What if We Lived in a Trailer?

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I asked this question to my wife a few months back.

What if we lived in a trailer?
Imagine the look on her face…

Odd question I know, and in no means do I mean to offend anyone. It’s just that…I’ve never lived in a trailer. That said, I can promise you one thing, I’m not afraid of it either.

There comes a point when you have to realize something.

What are you afraid to lose?

I came to the following conclusion. If I have my wife, and my son, we’ll figure it out from there. What else is there to really worry about?

  • House?
  • Car?
  • Vacations?
  • Clothing?
  • Stuff?

I won’t lie one bit. I like to have nice things as much as the next guy, but reading stoic philosophy led me to a better understanding of how to see things for what they really are and nothing more. As Ryan Holiday puts it in his book The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph

Filet Mignon – Aged animal carcass
Great Wine – Old grapes
A beautiful car – transportation

If you’re worried about what your “friends” will think, I’ll give you the obvious answer.

They’re probably not really your friends. Move on.

By all means have fun. Experience all life has to offer and don’t feel one bit of guilt. But don’t get over committed to an empty and endless pursuit of more.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to take a chance or two along the way. The fear of losing your expensive car lease needs to be reevaluated.

This feeling of freedom will provide you all the energy and clear vision you need to achieve your goals.

ACTION ITEM: It’s ok to be afraid, but don’t be afraid of losing the wrong stuff.

Unreasonable. My New Favorite Word

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Please say the following out loud, “Stop being unreasonable!”

What do you think of?

  • The jerk in the store?
  • Frustrated patron at a restaurant?
  • Parents expectations?
  • The price of an item that feels exaggerated?
  • Unfair terms in an agreement
  • Demanding boss

Does it feel sort of odd “Unreasonable” is my new favorite word with all the negativity?

Let me take you back to when I decided to get UNREASONABLE.

The moment of decision was a couple years ago. It was in this moment when it dawned on me.  The unreasonable end up getting more of what they want. Period. More time, money, freedom, flexibility, fringe benefits, you name it. The challenge for me (and I believe for most) is I wasn’t being specific enough on exactly what I wanted. I was being too reasonable in my pursuit.

That’s when I made my list. This list is saved on my computer, phone, and began hand-written in my notebook. The lists states I will be unreasonable in the pursuit of…

What does it say?  What does it say?

The list speaks very specifically to the future as if the event or pursuit already happen.  But first and more importantly, let me tell you what my list doesn’t include (and never will):

  1. I’d like to…
  2. Wouldn’t it be nice if…
  3. Someday I’ll…

Speaking in the tones mentioned above leaves the door open to the event not happening. They are far too conditional to make an all or nothing wager against. Words and phrases of this nature end in feelings of regret and being unfulfilled.

Time to get UNREASONABLE!

If you’d like me to divulge my list specifically, I won’t as it is too personal (and my wife doesn’t like sharing those things). However, ask me about it some time personally and I’ll give you some insight. What I can tell you right now is what the list contains.  My unreasonable lifestyle includes the following.  It contains words phrases like: I will, …

  1. Where will I work?  This is about not being tied to an office or desk.  Freedom & Flexibility.
  2. How will I work?  I won’t “work” or trade time for money.
  3. What am I worth or my time worth?
  4. Where exactly will my family live?
  5. What do we value most?
  6. How will we invest as a family for the future?
  7. Where do we choose to spend our time?

ACTION ITEM: Being unreasonable is an enormously positive thing when done the right way. When your reason or commitment is iron clad, when a decision is made, there are few things that will ever get in your way. Get specific and get unreasonable in your pursuit.

 

 

Living in a Time of Intense Speed

Speed Racer

You can almost feel life getting faster can’t you? It’s ok. People also said this in: 2005, 1995, 1975, 1955, and so on.  But now, it feels as though the speed is multiplied and magnified every day in business and specifically our careers.  How can you embrace this speed and not get swallowed up in the blitzkrieg attack of daily life?

I grew up in the 80’s. Times were simpler then. Imagine the things we did.

  • We played outside. A lot. In the summer we hit dingers at the local ball field.  In the winter we got buckets in the gym.  Maybe we found a little time for Nintendo.
  • We learned how to use and read a map.  We also got lost because sometimes we didn’t understand the latter.
  • We learned useless information out of a book to place it in our “memory” because we couldn’t “Google it”
  • Email? What the hell is email?
  • The Internet. Al Gore knew about it…apparently.
  • Big businesses succeeded. As an employee, you went to college, got an entry level job and hoped to “work your way to the top” to retire in your 60’s after years of dedication to your company with a soft pension to land on and social security to take care of you.
  • Patience. I’ve been told people had more of this “back then”, but I don’t remember.
  • Millionaires. The 80’s had Millionaires.

Sounds nice doesn’t it? The simple life.

Let me tell you how this is different today and cite reasons we all need to prepare to adapt and embrace the speed of change (Cue The Scorpions, “Winds of Change”).

