Back in February I decided to start flexing my writing muscles again. I actually made a semi-public statement about it to create some accountability for myself. I did not do a very good job of following through on that! So…..here I am again on September 6th seven months later making the same affirmation. The good news is that we all have a choice each day. We can begin anew at any moment of our choosing. I choose now!
I found this amazing rock on my way to summit the Middle Teton this past weeekend....More about this very special rock later.
Here is a link to that post from back in February. It is a pretty good read if I do say so myself and it has a sampling of some pretty good pics I have taken since moving to the Tetons. Check it out HERE.
Here is my thought from the end of that post:
“I sat down tonight with a firm commitment to begin exercising my writing muscle again. At the top of the page I really had no idea what I might have to say tonight. Just start writing and let it flow. Pure, honest thoughts that are bouncing around in my head. Sitting down and pushing these thoughts onto this page have strengthened my resolve to follow through on the fusion of my running adventures/experiences with my writing and the pictures of the amazing places in this world this will take me.”
Top of the Middle Teton in the Shadow of the Grand
So as an update to my post from back on that very cold, snowy, beautiful winter day here are a few new thoughts and affirmations:
I still am resolved to bring my love for adventure in this life together with my writing and photography. Now 7 months later I have even more clarity about what that might look like. I know it will be a twisting and turning path to get to my destination, but that is where most of the adventure lies. All those wonderful curve balls life throws at you, all the small beautiful moments, to only be noticed if you are present enough and slow down enough to realize that the place you seek to reach is not going any where.
So as I move forward I am going to:
1. Trust my journey.
2. Be present.
3. Follow my heart.
4. Breathe deeply.
5. Nourish my body.
6. Treasure and grow relationships.
7. Create my ideal scene.
8. Shoot every day. My camera that is….;)
9. Write every day.
10. Walk the Earth and be happy.
Each day for the next 10 days I am going to elaborate on each of the above. Make your today great and drink in your life deeply today. None of us are promised tomorrow.
Most of my posts/blogs recently have a common thread how being happy is simple. Simplify your life. Simplify your stuff. Prioritize your happiness. I had a few people tell me that it is not that simple! That life is complicated. Yes, it can be, but that is usually because that as humans we have made it that way. We have this wonderful thing called Free Will. This means that in any moment we can change the direction of of lives. It could be a tiny change or a complete overhaul! Your choice. It could be emotionally, spiritually, physically, or all three. I came across this great post on a blog called Marc and Angel Hack Life. This post is by Marc. You can find the original post HERE.
He boiled it down to 10 actions that will bring happiness every time. I could not find a way to disagree with any of them. Here is his list with a few add-on comments from me:
Appreciate what you have. – If we counted our blessings instead of our money, we would all be a lot richer. Happiness is there if you want it to be. You just have to see that it’s wrapped in beauty and hidden delicately between the seconds of your life. If you never stop for a minute to notice, you might miss it. Read The Happiness Project. DC- And he is not talking about stuff. We are talking relationships and experiences here!
Focus on things that truly matter. – The simple fact that you are even here, alive, on this planet is a divine miracle, and you should not spend the time you have being busy, being miserable. Every moment you get is a gift, so stop focusing on unhappy things, and spend your moments on things that truly matter to your heart. DC- Again, experiences and authentic relationships, not stuff. Be present today. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow!
Define your own meaning of life, and pursue it. – What is the meaning of life? Whatever you want it to be. Don’t fear failure; fear a lifetime of mediocrity due to lack of effort and commitment. There are so many people out there who will tell you that you CAN’T. What you need to do is turn around and say, “Watch me!” DC- The naysayers are the ones who have already given up on their own dreams. Run, don’t walk, as fast as you can away from these people (see #7). Your idea of an ideal life does not have to conform to anyone else’s expectations for yourself. Not your parents, kids, friends and family, etc. Only yours!
Embrace life’s challenges. – You may think that taking a detour in life is a waste of time and energy, but you can also see the detour as a means of learning more about who you are and where you are heading in your life. Being off the beaten path may be disorienting and confusing at times, yet it challenges your creative spirit to discover new ways to build a stronger YOU. In the end, it’s usually the tough situations that feel like your tomb that actually become your cocoon. Hang in there. You’re coming out of this stronger and wiser. DC-Through adversity comes strength and growth. Do not be afraid to fail gloriously!
