Here’s what I did today:
- I worked on some behind-the-scenes stuff, preparing for the launch of my company’s site – 4thPark.com. This is an exciting, new, and scary adventure all by itself.
- I was invited to come and play the keyboard today at a new small church that I’ve never been to before. I had the opportunity to use a gift that hasn’t been of any use for a while. Afterwards, they really welcomed me and invited me to come back and play again. Plus I was paid $125.
- I read a few blog posts and watched a few interviews from people doing epic stuff. This is like my daily dose of “epic boost”. lol.
- I took a roadtrip to a Starbucks that I’ve never been to before. Starbucks is one of those environments that just helps me to groove a little better when I’m working, designing, or writing.
- I’m about to head to a meeting with a client who’s requesting my creative services for developing her first business. We’re developing an entire brand that will help her leverage her years of experience in corporate America. She’s one of the many I’ve met over the years who’s breaking away from the noise to pursue a passion or dream.
I’m not sure what I’ll do the rest of the day, but I can say that I’m having the time of my life. It’s a beautiful day and I have the rest of the day to make it whatever I please. Even driving in MY car listening to MY radio has been enough. I get pumped about the fact that I even have a car. It may be a 1997 Nissan Altima, but it only costed me $2,500 and it’s getting me where I have to go. WHOOT! At this point, I’m just grateful to have a day where I don’t have a care in the world. Just being happy to be alive.
This is the place we all seek. We think it’s more money and a lot of success, but I think it’s really autonomy: “The freedom to be. To live. To explore.” At least that’s what I seek. This is the place we used to dwell in as children. I’m sure many of us can remember those childhood days when the pressures of life, bills, relationships, debt, expectations, and opinions didn’t matter. Those were the days when we would run around outside for hours for no reason and make mud pies. We didn’t care about getting dirty or how cool we looked. We weren’t concerned about trying to prove ourselves. Honestly, we didn’t even know what any of that meant anyway. We were content just being alive. The little things mattered then. Yeah, we may have had our fits and cried when we didn’t get what we wanted at times, but life was pretty simple. I think we all long to get back to that place in some way. Maybe not the part about making mud pies. lol.
I believe that it’s in this place of contentment and inner peace that we become more aware of ourselves, of life, and of each other. Things tend to make sense, and it becomes a lot easier to make decisions and think. The noise and the busyness of life no longer cloud our view. And we’re more aware, present and available than ever.
I think it’s funny how we take on these lives as Americans, forcing ourselves to always be on the go, chasing something. Sometimes we’re running to the next thing and we aren’t even aware of what’s going on. People wake up everyday and live lives they are totally unaware of. Day after day, we’re becoming a robot on the conveyor belt of life.
I decided while I was in college that I was not about to succumb to that life. I’m not 100% sure how I’ll be able to avoid it, but I’ve been doing pretty good so far. It’s because of the decisions I made then that I am able to have an autonomous day like today. I explained some of those decisions in the last post. I also believe that the decisions I make now will lead me toward an even more epic life tomorrow. This isn’t rocket science. Nor does it require you to read a bunch of books or blog posts. It’s a decision. A decision to take the steps we all know we want to take to live the epic life we dream. We all know to some degree what those steps are. For some people, it may be to start writing that book that you’re afraid of or proposing to that girl you’re in love with or leaving that job you hate or pursing a passion you can’t seem to shake. We all have steps we can take toward a more epic life.
Below is a list of words that I toss around a lot in my mind. These are words that speak to the epic life I desire. I figured I’d share them so you could get an idea of what I value:
I would challenge you to do something today that you probably haven’t done in a while or at all. Take the next hour and sit. Turn off the TV, silence the phone, shut down the social networks, and just sit. And while you’re sitting, I want you to think through these 3 questions. As you’re thinking, write down whatever comes to mind. Don’t be afraid of yourself. These answers aren’t definite; they’re just starting points to a conversation you should be having with yourself and others. Here goes:
- What are 3 things you value MOST? (You can use some of the words I listed above if you want to.)
- What 3 things do you want MOST out of life?
- When you woke up this morning, what were 3 things you were excited about the MOST? (If you don’t have an answer, that’s ok.)
*The first question addresses your core values – what you believe in and value at your core.
*The second question should connect to your core values. What you want most out of life should align with your core values.
*The third question reveals if the first and second question are truly connected and if you’re living by them.
If these 3 questions are connecting, then you are already on your way toward an epic life. If not, there’s a disconnect (obviously). Don’t panic. You should be excited just about making that discovery. That’s something that you’ve learned about yourself today. That’s what this hour is for; to stop and think. This is a great time to realign yourself. Matter of fact, I would encourage you to begin making it your daily mission to always come back to these 3 questions. This isn’t something that happens overnight, but it’s surely a starting point. We should all get to the point that when we wake up in the morning, we’re excited about living a life that we value while working toward the things that we want most out of life.
Just in case you’re curious of what my answers are to these questions, here goes:
- Autonomy. Love. Adventure.
- The freedom to do things I’m passionate and excited about. To experience life with people I enjoy and to grow in my love for God. To explore and discover all that life has to offer and to help others do the same.
- I was excited about just being alive today. I was excited about having the freedom to do things I’m passionate about and enjoy today. I was excited about using my gift to help and serve people today.
As you can see, I’m working on this myself. And my answers will change as I grow and change. I’m not a life expert, but I can say that having clarity about life surely does help, especially when you want to live an epic one. I’m not a hippie. Just a young guy wanting to live an epic life. And by-golly, I will. :-)