Why.

What is your why? Why do you do things that way you do them? Why are you willing to face adversity to reach your desired destination in life. These are thoughts I’ve had before when I hear about someone with a big dream that seems to be a bit more than they probably can bite, chew, and swallow. Meaning I’m not sure why they really are doing things the way they are doing, I’m probably not alone in wondering about these things.

As a youth in central Utah, I used to sell corn on the side of the road next to the high school every fall for a few summers. My Father, Grandfather, and I would go pick the corn then we’d park the truck on the side of the street and I’d sit there till the sun went down or I’d sold all my corn for the day. I learned a few interpersonal skills with people and how to sell products to folks which is a benefit to me to this day. One of the most memorable experiences for me was trying to sell a bag of corn to a man carrying a giant cross across the USA who stopped through our little town on his way to California.

I asked him about his cross and why it had a wheel on the bottom. Man, “It’s designed to make the walk easier as I carry it.” Me, “Why are you carrying that thing? Don’t you think it would be faster to leave it behind?” Man, “Yes, it would be easier, but I want to show everyone that I can carry this heavy cross from New York to California.”  Me, “Ummm, okay, but why?” Man, “I told myself if I could do this, I could do anything.” Eight or Nine year old me didn’t get it then but have never forgotten it to this day. This man had a purpose to walk across America with a heavy wooden object, and I hope it helped him see he could do anything. I did, however, sell him some corn to fuel his trek.

To this day I see and hear about people who are setting out for challenging journeys as adventurers, entrepreneurs, athletes, and scholars. I can’t always relate to nor understand their vision for choosing the challenges they have decided to claim. I can confirm that choosing a challenge that people don’t understand can be a catalyst to the greatest adventures of one’s life.

Share your why with others, and enlighten them on your vision. If they doubt you or don’t understand that is okay. They might catch a vision similar to yours one day, and take off on their own journey fueled by nothing more than why.

Youth.

What do I need to say that would convince you that you need to live a little more each day than you did the day before? Today I had a friendly reminder from my Grandpa and his friend of how quickly life can pass you by. They explained to me I needed to spend less time in front of my damn phone and more time outside fishing with friends before I was forced by age to spend my days inside in front of the tv. We laughed together for a moment and my Grandpa’s friend casually said, “I’m not kidding, don’t waste your youth.”.

Obviously, that got me thinking about what I’m doing every day to live a full life. Over the past few years, I’ve lived by the line, “Live and die on this day.”. I borrowed the life from a film called The Grey, I’d never think of this film as anything other than a wild story of a plane crash and just under two hours of Liam Neeson action-packed goodness.

However, the words inspired me to live each day as if it were my last. They’ve helped me to be more of a yes man when I’ve needed the extra push to get out there and accomplish something that could be a life-changing experience. After all, you never know if today will be your only or last chance to do that something.

We all know people who are older than us, who’ve lived good lives and have countless stories to tell about the grand adventurers of their youth. I’ve learned that is because they really lived, full lives of adventure and experiences they’ll never forget. Perhaps my Grandpa and his friend were right, I should put down my damn phone and not waste my youth.

With that being said, I’ve committed to a big summer of hiking, cycling, and more time fishing with my friends. Hopefully, that’ll be a good start to living a little more.

Change.

What does change mean to you? A change of scenery? A change of pace? Changing your style? Changing the world? Changing yourself? Change is an ever constant companion no matter where you go. It enables us to grow and adapt to the world around us that never sits still.

Recently I’ve seen the #tenyearchallenge all over social media, and it has had me thinking back to ten years ago and how different the world is. The first iPad was introduced in 2010, Snapchat, Instagram, and Pinterest were all still being developed. I used a blackberry primarily for tweeting song lyrics, liking posts on Facebook and playing brick breaker.

My interests were slightly different back then too. I enjoyed the outdoors, as long as it was in the evening or late at night after working on the farm. I enjoyed writing, sappy love songs, and poems for no reason. My fashion choices have improved, and that’s all I want to say about that.  Telling jokes, and sharing moments with friends is just as important to me then as they are now.

Adventure, Business, and happiness were all things I wanted ten years ago too, I have been on many adventures around the world since then, experienced different cultures, and meeting new people who I am blessed to call friends. Worked in startups, knocked doors and learned different branches of business during the past decade. I’ve found happiness in doing the things I enjoy most, in my own way and at my own pace.

Acknowledging that every year will be filled with new changes is a great way to prepare yourself for the unknown. We don’t know what lies ahead for the world we live in, trends come and go faster than we can anticipate. What matters most is that we can adapt as the change comes knowing that we’ll be okay learning as we go.

Opportunity.

As a young person, many of us will hear the statement you’d hate to miss out on an opportunity like that or you’ll regret it if you don’t take the chance on this. Of course, there will be hundreds of missed opportunities over a lifetime because we took different paths and chose the opportunities that made the most sense to us at that time. Looking back on life you can say one of two things, I wish I had done_____ or I chose to do _____.

Each of these is vastly different from the other. One references a life lived unsure of one’s decisions and footing, the other references confidence in the steps you took along the process and the experiences that were never second-guessed. Many unwittingly live life in fear of choices they could make that might affect them in a negative way. These people are generally not unhappy folk. However, many are those who spend their days wondering “What if” instead of “What’s next” and enjoying full fearless lives.