Find the balance that allows you to be who you truly are. – Your worst battle is between what you know and what you feel. One of the hardest decisions you will ever have to make is when to stay put and try harder or when to just take your memories and move on. Sometimes you have to step outside of the person you’ve been, and remember the person you were meant to be, the person you are capable of being, and the person you truly are. DC- Trust your journey. Follow your heart. Life is a wonderful combination of fate/destiny and free will to make choices along that path. You will get there. Keep moving forward!
Love your body enough to take care of it. – You’re beautiful; but keep in mind that not everyone is going to see that. Never be ashamed of yourself because you are born into one skin. You can scar it, stretch it, burn it, mark it, tan it, and peel it. But you are always in it, so you might as well take care of it and learn to love it. Read The 4-Hour Body. DC- Your body is your vessel for this 100-year journey through this life. It is capable of amazing things. Treat it well. Use it. Feed it clean wholesome foods. It is the only one you get!
Limit your time with negative people. – You can’t make positive choices for the rest of your life without an environment that makes those choices easy, natural, and enjoyable. So protect your spirit and potential from contamination by limiting your time with negative people. DC- I will go a step further. Do not limit, ELIMINATE your time and exposure to negative people. Choose to spend your time with people who share and embrace your positive energy and enthusiasm for life.
Treat others the way you want to be treated. – Be conscious of your attitude and your actions. You may be on top of the world right now – feeling untouchable. You may have all the tools at your disposal to do and say whatever you want. But remember, life is a circle – what goes around, comes around eventually. DC- Karma baby! Everyone you meet is fighting a battle on some front to be their best self. Show them all kindness.
Set a good example. – If you want to empower others in your life, you need to start living the most empowered version of yourself first. You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. Believe in what you want so much that it has no choice but to become your reality. And don’t ever compare yourself to anyone else; stay focused on your own journey and leave footprints behind. Read The Four Agreements. DC- You never know who you may inspire by your actions. Think about the people who have inspired you. Let them know how they impacted you positively. Happiness and inspiration are contagious. Pass it along!
Accept what is, and live for the possibilities that lie ahead. – Never waste your time wondering about what might have been. Get busy thinking about what still might be, and trusting that however it plays out, it will leave you glad that what might have been, never came to be. DC- Be present in this amazing gift of a day you have today and have a positive expectation for all tomorrow and your future can be. Aim high, dream big, set your course, and make it happen! Be flexible along the way trusting that you will arrive where you are meant to be at the right time. Embrace all the sweetness life has to offer.
So there it is: Some tenets of happiness simplified. Do a quick self-inventory of your own actions and attitudes and see where you can improve on any of these. Pick just one for today. Happiness is a choice, an intention. Live you life with a purposeful intention to be happy!
I read a great quick-hit blog post today on minimalism. It was written by a financial planner who has been intrigued by the idea of minimalism so of course he examines what is the cost of having stuff. In very simple terms the more stuff you have the more it cost you to keep it. Physically, mentally, emotionally, monetarily, etc. He created an amazingly complex and high-tech graphic on a very advanced form of paper:
Here is what Carl Richards had to say about this:
Carl Richards is a certified financial planner in Park City, Utah, and is the director of investor education at BAM Advisor Services. His book, “The Behavior Gap,” was published this year. His sketches are archived on the Bucks blog.
When a man named Andrew Hyde began an adventure in minimalism, he only owned 15 things. It eventually moved to 39 and now it sits around 60. It all started when he decided to take a trip around the world and sell everything he didn’t need. As Mr. Hyde noted on his blog, it changed his life after a brief period of befuddlement:
I’m so confused by this. When we were growing up, didn’t we all have the goal of a huge house full of things? I found a far more quality life by rejecting things as a gauge of success.
When I came across his original story of only owning 15 items, I was so inspired I immediately went home and found 15 things to give away. Most of these things were clothes that I had long since stopped wearing, but I held on them because . . . well, just because. In fact I have no idea why I still had a tie I hadn’t worn in four years or a shirt that no longer fit.
