It’s a little after 4am this Monday morning, and I’m up as usual awakening possibility in myself. I’m usually up late in the middle of discovering something. Either I’m online, brainstorming, or reading a book. I look forward to late nights like these. Not everybody gets the opportunity to have aha moments often, so when I have them, I try to capture them in writing. This is why I’m writing this post.
Tonight, I found myself fascinated and compelled to act after watching a few hours of YouTube videos on the Tesla Model S car. If you’re not familiar with the Tesla Model S, it’s a fully-electric car that is currently taking America by storm. I’ve followed both the owner, Elon Musk, and the car company, Tesla Motors, for a little over a year now. I’ve been fascinated by both Elon the entrepreneur and his business ventures for quite some time. Elon started out as a tech entrepreneur. He cofounded PayPal in 2002. He then went on to create Tesla Motors and Space X (a space exploration company). He’s had his hand in everything from the Internet to the automobile to outer space. The guy is a genius. More than that, he’s a self-starter and a lifestyle designer.
Like Elon Musk, most revolutionaries have that inner drive; that willingness to push the envelope; that ambition to challenge the norm; that call to awaken possibility. It’s this inner drive that makes these types of people stand out. I’m finding this trait in a lot of the people that I study. It’s not always what they do or the things they create that makes them revolutionaries. It’s the way they think. It’s their greatness that intrigues me. It’s their ability to see a better world and create it. It’s their ability to see life as this adventure, full of possibility waiting to be awakened. These people drive the human race forward. They’re the ones who change things. They’re the Crazy Ones (as Steve Jobs would say). I’d like to believe that I too share this trait. I think it’s this trait that draws people like you to a blog like this. This is our tribe. You can call us entrepreneurs, leaders, visionaries, or rebels. But I call us Lifestyle Designers. We have a way of taking the paintbrushes and canvases of life and creating things. Masterpieces. We are the ones who design a better world.
But I didn’t decide to write this post to go on and on about the great revolutionaries of our time. I’m sure you can read about these people all over the web. My focus today is on one guy and his one idea, and how his one idea has awakened possibility in me. As I was saying, I’ve been deeply intrigued by Elon Musk and his idea of creating the world’s first popularized electric car. He has this idea that the world could be cleaner and better through technology and innovation. At first glance, this all sounds like some farfetched theory from another green-movement enthusiasts. I too have had my opinions about this whole green-thing. I’ve made goals in the past and have tried to “go green”, and failed. lol. But Elon’s vision is a little different. He’s willing to go to bat for what he believes, even if it costs him his reputation and all of his money. He’s definitely a Crazy One. Being a techie myself, I have a deeper appreciation for Elon’s vision of a better world.
On a side note, I also watched a documentary two days ago based on Elon Musk’s company, Tesla, and his Model S car. The documentary highlighted this idea of how technology and innovation could lead to energy efficiency and the independence from relying on oil. After watching the documentary, I had that feeling I always get when I feel myself waking up inside. These are those aha moments when something clicks and you realize that you will never be the same. Up until that documentary, I had never really considered being a person who would live a life independent of oil. I just never really thought that deeply about it. I figured I’d buy some car and a house like any other American. For the first time, I began to see my life and the carbon footprint I could make on the world by choosing to think differently about my personal dependence on oil. Elon Musk had challenged me to see a world where innovation and technology could redefine what we drive, how drive, and what we use to drive. Honestly, for years, I had my mind set on buying an Audi A4. I had never really made the connection between my car purchase and how that would affect my dependence on oil. Now that I’ve been awakened, I’ve begun to fall in love with something deeper. I’ve realized that it’s not just about buying a nice car. I now see my purchasing power as something bigger. I see it as a statement; an idea of how I want to be in the world.
Like most Americans, I’ve made countless trips to the gas station, spending $20-$40 a week on gas. I average about $150 a month on gas, plus another $35 every 3 months on oil changes. In comparison to most of the people I know, I don’t drive much. I have friends who average about $400 a month in gas. That’s crazy! After checking today, gas is currently $3.53 here in Atlanta, GA. Sadly, by the time I refer back to this post in the future, gas will probably be considerably higher. Here’s what I know: We are WAY too dependent on oil. Our dependence on oil in America has put us in the ugliest of situations. We’ve become an oil-hungry nation. Our dependence on oil has led to brutal wars with countries like Afghanistan and Iraq and disgraceful dealings with corrupt governments. As oil continues to become more expensive by the barrel every year, we as American citizens will be forced to take the blow and bear the costs. We’re already bearing the cost. I remember when gas was $1 a gallon. Just a year ago, gas was as high as $5 a gallon in some states. This should be an outrage! More people are buying cars every year and the need for oil is only going to increase around the world. It’s gonna get uglier. And we’re all smack-dab in-the-middle with our dollars being used to wage war on oil.