Few people live a full life filled with steps that find solid ground and don’t spend their days looking back on what might have been. Choices are made and forward motion is taken towards a loose or firm goal in sight. While others might not understand the madness behind your choices but that doesn’t matter so much. In the end, few can look back and say I made it through the thick and thin and here I am filled with experiences I do not regret.

Today’s the day to seize the opportunity of a lifetime. Book that trip you’ve always wanted to, begin to study the topic your passionate about, stop worrying about what others might think if you jump on a bike and cycle 3,000 miles for personal growth. Take ownership of your future by evaluating your options today and truly believe in you. It’s not always easy but it’s a great way to start, perhaps even the first step on your journey of a thousand miles.

Exhausted.

Today has felt like a hundred years, my body has been tired today as has my mind. Along with those forms of exhaustion comes the lack of understanding, humor, and patience throughout the day when working through certain situations.  The feeling of being irritable and knowing that others see your impatience in different situations is also frustrating for the person who is exhausted. These are days we the tired spend reminding ourselves that a little extra patience today will work out in our favor if we can remind ourselves to exercise said patience.

Starting out today I woke up and looked at the four things I really needed to accomplish today, yes just four things for the whole day. Here’s my list:

  • Spend time outdoors with my dog. Try going to lake mountain and just exploring some new trails.
  • Return the Redbox film from last night.
  • Clean up my kitchen and finish unpacking.
  • Attend family dinner at six pm.

That was my checklist for the entire day. I didn’t want to do anything besides the time with my dog outdoors, and because I didn’t want a second fee of $1.75, return the film to Redbox. Sounds like I had a rough day with just four things on my list for the day, I should have felt eager to finish them all. I was not.

I woke up burned out from a busy week of moving into a new house, cleaning, unpacking, and recleaning said new house. I worked my regular hours at work, worked on my side projects, keeping myself busier than I needed to. It’s no one else’s fault but my own that I am tired today, and this isn’t my platform for spewing complaints into cyberspace. This is, however, a reminder that we are busier than we think because we keep ourselves moving as fast as we can. We need to remember to slow down and have days where we recharge our minds and bodies to reinvest in our preparation for the days ahead.

Having days like these shouldn’t be frowned upon, nor skipped. We spend countless hours on the move meeting with people in person, over video, and communicating through endless forms of digital communication. This constant connection to information can definitely take a toll if not monitored.

For your own well being, I recommend taking 5-10 minutes a day and disconnecting from screens. Take a walk, read a book, or close your eyes and focus on your breathing. This isn’t a cure-all method to avoid exhaustion or burnout but, this is a way to take a little time and recharge/reset yourself and find a few minutes of relaxation each day.


Adventure.

We’ve all seen the signs that scream “Life is an adventure!” or “Adventure is out there!”. These statements are meant to inspire and encourage the reader to jump up and start living our lives. To explore new places, meet new faces, and truly experience the word.  Many of us can agree life is best lived when we experience it fully.

I’ve been one of these people who has been influenced by the idea that life needs to be lived exploring the farthest reaches of the world. I’ve been fortunate to spend time where the Incan empire once thrived, where the Mayan civilization welcomed traders along their Caribbean coast, and around southeast Asia, with, the friendliest people I’ve met. No matter where I have been able to visit I’ve always felt happiest meeting the local people and sharing good conversations, food, and smiles.

Many of us have been fortunate to have the means to travel and see the places that have inspired and fueled our thirst for adventure. We’ve been welcomed into communities to tour, teach, and serve without fear. These people who have welcomed us into their lives have added new opportunities to experience life through new eyes, that have a better understanding than they did before we stepped into the lives of these people.

Many of my fondest experiences traveling have been the ones I never thought were in the cards for me. As a 17 year old I traveled to Peru with my grandparents and a few cousins. We were headed there to spend a few weeks cleaning up after a terrible earthquake that happened in the city of Pisco. While we were there in this city that had recently been torn apart I learned what true happiness is for much of the world.

A meal to share with those you love, stories to cheer you up after a hard day, and a belief that tomorrow would be a great day. The more I have traveled and the more I have experienced the more I understand that these are essential to a good life and better adventures.


Smile.

The act of smiling can brighten your day, I’m not talking about that forced smile you used to show your mother when she said smile for the camera. I’m referring to a genuine smile because you are happy, something made your day, a joke resonated well with you brought out a laugh and the company you keep made the moment just right. Smiling is s simple way to possibly brighten someone’s day.

When I was younger I was teased by adults because I would smile all the time. In fact, I smiled so much that people had a hard time knowing what type of mood I was in. I could smile while being mischevious, which often led me to upset adults more than shenanigans should have. I smiled because I was happy with everything. I knew that life was good, that there was always a bright side to everything.

To this day smiling is one thing people remember about me. I’d like to think that people remember me because of the great conversation we had, and the moments we shared, and the plans we made. I have however been told many times that what someone remembered most was that I spent the entire conversation smiling. That’s a good thing right?

Some of my favorite interactions with new people have been conversations on airplanes, in Lyft rides, or random events I’ve been associated with. These little moments of introduction and sharing have been a great reminder to me there is good in the world wherever you might be, and with strangers, you will meet. What I know is that I have left more introductions with a grateful smile than I am able to count.

I think that’s the best part about traveling too, the smiles you see from the different faces and places around the world. Some of the biggest smiles I’ve seen have been in places far from home from people who live in difficult circumstances and can smile because “life is good, and you should smile even if you are missing a few teeth!”