I have been thinking a lot. About a lot. For a bit of a timeline January 1 2015 I committed to doing Yoga every single day. There were tons of reasons to do it, but honestly when I think about the biggest things that drove me to do it was that I could. I wanted to prove it to myself that I could, any ‘reason’ I can come up with to say I couldn’t was just part of the script of bullshit that is just running in the back of my mind. I eat every day, brush my teeth every day, I sleep every day, if I am saying something is important to me why wouldn’t I commit to a daily practice. 2015 came and went staying true to the commitment I made. I made a significant 2-week trip to Chile after which I came back engaged. While on the trip we met several people from around the world that were traveling for extended periods: 4 months, 6 months, 9 months, etc. all of it seemed crazy to me. “who can afford this?” “how did they just leave everything behind” “will they have a job when they get back?”. My whole life I have been extremely risk-averse. I have always wanted predictability, stability, etc. I started investing for retirement at 16 years old if that gives you any sense of how my mind works. I had a coworker take a year off of work to sail about the world- this was also fascinating to me. 2015 came to a close, one of my friends went on a trip around the world basically for a year (they are still on the trip right now). All of my other friends and myself included could not believe it. Asked ourselves all of the questions above about the people we met in Chile. I found out a few weeks ago that the inspiration behind the trip was partly due to Tim Ferriss’ book The Four Hour Work Week.
2016 started up really smooth and predictable. My daily/weekly routines were well defined, when I was not doing something specific I was watching TV. A side not about me is that I hate TV. I had this seed in my mind that there was something more, I wanted to expand myself. WTF does that mean? I didn’t properly define it, but I saw where I was: 26 years old, I have a good job making good money, getting married to my best friend in the fall, but I realized I have become extremely comfortable. I could easily have steady incremental personal growth, retire at 58 years old a millionaire several times over (because I have been saving since 16), blah blah blah… What really solidified this need to change was a discussion I had with a friend that lives in North Carolina. He talked about selling his truck to help fund his business, the opportunities he is going after, talked about The Tim Ferriss Show and 4HWW. This is what got me hooked on the TF Show podcast- I started listening to it the next week and found the interviews to be fascinating. Then in one of them he mentioned setting up a “self directed MBA” this phrase stuck with me and immediately started googling different SDMBA guides that already exist out there. I found the Thumotic one, which I think is a good one for everything I am looking at doing.
There was one final event that really made me question everything I am currently doing. My friends started their Yoga studio. I have helped them along the way to develop a financial plan and business plan for their studio. In the process it made me realize how achievable starting a business is, and the most important ingredient is passion. A lot of other things go into it, but any kind of success is driven by passion.
Something interesting has happened in the last two months that I didn’t expect.
I have been doing a ton of reading, listening, and digesting everything which has led me to discover some underlying themes I have been missing.
The Good Life-Most of the books so far have talked about “the good life” in some form. None of these books were necessarily driving that premise, they were about productivity, maximizing your abilities, learning, how to act, etc. What I have found is that there is a consistent thread between all of these books and podcasts is the search for this “good life” and understanding of what it even is. I can honestly say that i have never defined what success is- in the past I would say something like “achieving your goals”. But it needs to go deeper than that what are your goals and why do they matter to you? It sounds obvious, but if your goals do not contribute positively to your life, they don’t really matter that much. If your vision of “success” is defined by achieving your goals, you presume the underlying assumption that your goals matter.
Serendipity-My safe lifestyle has become too predictable, not enough serendipity, if I think about it, what am I doing with my life?? I read this quote once: “Your comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing grows there”. I was at a point where I didn’t see myself growing, I didn’t have an inspiring 3 year personal vision, I was going to wake up one day and realize I was 60 years old and haven’t lived. In more than one of the books I have read the Ben Franklin quote: “most people die at 25 and aren’t buried until 75”
Success-Success isn’t correlated with $$$. I have always heard this and understood it from a certain level. But it wasn’t until today actually that I truly understood it. The concept of time wealth and experiences making a full life are what makes a person successful. Also, not only that, but adversity is where you grow the most. I need to read some of the Stoics, but I think they are on to something by seeing negative experiences. A quote from Marcus Aurelius: “the universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make of it”
Meditation-Meditation is extremely important. Almost all of the TF Show interviews have mentioned something about meditation habits. I started daily meditation about 45 days ago today.
Passion-Passion is an important driver in having a full life. My new rule is that if you are not passionate about what you are doing, make a plan for that to change significantly in the next 6-12 months.
Growth-I have heard this and read this over and over again: “if you are not growing, your dying”
Dreams-In the manga/anime Berserk Griffith’s speech about dreams is great. This is a rough quote from the anime “Dreams can vary- they can breathe life into men, and can cage them in suffering. Men live and die by their dreams, but long after they have been abandoned they still smolder in their hearts. Never rely on another’s dream. Have your own reason for living and put your heart and sole into that dream.”
Anyways, now I am on this journey. I feel like a caterpillar that crawled into its cocoon for a transformation with no clue of the beauty that lay ahead. If this is the shift in perspective I have had after 4.5 books and 40 podcasts, I cannot wait to see what is to come.