“The real value of adventure rests in the journey.”
A recent ski trip to Tam McArthur Rim inspired this thought.
We snowmobiled to Three Creeks Lake; a destination that sits beneath a towering rim with thousands of lines just waiting to be skied. A true backcountry paradise in Central Oregon.
I set out on this adventure to backcountry ski in an amazing place, but knew there was a deeper meaning. There always is.
We arrived at the lake around 22:00 and I slammed my snowmobile into a steep snow drift only to get it stuck. I yelled some vulgar words of anger and frustration failing to enjoy the learning process. Getting your sled stuck is an inevitable experience, but right now? Fortunately, my sister was there to calm the storm and lend a hand. I learned a thing or two about getting un-stuck and accepted the fact that this is not the first nor the last time it will happen to me.
Lesson One: Look at each experience good and bad as an opportunity to learn something.
Our camp was set with a view of the lake and towering rim above. As we drifted off to sleep snow fell from the night's sky and temperatures dropped well below 20 fahrenheit.
We awoke the next morning to sunny skies, fresh snow and and lines just waiting to be skied. The first clear day after a multi-day storm. Good day to take it easy and tour the rim.
Our day ahead would prove to be long and challenging.
We ascended the rim in the late morning and as temperatures rose looked for a safe pitch to ski.
In the early afternoon we made a collective decision to tour the whole rim. In the hours that followed we were met with some of the most amazing views of the Three Sisters that I have ever experienced. Hours began ticking by and we both fell into a silent presence only found in the mountains.
Anticipation started to grow as we approached the final pitch of our ski tour. We spent time assessing the route below, how we would navigate to the top of our drop in point and checking our gear.
The turns that followed were more variable than almost any snow conditions I have ever experienced in one run, likely a result of sun baking parts of the slope all day. The final 500 yards of our run were filled with hoots and hollers as we flowed into our final trek out.
Lesson Two: Exercise will bring a meditative mind state to you.
Fatigue began to set in as we put our skins on and prepared for the final miles of our tour. I continued to remind myself that we were not back to camp yet and anything could happen.
Lesson Three: Stay conscious of the fact that most accidents happen on the way down.
Nothing would happen except a huge feeling of accomplishment as we towered the final ridge line that would drop back down to Three Creeks Lake. We spent the evening cooking a delicious camp meal of doctored soup and macaroni (that is such a thing) and sharing laughs about the days adventure.
Our final evening at the lake was cold. Real cold. The stars were nothing short of amazing, but we awoke the next morning knowing that our adventure in the high country was over.
Thursday morning we packed up camp and sledded out of the wilderness destined for Smith Rock. My Tam McArthur adventure brought so much gratitude and richness to life. I felt like my recent decisions have been moving me in the direction of my dreams and things just feel right.
As life continues to flow I am finding the more present we are, then the more open our mind is to learning new things that often sit right in front of us. Things that have the ability to change our lives in an instant.
Hypothesis = If I quit my job, have more time to focus on my health and do things that truly matter to me then I will help more people and be happier.
Sounds like a great risk to take for a positive outcome, but not without first facing the fear factor.
We all experience it. At times it is a great motivating mechanism and it can also be paralyzing to the point of which you can get nothing done, except psychological destruction to yourself.
Recently, I experienced this catastrophization on a daily basis. At times I felt in a perfect flow and other times like an incapable individual.
I felt frozen.
I do not really know what the root of this was, but I do know that writing about it has helped.
Almost two month ago to this day I decided to quit my job. I walked into a 1-1 meeting with my boss and gave Scott’s Last Lecture - A summary of why and how I was moving on from the amazing company that became like family to me.
The days that followed included two big things: excitement and fear that was both motivating and paralyzing.
I know there are other drivers of this catastrophizing thought process I take my mind through, but for the sake of this I will write about one - Quiting my Job and becoming a Lifestyle Entrepreneur, which is something I have dreamed of for years.
