Many people start the New Year wondering what it will bring them. Maybe instead you should be asking what you will bring the New Year. Most of us go through life like we are riding a roller coaster. Holding on through the ups and downs and turns and figure eights, doing our best to have fun and not throw up. That certainly was me for the last decades. But last year I started taking more control of my life. And it started with the realization that I WAS in control all along.
As I’ve quoted Goethe before: “Whatever you … dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”
The power is in making the decision to change, and then taking that first step. About 5 billion people woke up on New Year’s Day having decided to change in the New Year. But how many of them will take any action?
The very next day after I gave notice that I was quitting my 6-figure job, I woke up to a Facebook post from a friend in LA who runs an amazing company. His post read “Any L.A. CEO types interested in a new gig?” Two days later a newly hired employee of mine referred me to a job he was recruited for but went to work for me instead. While neither of those opportunities led to jobs, they actually led to something way more valuable.
They were the confirmation letters from the universe that I made the right decision. They gave me the confidence to just put myself out there and everything was going to work out. And so instead of spending the summer wringing my hands about money, and combing the classifieds and online forums for jobs, I packed up my VW Bus, kissed my family goodbye and told them I didn’t know when I was going to be back, but I needed to find some things out about myself.
I’ve always loved to write. In some ways you could say I have made a living doing it. I’ve written business and marketing plans, sales letters, brochures, and press releases for my entire career. But I’d never written for myself. So I decided that during the trip I was going to blog about my experience. I had no intention of anyone even reading it. I was doing it because I enjoyed it.
I guess others enjoyed it, too. I received messages from people along the way, telling me how they were living vicariously through my adventure. Some of you have even challenged me to go farther and do more. Then The Inertia picked up my story and invited me to contribute to their website. And then Tabi Labo in Japan picked that up. Next thing I know I am getting subscribers and Facebook friend requests from 95 different countries. I am humbled and overwhelmed.
When I finally came home from my trip to beautiful San Clemente, CA, I waited for the inspiration of what to do next. It was slow to come, and I felt myself starting to slip back into that old comfort zone again. You know the one that lulls us to sleep and leads to living a mediocre life? It’s like being in the Matrix.
But I kept writing, and it was like someone slipped the red pill in my coffee, inspiring me to shake off my remaining fear and go big to really live the life of my dreams. I am so stoked to share some of those plans with you now.
This summer I will be taking off for the Last Frontier on the Alaska Marine Highway System from Bellingham, WA, through the inside passage, to Juneau and beyond. It’s an amazing ferry system that stretches from Washington State all the way to Anchorage and out to the end of the Aleutians. I’ll be stopping in towns and cities along the way, and shooting video to make a short film. I plan to use that film as the basis for a pitch for a much bigger project, which I will announce on a later date.
In the meantime, I am searching for sponsors for the Alaska trip. I put up a sponsor page on the website, so if you know of anyone who might be interested, drop me a line via the form at the bottom of the page.
Life consistently presents us with opportunities. We typically miss most of them. We are afraid and just not open to receiving what the universe sends us. We are so focused on doing what we have always done that those new paths just whiz by like side streets as we barrel on down the boulevard of broken dreams.
This new year, you can maintain the blissful ignorance of illusion by taking the blue pill, or embrace the sometimes painful truth of reality of the red pill. My experience is that the red pill comes with some amazing side effects: opportunity, growth, and a life worth living.