I still own way more than 39 things, but getting rid of some of them felt amazingly good. In the process, I realized how much holding on to those things was actually costing me. That is the paradox.
When we hold on to stuff we no longer want or use, it does indeed cost us something more, if only in the time spent organizing and contemplating them. I can’t tell you how many times I have thought about getting rid of that tie (for instance), and every time I went to choose a shirt for the day, I would think about the few that no longer fit.
Even though Hyde’s example is an extreme one, I love thinking about extreme examples because they have the power to compel us to act. In this case I found myself thinking:
Why exactly do you own what you own?
What could you get rid of and not miss?
Do I really still need that?
What is it costing me to own that?
Maybe the attachment to stuff comes in part from a notion that we should be prepared for anything. When David Friedlander interviewed Mr. Hyde about his project, he highlighted this issue:
Americans in particular like to be prepared for the worst-case-scenario, having separate cookie cutters for Christmas and Halloween. We seldom consider how negligible the consequences are when we running out of something or are unprepared. Nor do we consider how high the consequences are for being over-prepared…
Think about that for a second: there’s a consequence for being over-prepared. Often that consequence goes beyond the financial cost. It can easily have a physical cost that we didn’t expect, say in the need for more space to put all of our stuff.
If the idea of cutting down on your possessions is equally appealing, but still daunting, start simple:
At the end of every season, go through your clothes. If you didn’t wear it one time, get rid of it.
This process will generate a stack of stuff. For what it’s worth, don’t try to sell it on eBay. It’s another cost (in time). So save yourself a headache, donate it to a charity and take the tax credit.
You don’t need to get down to 39 possessions to feel the impact. Instead, this exercise is about getting clear on why you own what you own and what it might be costing you to own it.
I started my own journey into minimalism a few years back and it has and continues to be very liberating. You can read one of my original blog posts from early 2011 on this HERE.
By the time I was done minimizing everything I owned it fit in a 10×5 storage unit. I actually moved to the Teton Mountains shortly thereafter and only took two duffle bags, a backpack, and my bike. All these months later and I am still paying $75/mo to store all that crap back in Texas. Aside from a few personal/family items the rest of that stuff in storage can burn as far as I’m concerned.
Now I live in a cozy little cabin that is sparsely furnished mostly with built in furniture that was already there. To this day everything I own here fits in my car. I could pack it all and be on the move any where I want in less than an hour. I love how light and free that feels!
Every now and then I have to take another swim through minimalism and make sure I have not let “stuff” creep back into my life. Re-reading my blog from 18 months ago was a great reminder of how far I have come as well as encouraging to me as to how much adventure and greatness in life I have been able to experience since I have lightened my load both literally and figuratively.
View this original post by me in its entirety HERE.
I have learned to believe that many amazing feats of physical endurance/accomplishment are 80% mental. True you must physical do certain things to train your body to be prepared for certain conditions and to do certain tasks for an extended length of time. You also must properly fuel it and hydrate it to keep the machine functioning at a basic metabolic level.
What I have learned through my own personal experiences running ultramarathons is that our minds are infinitely powerful at controlling, directing, and influencing our bodies into dong things beyond what most people consider to be humanely possible. The body does send certain signals to the brain as a defense mechanism to make the case to our command center that it has had quite enough and that continuing will result in permanent harm or even potentially death. The key as an ultramathoner or other endurance athlete is to know what signal you MUST listen to and which ones are merely your body suggesting that this is very uncomfortable and outside of a long-term sustainable range of action.
This gets me to the main point I making here. The human body is capable of doing some things that are well beyond anything that we think is humanly possible and that the key to breaking through these barriers and going beyond is to tap into an unlock the unlimited power and potential our mind has to see one through a lofty endeavor both mentally and physically.
Endurance swimmer Diana Nyad is an excellent example. She has made numerous attempts to cross the 103 miles from Cuba to Florida. This feat has captured her imagination as an eight year old little girl. Just this morning her latest attempt ended in failure. Failure only in the sense that she did not accomplish YET what she set out to do. I think it is fair to say this will not be the last we hear of Diana and lofty goal.
