe swelling and hardness. With a swipe of his blade and a yank of his tweezers, he pulled it out.

The swelling went down within a week and now he is back to normal. I learned that there will often be challenging things that happen in life… sing anyway. By joyful always.

screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-10-25-06-pm8. “Every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing.” – Barry Finlay

This is one of my favorite lessons that I keep learning over and over again.

Success is not immediate but if you keep climbing, eventually you’ll get there… but you must have persistence.

Its king. Be patient and persevere, then you’ll be successful.

Many of you know that I have co-founded a new company called RallyAll. We’ve had some incredible challenges including…

  • Going to market with the wrong idea
  • Raising capital
  • Laying off key employees
  • Not knowing who we are in the market place
  • And so much more.

BUT… when you are climbing a mountain you must keep going. (I’ll have more info on the company and a challenge we are starting in a bit ;)).

screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-10-25-13-pm9. “Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.” – Rumi

Each of us has our own path to forge. Don’t allow others to decide it for you.

You were given unique strengths, ideas and creativity. Harness it. Focus it and align it with the vision for your life and as Rumi sates above… “unfold your own myth.”

Les Brown once said, “The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry our their dream.”

screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-10-25-22-pm10. “Accept challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.” George S. Patton

As a call to action for this final lesson, I’d like to challenge you.

Earlier, I mentioned that I co-founded a new company called RallyAll. Well, we just released a new app for Android and iPhone and starting on Monday, I’ll be leading groups through my 7 Day Ultimate Push Up Challenge.

Here is a picture of what it looks like inside the app. I’d love to see you inside. I’ll be in the app answering questions and motivating you too.

If you’ve found this post motivating than its time to take action. Are you in on the challenge? Taste the exhilaration of victory.

Join me, starting this Monday in the 7 Day Push Up Challenge.

The Ultimate 7 Day Push Up Challenge

Here are the links below. Its completely free to join. After you install the app on your phone, find the 7 Day Ultimate Push Up Challenge and hit the start button for Monday.

The 7 Day Ultimate Push Up Challenge (iPhone) <= Install RallyAll for iPhone

The 7 Day Ultimate Push Up Challenge (Android) <= Install RallyAll for Android

Here’s to the challenge and continuing to learn and grow on this journey of life!

-Bodyweight Todd



Show/Hide Comments (2 comments)
  1. Maurice

    Hi Todd it is one of the best articles you have sent. Many thanks and greetings from London.
    Maurice De Silva.

    • Todd Kuslikis

      Thanks Maurice. I’m glad you liked the article.

      – Todd

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