Blogpost, self-reliance

Don’t Assume That You’re Weak…

IMG_4454You are the ancestor of survivors!  Cavemen and women who braved the bitter cold, extreme heat and dangerous predators just to continue the species.  Their successors improved hunting and developed farming in order to make survival more probable.  Eventually they were succeeded by people who developed technological advances that gave us every advantage and the ability to bend many of the laws of nature to our will.  This is your lineage!

Despite that fact, you feel weak, uninspired, defeated or out of control.  For so long our species had one objective: stay alive.  Now that survival is less of a concern, we seem to have forgotten how to live.  The words “successors” and “succeeded” were used intentionally because they illustrate a point that has been lost in the shuffle of the demands of modern life.  Success is now an arbitrary term that people often conflate with money, possessions or other status symbols.  It was originally about passing something on to those who would come after.

So don’t balk at the opportunity that you have.  You are the descendant of people who were brave, resilient and strong.  They left us every advantage and that has tricked us largely into believing that we are weak that we are nothing without them.  That we can’t handle the cold or the heat or the difficult or uncertain.  DON’T ASSUME THAT YOU’RE WEAK, JUST BECAUSE YOU HAVEN’T FOUND YOUR STRENGTH YET!  Inside of your very DNA is the stuff that made survivors.  Now it is your turn to do whatever you can with the time that you have.  Your strengths, the things that you were meant to do are out there, waiting for you.  Your belief in them and your ability to find them will beckon them eventually but first you must act!  You must do things that take you outside of your comfort zone.  Test the limits to see where your strengths lie!

Go get some!

Pete

Blogpost, self-reliance

Sale On Today! Take Action Now!

SaleThis is your one and only opportunity at TODAY!  Yes tomorrow is right around the corner but there is no guarantee that the same situations, circumstances or people will be available.  Whether you are truly in a once in a lifetime situation or simply building the inertia that will be necessary to get you over the mountain that your climbing; TODAY CANNOT BE DISCOUNTED!  So give it the attention and forethought that an opportunity like this deserves.  If you treat today like every other day, then that is exactly what it will be.  However if you treat it like the unique opportunity that it is, you’re more likely squeeze all of the juice out of it.  So ask yourself the following questions:

What do I want long term?

What do I want short term?

What can I do today that will bring me closer to both?

Once you’ve identified those three things, then take action!  You can’t do everything today but you can do something.  Your life is a series of one day sales.  Can you become the best possible shopper or leave the store empty handed because you didn’t notice the signs?  The choice is up to you!

Go get what you’re after!

Pete

Blogpost

Make The Promise

cropped-hurykunlimitedlogolarge1This month I will post at least once per day.  Seven days per week for all of May!  It’s something that I’ve balked on before.  I’ve had streaks that have lasted weeks but not an entire month.  I can get ahead of the game by writing a bunch in one day and releasing them individually as I see fit.  BUT if a post is not out, then I don’t eat until one is released.  Now right there I’ve done some of the things that I know but do not always apply.

  1. I made a definite goal.
  2. I defined my terms.
  3. I’ve broken it into manageable pieces.
  4. I set the stakes.

If you’ve got something that you have been putting off or know that you need to do, then MAYbe, May should be your month too.  Thirty days to make something big happen is not too much to ask.  The question is are you willing to commit to yourself?  Or do you need to commit to someone else who won’t let you off the hook?  Promises can be powerful things when used by people who mean them.  If not, then they’re just words.  So let’s keep each other honest.  Are you up for thirty days of action?

Then let’s go!

Pete

Blogpost

Travel Sites Never Suggest the Barcelona Police Department?

BarcelonaMetroIn 1998 my best friend and I traveled to Europe for the World Cup which was held in France.  Despite our main goal being to watch soccer games, we also made side trips to other cities inside and outside of France.  One of our stops was the Spanish city of Barcelona.  It’s a beautiful city on the coast with the architecture of Gaudi, the shopping of Las Ramblas and hosted the Olympics only a few years prior.  Despite all of those  magnificent characteristics, whenever I talk about that trip, I usually talk about the Police Department.  Let me explain!