An article by Steve Siebold published in HuffPost today made some great points about Diana’s mental toughness and tenacity to tap into the mental strength it takes to stay the course in this very daunting and difficult pursuit. Here are 10 great points the author makes about mental toughness:
1. Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is. Nyad has a “Whatever it takes” attitude. She’s made the decision to pay any price and bear any burden in the name of victory. She’s tried over and over again and she’ll probably be back to give it another try in the near future.
2. Nyad embraces obstacles to growth. When most people run into an obstacle, they seek escape. Nyad has a plan to push forward when this happens because she knows facing adversity is part of being successful. Her obstacles included jellyfish, rough seas and thunderstorms, but she kept pushing for as long as she could.
3. Nyad looks to others to support her on so many levels. One of the biggest problems is that most people have no means of accountability or a support system in place when it comes to what they’re trying to accomplish. She has a team helping her every step of the way, and if you get with people who support and encourage you to accomplish your goals, you’re more likely to be successful.
4. Nyad is a learning machine. She spend hours practicing, studying the conditions, looking back on past performances and works closely with her coaches and mentors. If the average person adopted just a fraction of her work ethic, the results they could achieve would be endless.
5. Nyad knows ‘very good’ isn’t ‘best.’ For the average person, to be classified as very good is something to be proud of. For the great ones like Nyad, it’s an insult.
6. Nyad makes “Do or die” commitments. When most people are burned out from the battle, the world-class are just getting warmed up. It’s not that she doesn’t fatigue; but her commitment to her dream keeps her going.
7. Nyad is consistently great. The reason they she is so consistent is because her actions are congruent with her thought processes. She has a very clear mental picture of what she wants, why she wants it and how to move closer to her target objective. Nyad has been thinking of swimming across the Straits of Florida since she was 8 years old.
8. Nyad is coachable. Most people will only accept the amount of coaching their egos will allow. Champions like Nyad are well known for being the most open to world-class coaching. The bigger the champion, the more open-minded they are. You can bet she’s going to have some long coaching sessions when she recovers from this latest attempt.
9. Nyad compartmentalizes her emotions. In other words, she has the ability to put aside anything else going on at that very moment and focus only on the task in front of her. Sure she has things going on in her personal life, but despite that she manages to stay focused on her goal.
10. Nyad is a big thinker. Ask most people what they’re thinking at any given time, and you might be surprised to learn how many think about just getting by. That’s called selling yourself short. Nyad is fearless and focused on manifesting her ultimate dream of accomplishing that swim.
This type of mental toughness can be applied to any lofty goal or pursuit. This does not only apply to physical challenges. When I reflect back on some of my greatest moments of triumph there were many of these aspects of mental toughness that I had to deploy to be successful. Perseverance. Determination. Diana Nyad personifies this and more. So the next time the going gets tough dig deep within yourself. Think about how you can find additional mental strength to carry on. You are not a failure just because you fell short this time. You just have not gotten there YET. You only lose or fail if you quit. Never, EVER give up on your dream.
“Men have become tools of their tools.” Henry David Thoreau
The iPhone is a great tool. It has brought massive computing power into the palm of our hands in a fairly beautiful and elegant way. Mine is almost always within arms reach. It is the first thing I reach for in the morning and the last thing I put down at night. All throughout the day it keeps me updated on weather, maps and mobile boarding passes when I travel. Camera, pictures, and video. Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and more. Text messaging and emails. And oh yeah, by the way, it also can make PHONE CALLS!
Never in our history have we had so much access to information and 24/7 ability to connect with so many people around the globe. What is the result? We have never been more disconnected. We sit to share a meal with friends or family and we spend most of the time responding to vibrations, honks, rings, and beeps from a small, sleek device in our pocket, purse, or set on the table next to our plate of food. People standing in any line at a public place have their face buried in a tiny screen trying to post to a social media site how standing in line is lame…..or looking to see which friend of theirs from junior high they have not seen or talked to in 30 years “likes” their comment. I am guilty as charged on all fronts!
I am making a public commitment right here to not be the fool with the tool. I will not drive and text. I will not rudely talk on the phone while checking out at the grocery store. I will not let this device rule my life. I will continue to use this tool in moderation in certain settings where it can be most helpful, but I will not let it replace or undermine my connections with the real people standing right in front of me. I do have some very important relationships in my life with people that live hundreds of miles away from me. I will use these tools to maintain and build those relationships with those I love and care about. Facetime is cool, but it is not a substitute for standing face-to-face.