  1. 24/7 Lifestyle. If you have a career that demands anything of you, you’re likely working when you get up (or shortly thereafter) and at some point when you’re at home or on the weekend. Just 25 years ago this was oh so different. For the positive, it’s also opened up many remote working agreements, and flexibility outside of the handcuffed 9 to 5. We now have the ability to make it happen from wherever you choose.
  2. Billionaires. The 80’s had Millionaires, today we have Billionaires. Do you know the difference between one million seconds and one billion seconds? One million seconds is roughly 12 days. One billion seconds is 32 years. Let that sink in. There is NO shortage of money out there.
  3. Patience. Why? I can get what I want, when I want it, from whomever will help me this instant. Have a customer service compliant?  Tweet it. If you don’t get an answer in two minutes tell me how this makes you feel? I get frustrated. I know there is someone on the other end receiving a notification. If you don’t know what Twitter is, EVERYONE under the age of 20 does, and they’ll be looking for your job in 2-3 years.
  4. Coaching Carousel.  Sports often provides excellent insight to life.  This is no different.  Tell me how many coaches were fired during or after the 2014 NFL season? I believe I count eight new coaches in 2015.  Six in 2014.  That’s nearly half of the league with a new coach in the last two years alone.  Some didn’t even make it out of the season.  Roughly 14 grown men are worth so much to their previous organizations, that they’re being paid MILLIONS to go elsewhere. Win. And WIN right now.
  5. Volatility.  Markets and businesses are moving faster than ever and this is causing more volatility. Would you like some examples?  Do you think Blockbuster saw Netflix coming? They’re gone. Do you think Yellow Cab would ever have to worry about a faceless mobile competitor Uber? How about AirBnB proving to be a big pain for competing hotels. Book retailers large and small are closing at a rate faster than cheap TVs disappear after a Black Friday sale. Every business is being disrupted in this massive time of innovation (the internet).
  6. Television. I think this is super-interesting. Think about your consumption habits just five years ago. Now look at where we are.  DVR. Netflix. TV via the Web. YouTube. Mobile/Tablet consumption (anywhere/anytime). I’m really excited to see where this will be just a few years from now. Think of paying for this utility like you do water or gas.  You only pay for what you use.  Not the super-mega-special 500+ channels. Change is coming…for the better.
  7. Education. I could rant on this one for a while and will likely do so in another post, but really think about this. What can you learn today on your own time? I don’t care if it is via YouTube, podcasts, online courses, or an ebook.  Education is all around us.  Not in a building and not for $100,000 of debt that could (and I say could strongly) ruin the next 20 years of your life and earning potential to boot. This model is changing.

I believe with all of my heart this is, and will continue to be, a terrific time for personal reinvention. In years past you may not have had the time, angle, or countless opportunities to change the trajectory of your lifestyle or career. No longer!

New tools, business reinvention and explosive company growth continue to prove this point. I firmly believe a person must adapt an intense appetite for learning as we grow quickly into the 21st century. Never let this appetite become full and opportunities will continue to present themselves.  Embrace the change. Embrace a new way of doing things. Embrace the challenge of continued growth and learning.

The world will not slow down and wait for you.

Lastly, understand this fact. No one else knows what the will happen or what plan is prefect for the future.  Don’t be afraid to take a shot. Learn, reinvent, and resurface a more dangerous individual. I remind myself of this all the time.

Remember this thought from Lou Holtz

In this world, you’re either growing or you’re dying, so get in motion and grow

ACTION ITEM: Change often isn’t easy, but it is constant. Work at the ability to adapt and embrace change like a muscle, it will get stronger with use. If you fear change, the fear will grow with every doubt.

What I meant to say is….My Life is AWESOME

How often do you feel this is what a person is really wanting to say with a post on social media?  I mean really wanting to say deep down in their gut (where true intent lives)…just as they’re posting 20+ pictures of a sexy SoCal getaway in the hills of Laguna.

My. Life. is. Awesome.

This concept had been brewing in me for a while, and now I’m ready to let it out.

Full Disclosure: My wife and I went to Colorado last week for a little getaway.  Just her and I and no little man.  We went to Boulder, explored the mountains, ate great food, sipped craft beers at local breweries, ate more great food, and really just relaxed and enjoyed each other’s company.  It was a terrific little four day adventure in place we both wanted to explore.

Colorado (13,000 Ft) 2015

Rocky Mountain National Park – Colorado (13,000 Ft) ~2015

What’s my main point in all of this?

It was the right thing for us!

Do me a favor and go to your Facebook page or Instagram account right now!   Tell me what you see.  I bet I can guess.

  • Friends having the time of their life at a big dinner party
  • Tropical getaways
  • Soon to be ski trips
  • Golf trips
  • Unreal sporting events (Cubs Playoffs – I was there too!)
  • Big city living
  • Cabin life
  • Milestone moments
  • Soon to be crazy Halloween parties
  • Friends-giving celebrations
  • and the list goes on.

If you want to spend (waste) at least 30 minutes a day wallowing in your “lack of lifestyle” please go ahead.  Or, you could just as easily decide exactly what it is you want to do and be grateful in that pursuit.  But please, make a decision.  Too many people are unhappy with social induced jealously and choose nothing but more sad scrolling.

Of course, there is this one last entirely crazy option.  You could actually be happy for the people pursuing their lives and dreams.  I mean genuinely, HAPPY!  Give it a try and see how good it feels to be happy for someone else.

To wrap up this rant and to be totally candid, our life is super awesome…to us.  The trips we take are on our list of adventures we want to pursue.  They don’t have to be yours.  What’s that…you want to go camping…in a tent…without a shower?  No thank you, but I hope you have a blast doing it! (and please watch out for the mosquitos and snakes)  Eeeeekkkk!

Does this mean you shouldn’t share pics of your travels?  After all, it’s all about sharing these days right?

Share, share, share away.  If someone else is unhappy for you, it is likely they are unfulfilled in their own pursuits.  I really hope the tone of this message isn’t presumptuous.  My intent is to be real and attack the issue I see all too frequently.

Have we achieved everything we’ve set out to achieve?  Hell no.  Actually far from it.  But that doesn’t mean we’re not attacking our dreams with a plan and expressing gratitude along the way.

What I meant to say with this post is….My Life is AWESOME.  I’m thankful for the crazy wonderful relationships we have and those who we get to share our adventures with.  Be thankful.  It can be gone in an instant.

ACTION ITEM: There is tremendous comfort and confidence gained in pursuit of your lifestyle.  Please make sure you’re not hopelessly following someone else’s destination.