My friend and I were staying in a hostel* about a mile from the beach.  So we usually took the metro from our hostel to other parts of city.  On our second to last day in Barcelona, we were at a metro station waiting for the train to come.  My friend was rearranging items in him money belt when the train arrived.  We hopped up and got onto the train.  After the train pulled away, he realized that he’d left his passport on the bench at the station.  By the time that we got to the next station and took a train back, the passport was gone.  This was early internet days, so we relied on maps and locals to make our way to the US Consulate in Barcelona.  Upon arriving there, we realized it was closed because it was a Saturday.  The only person there was a guard who only spoke Spanish.  Luckily I was able to use my Spanish to explain the situation and he put me on the phone with someone to help.  Since we were traveling to France the next day, he explained that we needed to go to the Barcelona PD and file a police report.  With that and a copy of his passport, we would be able to cross the border and get a new passport in Paris on Monday.  Luckily our visit to the Barcelona PD went off without a problem and we made it to Paris as scheduled.  The Barcelona PD is not actually a tourist attraction!  However it is one of the places that I mention whenever I talk about this trip.  The reason is simple, the destination matters but the road is more important.

Almost none of the stories that I tell from my travels are about the view from the Eiffel Tower or standing in front of the Mona Lisa.  They are the stories of what went wrong, things that were odd and personal.  If the point was to see the Mona Lisa, then Google is all that you need in order to have a fruitful life.  To the contrary, the journey to get to the Mona Lisa is more relevant and full of impact.  We spend so much of our lives chasing goals and that is clearly the point.  Goals are merely the excuse that we have for going on a magnificent journey.  The mistake that most people make is that they forget to enjoy the journey.

Every day is your chance at adventure.  If you choose not to see it, then you will be swallowed up by all of the petty and seemingly insignificant crap that you encounter.  Or maybe, just maybe going to the Barcelona PD could be one of the best times you’ve ever had!

Hit the road!

Pete

*If you’ve never traveled abroad, a hostel is like a VERY bare bones hotel.  You sleep in a room with many other people and have shared bathrooms etc.

Blogpost

You’re a Plane, Not a Helicopter!

takeoffI have a friend who has pretty strong anxiety about flying.  It’s actually not so much the flying but specifically the taking off and the landing.  Proximity to the ground is the cause for most of the anxiety because hitting it in some unwanted fashion would be a real bummer.  I’m not sure how she would deal with riding in a helicopter.  With the liftoff being so instantaneous when compared with a plane, I’m not sure if it would be easier or harder to deal with.  I’ve never been in a helicopter but my guess is that the sensation of it is very different.  Since I’ve never been in a helicopter, I just assume that most people haven’t been either.

Despite that fact it seems as though people have a generalized desire for the Helicopter experience in their lives and work.  The overwhelming feeling that I get (and sometimes have) is that success should require effort for sure but then you just lift off from there.  While I recognize this is irrational, it does not stop people from wanting it.  The lottery winner type story seems almost ingrained in our consciousness to the point that it overrides our rational brain.  So it is time to embrace the fact that we need a runway.  As humans, we’re generally not going to reach the heights of our potential in a “straight up” way.

As you go out into the world to make big things happen, realize that you need to build a runway.  Reaching the highest heights is difficult when you’re running into trees, rocks and walls.  You need to clear a path for yourself to take off.  This may take a finding a new location or lots of elbow grease.  Regardless, building a good runway is better for the process of your takeoff rather than expecting your plane to be a helicopter.  The world tends to work in specific ways, so lay the groundwork and eventually you’ll be “ready for takeoff”.

Enjoy your flight!

Pete

self-reliance, Uncategorized

This Is What You Wanted

MarathonAs we are moving past the time when most people have given up on their New Year’s Resolutions, I offer this subtle reminder.  THIS IS WHAT YOU WANTED.  It is sometimes a difficult thing to swallow.  Goals and resolutions are pretty and shiny when we create them.  Everything will go great!  You’ll be able to maintain this level of excitement until you get to the end!  The problem is that we usually forget or don’t know the following.