1. Be present with the people in front of you right now.
2. My life is not really any better today than it was 5 or 10 years ago because of the iPhone.
3. Connection in the digital world is no replacement for real, authentic experiences.
4. The iPhone or technology in general is not all bad. Use in moderation without getting sucked into the black hole.
5. Thoreau was right. About almost everything.
I took inspiration for this post from Leo Babuato and his lesser known website. mnmlist.com. Many people know his top-rated site ZenHabits.com. Here is what he had to say about the iPhone and technology in general:
‘Men have become tools of their tools.’ ~Henry David Thoreau
Many of you have seen the video and reviews of the new iPhone 4S, and yes, it looks great.
Don’t rush out to order it. Here’s why: you don’t need it.
True, it is sleek and sexy and full of great features like a great camera and personal assistant and a better screen, etc. But you don’t need it today any more than you needed it yesterday, or 5 years ago.
Yesterday, without the new iPhone, your life was good. Some of you were happy and content and were actually able to do your work and get on with your life without the new iPhone.
Today, Apple announces its newest device, and the press and tech bloggers swoon. We all have to get the latest device, or we’ll no longer be hip, we’ll no longer be part of the “in” crowd.
And yet, is it really that essential? I’ve wanted an iPhone for almost 5 years now, but haven’t bought one because I know I don’t need it. Will it make my life a bit more fun? Sure, possibly — but so will a walk in the park with my kids, or a hike with a friend, or a free book at the library. I don’t need to spend $199 plus thousands of dollars on a 2-year contract to make my life a bit more fun.
Five years ago, the iPhone didn’t exist. It wasn’t a need in your life. You were able to live perfectly without it. And now that it does exist, all of that is true.
It’s Apple’s marketing that has worked on us, and we’re fools for it.
The same, of course, is true of all other technology and sleek consumerist products. It’s just that Apple is better at it than most.
Don’t give in. Fight the marketing, by noticing and letting go of the urges that marketing creates in us. Find contentment without products. You’re better than that.
I have seen many pictures like this one posted on Facebook with some quote or words of wisdom attributed to Albert Einstein. Many times these nuggets of wisdom can never be linked back to Einstein. Obviously Einstein was….well….us an Einstein! Not only was his intellect off the chart, but it also seemed he was tapped into the more emo parts of himself and the human experience.
So back to the 10 points in the picture above. Not sure if these do come from Einstein or not, but they are pretty good no matter where they come from. They definitely rang a chord with me as I work to create an ideal life for myself. A quick break-down on each one:
1. Follow Your Curiosity: Over the past year I have become more and more curious about how certain people have been able to create exactly the life they seek. What are their common characteristics? I have def learned to leave all pre-conceptions behind and allow my natural curiosity to lead me where it may. Along the way I have met some amazing people and unexpected adventures.
2. Perseverence is Priceless: I know this to be true in running as well as in my previous business life. I have been re-applying a tenacious mindset to all areas of my life. Especially the ones I seek to change or have evolve to the ideal I seek. Relentless forward progress is a mantra I use when things get tough on a long run. It can be applied to any scenario.
3. Focus on the Present: Get done today what you can do now. Even the smallest steps and actions towards your goals can initiate huge momentum forward. It all adds up. You never know what will be your break through action.
4. The Imagination is Powerful: I think about daring to dream big. We become what we think about. We only use 5% of our brain power each day on conscious thought. The other 95% is controlled by our subconscious. The more we image, dream , or plot out what we want our ideal future to look like the more our subconscious will work it out and move us in that direction. This is why it is so important to not hang out with negative people. These are the ones who have surrendered their dreams and will try and talk you out of yours.
5. Make Mistakes: Everyone knows how many times Abe Lincoln failed in his life before becoming President. Thomas Edison. The reality is there is no such thing as an over night success story. Almost always it involves years of efforts with multiple failures. The ones that overcame their fear of failure are the ones that dared mightily and applied all the elements on this list to create something amazing. Fail gloriously!
6. Live in the Moment: I am really good at this one. Be present. Drink deeply this day. Leave the troubles and mistakes of the past far behind you. Be present. None of us are promised tomorrow. Appreciate and connect with the people, places, and experiences right before you in this moment.