Quitting my job so I can have the freedom to travel and work when I want, where I want and for as long as I want is a vision that drives me. I guess i’m just not willing to wait to become a millionaire to start living like one.
However, the nightmare that I play through my head over and over again is a vision of failure. Of me having no money, not being able to succeed at anything and pretty much sucking at everything I put my hands on.
This is ridiculous.
The probability of this outcome is near zero. And, even if this did happen I would dust off my shoes, get to work and make more than enough money to survive. It would not be life threatening.
What steps would I take if my nightmare came true?
This list can help get you out of a paralyzing fear rut as well, but it will take work.
My more likely outcome is this -
I have already started steps 1-5. I am not broke. I have tons of friends and family to help me along the road of my international adventures and I am going to start a successful consulting practice to make the world a better place.
My experience is only going to help me grow as a person, entrepreneur and athlete.
The most amazing outcome is going to be the people I get to inspire along the way, proving that it is ok to quit your job, you really do not need a million dollars to do it and the result will be some of the most amazing adventures of your life.
Additional Benefits from Quitting My Job to Become a Lifestyle Entrepreneur:
Well, you already know that i’ve quit my job. I basically fired myself from an amazing company in Bend.
And, finances are the number one stress driving me wild at this time. The funny thing is: I am debt free, have monthly expenses of roughly $1000 and I am sitting on a very nice pile of dough. I also have a number of consulting clients.
So, why am I so worried? Cash flow looks good, at least enough to live off of and things are looking up.
To be totally honest, I put off quitting my job for years out of fear. Fear of what? Financial instability in Bend, Oregon? One of the most beautiful and loving places in the world. A place full of people willing to help me out of any ugly situation. Wow!
Over the past several years I instead faced some of the gnarliest fears of all: Skiing dangerous zones, running ultramarathons, living in the woods and so much more. If I can make it through these experiences then I sure can live as a Lifestyle Entrepreneur.
Making it through the hard conversation and experience of quitting my job has empowered me with the ability to work through fearful situations much easier than ever before.
I strive to put myself into uncomfortable situations and listen to the fear factor in my mind that says ---> This is the hardest thing to do, the person you are trying to contact does not care to talk with you so why even bother, you are going to fail at this new thing you are going to try… and so on…
The reality is that sometimes my fear thoughts mentioned above are true, but who cares. I mean really. If you and I grow and experience excitement from working through things we fear resulting in more happiness, then why not put ourselves in more uncomfortable situations?
I know why ---> Because most of us hate being uncomfortable. It makes us feel afraid. We like routine.
Postponing my quit notice for years resulted in damage to myself and others.
My health suffered. I experienced stress resulting in many sick days and becoming a voice to negativity. This is bad all around. Bad for me and those I engaged with. I even got the joy of being sick from head to toe in Japan for a week.
I learned something from all of this though ---> What you fear most and know in your gut is exactly what you should do. If something feels challenging then you should just do it. I mean go for it as long as it is not life threatening to you or others. What have you got to lose?
Again I can look at wealth in terms of life balance, financial stability and happiness. It is so much more than a dollar at the end of the day. So much more.
Sadly, for years I let fear of cash flow, people not liking me and failure hold me back from following my passion and desire to be a lifestyle entrepreneur.
I was waiting for the perfect time. The day I had tons of money, the sky was blue and everything felt perfect.
Guess what? That day came and went many times and yet I failed to do one simple thing: Take action.
The perfect time never really comes, but the perfectly uncomfortable feeling does. The feeling of the unknown and the the fear of what is next.
This fear is what drove me to write about dodging fear bullets. It is the same fear that prevents all of us from doing something about our dreams. The solution is so simple - Create a hypothesis and if you like what the potential outcome is then take an action.
Take one small step each day toward the direction of your dreams and one day they will come true.
The reality - you and I will indeed fail our way to success, but as long as we keep getting up after each stumble we will make it.
What are you afraid of and what is the likely outcome if you take action?
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