When you set up a goal or make a resolution it is much like ordering your favorite dessert.  For me that would be the classic chocolate milkshake.  Unfortunately you forgot to read the fine print.  Before you will be served your delicious dessert, you have an appetizer of pain coming.  That will be followed by a main course of discipline with self-sacrifice sauce and side order of humility.  Once you are able to choke down those mammoth size helpings of something that YOU DIDN’T ORDER, you’ll finally get that thing that you wanted.

Just remember that THIS IS WHAT YOU WANTED, all of it is part of the deal.  Embrace it.  You’ll actually find at some point  halfway through the main course that you like the taste of it.  Those things that you overlooked on the menu are actually something that you want for yourself.  The problem is that most people retreat too early because THIS IS NOT WHAT I WANTED!  At the end of the meal you’ll have to settle up the check.  If you stuffed yourself full with meal and goal, the bill is paid with PRIDE.  If you left your meal unfinished, then you have a debt of REGRET that is difficult to wipe away.

Decide on what you want from the menu!

Pete

Uncategorized

Your Invisible Nose

IMG_2892Sometimes the hardest things to see are those that are right in front of you.  Your nose is always front and center but most of us don’t pay it any mind.  The reason why we tend to forget about it is because it is always there.  Our brains tend to discard or ignore those things that can be taken for granted.  Air, light, food, water, friends, opportunity, etc. are just a beginning to the list of things that we take for granted each day.  This is not to say that we should be spending major amounts of time contemplating air in a recreational effort.  It is simply to point out that your brain is working at all times to determine what is worth your attention and what is not.  This ability to ignore the inconsequential is wonderful until it isn’t.  As they say, the dose makes the poison.

Although our brains were originally designed to act in our best interest, the operating system has not been updated in a long time.  So if you do not intervene on your own behalf, your brain will protect you from things that are no longer relevant.  Most of the fear and anxiety that you feel is supposed to keep you from being eaten by a bear or be kicked out of the tribe.  The latter is more relevant than the former but both need to oversight.  On its default settings, your brain will keep you alive and partially comfortable in the modern world.  If you are looking for more than that, then you need to be more deliberate about the things that you see.

The invisible nose is just a representation of the things that you’re ignoring.  More important things are out there that you should be aggressively pursuing but you just don’t see them.  Opportunities pass you by or better yet you pass them by regularly.  The reason is that you’re not programmed to notice them.  That’s not safe!  Stay where it’s comfortable!  Don’t stand out!  Don’t fail!  These are all things that your brain screams subliminally everyday.  Unless you take control and look for that which is most important to you.  Those things may not be as obvious as you want them to be.  Although they might be directly in front of you, they may be buried under a pile of societal and personal hard-wiring.  Hacking your way through that will be difficult, time consuming and totally worth it once you’re on the other side.

So I’ve give you permission.  Look at the world with fresh eyes and endeavor to see everything.  Hack away at the beliefs that no longer make sense.  Filter your vision to look for the ideal rather than the real.  Your past low expectations will be there to catch you if you fall.  It starts with a moment and builds from there.  Make this your first moment!

Have a great day!

Pete

 

Uncategorized

Mind the Gap

mindthegapIn the English subway system, there are both visual and auditory reminders to “Mind the Gap”.  This is a call for attention to the space between the platform and the train.  It is a helpful reminder but probably almost unnoticed by most local people.  However for the American tourist this is an out of the ordinary bit of speech.  “Mind” is rarely used as a verb in American English and “the gap” is a store or possibly brings thoughts of Michael Strahan.  Due to its unique wording and situational use, it tends to have sticking power with tourists.  It is helpful to “Mind the Gap”.  While it is a everyday practicality in the UK, it seems as though there is a gap issue in the USA.

The gap that I am referring to has nothing to do with the subway but rather the “gap” between you and your goals.  It is a space that many people do not want to acknowledge.  The gap represents all of the undesirable aspects of the goal: the work, the discipline, the sacrifice and persistence.  These are the bricks that form the path to the object of our desires.  Unfortunately the easy road is so seductive that you forego logic and buy the false lottery promises.  So you ignore the gap and sit on the couch to dream the impossible dream.  The only reason that the dream is impossible is that you never take enough action to get there.  All of that action happens in the gap.