My favorite pic of Albert.
7. Create Value: If what you are doing is meaningful and important to you, the odds are someone else will see the value in that pursuit, result, etc as well. 100% belief and commitment in what you do usually results in tremendous quality. Quality of experience. Quality of communication. Quality of product. Quality of result.
8. Don’t Expect Different Results: We have all heard this definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. You have to be willing to have an action orientation, not be afraid to fail, and then be willing to change the way you play the game to gain the result you seek. It does not always involve working harder. Most of the time it involves working smarter or taking a different approach. Do not be afraid to change and to get outside your comfort zone.
9. Knowledge Comes From Experience: This is especially true from our experiences that resulted in failure. New wisdom and perspective is gained from all of our experiences. I especially like to pick the brain of people with much more experience than I have. Don’t let the fear of failure keep you from embracing new experiences. It may be the game-changing experience that gives you the knowledge, perspective, and confidence to break through!
10. Learn the Rules and Play them Better: This one is where I am working diligently right now as I blaze some new trails for myself to create the exact, ideal life I seek. I am actually applying everyone of these principles in this part of my journey. This is a new game I am playing. I am fortunate to be connecting with people who know how to play this game very well. No need to reinvent the wheel, especially when this when is turning very quickly and producing amazing results.
I love to eat good food. Not always good for you food, but things that taste good to me. Sometimes that is craving an entire pizza after a long mountain adventure. Graeter’s ice cream! Sometimes your body tells you it is craving certain things and you give it what it wants. Sweet. Salty. Crunchy. Hot. Cold. Comfort foods. Fruits and veggies.
I fell that I am pretty knowledgeable when it comes to health and nutrition. I have taken the time to educate myself. This means digging below the surface of all the propaganda put out by the food industry machine in this country.
Obesity rates 1985
Example: The dairy council and the FDA “recommend” that you drink three 8 oz glasses of milk a day. Why? Vitamin D and to build strong bones? Vitamin D does not naturally occur in cow’s milk. They PUT it in there. The sun is the best source of vitamin D for our bodies. Go natural. It is not natural for humans to consume such massive quantities of another animal’s milk. Cow’s milk is designed to help baby cows during their early developmental stages to become healthy adult cows. Even the baby cows have enough sense to quit drinking cow’s milk at a certain point in their life. Is it any wonder that we are becoming a nation of big fat cows?
Obesity rates 2007
I am going to save the full argument against cow’s milk for a post of its own. My point here is that I generally know how to eat cleaner and more healthy than most people take the time or effort to do. Even with all of this knowledge I still indulge at times. I believe that if you can hit the clean and healthy mark 90% of the time that along with a regular regiment of exercise one can stay very trim and fit. AND! You can still indulge once in a while so that deprivation does not turn into a major cave-in to your indulgences.
This is how I feel when eating clean and running strong.
That being said, I have been sliding further away from that 90% clean and healthy mark for the last few weeks. I recognize this in myself and am using this blog to be tied to the rack and have my public purification for the error of my ways! I just need to swing back the other way. Re-entrench myself with my healthier habits and get back on the fast train with my running and mountain adventures. I am always amazed at how fast I can get back in the proper groove. It usually takes 2-3 days of some extra clean eating and one really long run.
THE best ice cream I have ever put in my mouth. Period.
Besides the upside of feeling lighter and more energetic all around……it makes the pizza and Graeter’s ice cream taste that much better!
This post was about a day I spent in the mountains on July 24th. Also check it out HERE in my Wordpress site.
Today was another amazing day in the Tetons. In the summertime here each day here is pretty much amazing. I know it can be annoying when someone over uses the word amazing. Oh well. It is. Amazing!
One of my default running locations is Teton Canyon. What a gift to have this AMAZING place right out my front door! Most of the time the magnetic pull of Table Mountain is too much for me to resist. The climb up the Face Trail is a vertical gift that keeps giving the whole way up. Today I decided to zig instead of zag.