Now hear me, I don’t expect people to convert to anything. This isn’t some alter-call for people needing to convert to energy efficient cars. I’m just finally deciding to take my position in this conversation. I’m choosing to design a lifestyle that is both conscious and creative. I’m choosing to live an awakened life. I’m refusing to be stuck at the end of this conversation, depending on a corrupt oil industry that would rather take advantage of other nations at the expense of my pocketbook. Gas isn’t getting cheaper and we aren’t driving less. So what’s the solution? My solution is to ask better questions:
- What would it mean to be independent of oil?
- What would it mean to have control of my transportation costs instead of it having control of me?
- What would it mean to not have to pull up into a gas station again and feel the life sucked out of me as I watch every dollar being drained from my account for a few gallons of gas a week?
- What would it mean to invest my dollars into innovation and new ideas?
- What would it mean to invest my dollars into a cleaner and better world?
I know part of my role is to ask these questions; to find the deeper answers; to test the waters. I don’t do this just for me. This is also for those who may never think to ask or search or test these things. This is for those who may read this post. At the end of the day, my job is to first awaken possibility in myself and to then awaken possibility in others. My job is to keep my ears on the pulse of culture and to grab ideas that will not only make my life better, but make my world better. My job is to make whatever I learn available to as many who would want to know. And I know there are many people who will be inspired and awakened by me making the decision to become a more conscious and creative consumer. Plus, I’m sure a lot of us are looking for better answers when it comes to the issues of gas prices and this war on oil.
So, I said all of that to say that I’m considering buying a Tesla Model S.
I’m not planning on making a purchase of that magnitude right now, of course. I can’t foot the bill of a $67,000 car right now anyway. And that’s just the MSRP. After going on Tesla’s website and building my own custom Tesla Model S, my estimate grew to $95,000. That’s a lot of money! But when I think about the lifetime value of the car and the amount of money I’ll save over time in gas, oil changes, trips to gas stations, spark plug changes, and other crazy costs that come with oil-dependent cars, I’m convinced that it’s worth the investment. Plus it’s considered a luxury vehicle. It’s like getting the best of both worth… efficient luxury. At this stage, I believe it’s worth my time to research and understand what’s going on. The best investment I can make now is an investment in educating myself and others.
Right now, I’m in my research phase. Before I decide to make any decisions for or against something, I usually take my time to really immerse myself in the information. I’ve been studying electric car companies like Tesla and Fisker, car charging procedures, mileage per car charge, maintenance requirements, battery life, industry news, publicly traded electric car companies, etc. It’s exciting! Well, I think it’s exciting. lol. I realize that I get to make better and more conscious decisions on how I spend my time and my money. I get to design a better life. And this is just one aspect of lifestyle design. Lifestyle design affects everything… even buying a car.
Right now, I’m still tugging away in my 1997 Nissan Altima. It isn’t the most energy efficient car by far, but this is what I have decided to make due with while I save. As I said earlier, I was saving for an Audi A4. Since I’m considering making the switch to a fully-electric Tesla Model S, I will be beefing up my goals and plans to make it possible. I’m increasing my productivity in both of my companies. Essentially, I’ll have to earn more income to afford such a thing. I’m not worried though. I’m a self-starter. If I can set 100 Life Goals and achieve a lot of them, I’m sure I can make this a goal and achieve this.
Here’s the plan: If all things remain consistent, I’m considering buying a Tesla Model S when I turn 30. That gives me a little over 3 years to make that a reality. Hopefully, the company is still afloat and their marketshare has increased enough for the company to be a viable automobile maker by then. There’s also a chance they will release other models at more affordable rates. Either way, I have my eyes fixed on the Model S for now. I understand that this may not seem like a big deal to you. But just imagine for a minute with me… How cool would it be to make such a bold statement with your lifestyle and with your dollars? Just imagine how I feel. The idea of buying a fully-electric car on my birthday… with cash… is crazy! lol. Oh, what kind of statement that will be to the world. It would be my declaration of independence from a nation driven by oil. I believe we’re a part of a generation that is changing the world by making decisions like these, one person at a time. I consider this another step into the direction of awaking possibility. I’m excited about it. And I’m making it a MUST for it to happen.
At the end of the day, whatever you decide to drive is up to you. Trust me, people who drive electric cars aren’t better than people who drive oil-dependent cars. We’re all in this together. And I think it’s our job to help create a better world for one another. This blog post is about my way of making my world just a little bit better. I believe that more of us will transition over to this era of innovation and possibility once it’s embraced and accepted by more people. There was a time when energy efficient cars and electric cars didn’t exist. Now they do. And I believe there will be a day when oil-dependent cars will no longer exist. Well, that’s my hope. If the world could be a little bit cleaner and a little bit better because of how I choose to live my life, then I guess I’ll make the world a little bit cleaner and a little bit better. I hope you’ll join me. :-)