Since the gap is a necessary part of eventual success, why not mind the gap or even better learn to love the gap!  It’s the place where you will be spending most of your time.  So why waste it by avoiding or hating it?  Take it as the place where you find out who you really are.  Anyone can sit on the thrown of triumph without effort.  It takes a totally different mentality to wear a medal that was buried under a mountain of muck.  So can you mind the gap?  It is a difficult task but your up to it.  Don’t get discouraged by the other people (even those who care about you) who are afraid of the gap and try to protect you from the gap.   They are invested in their own comfort, not your goal.  If you succeed, then they might have to mind the gap.  So take the step!  Start now because the gap isn’t going anywhere and right now, neither are you.  Your goal is not magnetic, you need to go to it.  Get in the gap!

Pete

Uncategorized

Dividing Your Fire Power

unforgivenEach of us has a potential amount of fire power in a given year.  If you think of your energy to finish projects as gunpowder, some of us have a barrel full and others could barely fill one of those Chinese novelty snap pellets.  While knowing how much powder you have is helpful, it is also important to divvy it up intelligently.  Even the barrel-full may not be sufficient if divided a thousand times and put into the wrong weapons.  By contrast, an intelligently used pinch could be life-changing.  So how much firepower do you really have and where are you going to use it?

red-ryderAt the end of this year will you be basking in the glory of your successful hunt?  Or will you be left standing with your Red Ryder Carbine in denial that you’re full of hot (but compressed) air?  That’s completely up to you and it starts right now.  Pick out your targets, if you haven’t already.  Write them down and decide how you will take them down.  Although truly ‘How’ is very rarely the problem.  It is usually getting the focus and commitment to the target that people fail to do.  So write them down now!

caddy-shackOnce you have your targets, then you can plan out how to systematically deal with each one.  It’s a simple enough process once you commit to it.  What you need to do is “fall back on superior firepower and superior intelligence.  And that’s all she wrote!”

 

Uncategorized

The Measure of a Man

birthdaycakeToday I turn 40 years old.  This is a seemingly important milestone for many people.  I’m not really feeling it though.  The number is almost a non-factor for me.  My childhood friend, Lia Fritz, was the first person who made me think deeply about how age worked.  She was born on February 29th and would state that she was 3 years old when she was 12 and so on.  Although she was only joking, it started me thinking.  What if we changed the measurement of age?  It makes little sense to only measure life by years.  On that scale of measurement, my life is on even terms with anyone else born December 7th, 1975.  Maybe life isn’t best measured in years.

Some systems of measurement lend themselves to easy conversion.  A 100 meter race can simply be changed to a 109.361 yard race.  It seems strange to make it a 1/16 of a mile race but it’s better than 1/420 of a marathon.  By comparison the 100 meter run seems minuscule when measured by marathons.  These conversions give a perspective that the perception of the magnitude of something can be influenced by how it is measured.  There are many people who have lived for a many years but those years were seemingly empty.  What is the right metric for measuring the life of a man?

There are so many metrics that could be used to measure a life.  If my life were measured in economic terms from an American perspective, I’ve lived a very average life.  In economic terms of an Ecuadorian, I’m doing very well.  If measured by miles, I’ve traveled to six foreign countries and visited over half of our United States.  My life could be viewed as very full.  If measured by the number of Grateful Dead concerts that I’ve attended, then I’ve not lived at all.  With so many metrics to choose, it is important to choose wisely with something that represents our purpose on this planet.

For me personally, I measure my life by the people that I’ve been able to help.  It may seem like a random way to measure a life and in many ways it is almost immeasurable.  Those limitations to my system do not bother me in the slightest.  It makes me more comfortable than the idea of my existence being reduced to the number of years that I’ve been alive.  One may be more exact than the other but my metric is in line with my life’s purpose and actually propels me forward toward better experiences.   Having more time is not particularly a desirable commodity unless it is being used for something worthwhile.

Today may not be your calendar birthday but it may be a new opportunity to measure your life in a way that means something to you.  So go into the world today with the purpose of identifying how you measure your life and pursue it.  Happy Birthday to you!

Pete