I took the Alaska Basin Trail which heads straight through the entirety of Teton Canyon. I opted 3 miles in to ascend The Devil’s Stairs and run along the shelf. This little detour lifts you over 1,000 feet in 0.9 miles. Blue skies abounded and the wildflowers were going off up here as I floated amongst a sea of colors as far as the eye could see.
As pretty as the view was, the smells on the trail were equally AMAZING. Thanks to a thunderstorm the night before, the trails were soft and squishy with the scent of the earth permeating the forest on the canyon floor. As I rose higher into the mountains the various evergreens and pines took over and freshened the air in a way those little cardboard trees could only dream of. Up above 10,000 feet it was all about the wildflowers. Their sweetness wafted heavily through the air as I strode along. It reminded me of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz falling asleep in the poppies. The bees buzzed and I was in a slice of Heaven!
Next I ran through the Sheep’s Steps and across Alaska Basin before turning my feet loose for the descent back through the entire length of the canyon. The sun shone on my face. My feet splashed through water crossings. My heart pounded in my chest. My spirit soared all the way through this AMAZING place.
These are the experiences that we carry with us through our years. Those moments in time when we are so present and connected to all that is around us. This is the life I am building for myself and that I want to share with all of those in my life that are dear to me. This is an AMAZING life. The best is yet to come….
P.S.- I am so lucky to live in this AMAZING place. I have very purposefully been constructing this ideal life. Check out one of the tools I have been using to increase my flexibility so that the world can be my playground HERE.
Also trying out a new Wordpress site. View this HERE:
I read an article in the New York Times a while back that asked this very question. What the author was referring to was how much more money a year do you need to be happy. They also presented some data from a few studies that defined a comfortable standard in the US to be somewhere around $75,000. I assume this might be for your typical family of 4 living in suburbia. Mortgage, 2 cars, and all the other typical minutia. So this breaks down to about $6,000 a month.
This got me thinking about what most people have to do to earn $6,000 a month. Most work a job for someone else. That means they trade their time for money. Typically 40 hours a week and in some households that could mean both adults with jobs. But they are happy because they are somewhere near or above the $75,000 threshold right?
Not so fast. They may be comfortable to a degree in that they have more than adequate food, clothing, and shelter. They also have some disposable income for some creature comforts. A nice TV. Cable or satellite service with 300 channels of nothing good showing, etc. Having lived at ground zero in the “Bubble” of this supposed comfort zone for 15 years I can tell you that most are not satisfied at all. Most have slowly given up on their dreams over the years and traded them for mortgages and car payments and a life driven by consumerism. Now they are in a place where they HAVE TO make this much money or more just to keep their head above water and to keep up pretenses.
Most of you who know me are aware of how I have transitioned from a life of pursuing stuff to a life pursuing experiences. I made it pretty simple. The less stuff I had or desired the more experiences I could explore. I am no longer a prisoner of American Consumerism. I have reduced my overhead to the point where with a $2,000-$3,000/mo income I could become the master of all my own time. Right now I still am tethered to a traditional job. This is the last piece of my plan for world domination that I am working on.
I do not want to trade my time or the currency of my youth for a limited income where I work on someone else’s schedule and the hope that SOMEDAY I can retire and do all those things stacking up in my bucket list. I have seen too many people regret that they were over committed to working all those years and now that they can finally “retire” their bodies are no longer capable of embracing the dreams of their youth. None of us are promised tomorrow!
My plan to create EXACTLY the life I dream about is in the last stages of becoming complete. I know exactly what it looks like. I know exactly what it is I have to do to achieve it.
So the question at the beginning of this post was: What is your number? Mine is $3,000/mo. At that number I can live and breathe any where on this entire planet doing exactly what I want to do with my time. The trick now is to create a passive income that can be generated from anywhere 24/7. In our hyper-connected world there is no reason one cannot leverage technology of the Internet to accomplish this. They do not call it the WORLD WIDE WEB for no reason.
I have simply chosen to expand my horizon as to what is impossible out to infinity and remove the entire variable of geography from the equation. Stay tuned to this blog to watch this grand experiment in life unfold. My goal is to be completely free from all geographic income restraints in 30 days. August 22, 2012 is my Independence Day!
Tetons! Just one beautiful place on this Earth I roam.
P.S.- Check out some of the tools I am using to leverage technology to help me turn myself loose on the planet: HERE