I recently read a rather staggering article on 20 Something Finance about American work life. Simply put… We work too much.
Americans work more than any other industrialized country in the world. As a result our health, wealth and lives suffer. At one time it was thought that technology would help improve the quality of our lives by increasing our productivity. Well, it did do one of the those. Increase our productivity. Recent findings show that Americans are 400% more productive than in the 1950’s, but we are still working longer hours.
According to the International Labor Index Americans work the longest hours among all industrialized countries. This is frightening and shows no sign of letting up. I see people working more hours in the workplace everyday. Maybe they think that by working more hours they will prove to their boss that they are dedicated to the company and deserve a higher position. I hear people bragging about how they have overworked themselves for the week and they are so glad it is the weekend. They do not have time to exercise, manage their finances and take care of their families. I also hear of many people that bring their work home with them for over the weekend. As a result they do not take a single whole day off from work during the week.
What if we could find a bubble of focus in all the surrounding distraction? A small little bubble in our mind where we could focus on what is most important at work three days a week. These three days would be dedicated to a ten hour work / play atmosphere where people loved their jobs. Not only that, but they would be working thirty hours per week and making a full time income, receive a whole month of paid vacation and have the ability to truly create their ideal life balance. This seemingly arduous idea is part of the vision I have for my successful business.
Many people would likely be lost with this much spare time on their hands. What could I possibly do with four days away from work each week? What would I do?
I cannot possibly imagine what I would not do with this time.
I would spend this time honing in on my ideal life balance. This would afford me the opportunity to spend a lot of time with my family that others really do not get to capitalize on. I would read more books about financial independence and personal development. I would write more. My health would remain a top priority and it would be necessary for me to enjoy all of the outdoor activities that I currently do. Trail running, rock climbing and skiing would remain a huge part of my passionate life.
Most importantly I would take time out of my week to spread the message of how a 3:4 work:free days ratio has been achieved in my life and work place. Is this impossible? Of course! I would not be writing about it if I was not passionate about this and believed that it could be attained within the next five years.
Summit as friends!
I recently met David Rosell, the author of Failure Is Not An Option. Our conversation over lunch was enlightening and opened a dialogue between two like minded people. We both have a passion for the outdoors, living the life we have always dreamed of and having a positive impact on the world.
David was kind enough to gift me a copy of his book and I will be sharing with you an honest summary of what I learn.
Last night I enjoyed a journey through chapter 1 and 2. Both chapters wove together stories of mountaineering in the Himalayan mountains and running a business with some ordinary financial rules that will help you win if applied.
Like climbing a mountain our financial goal should be to make it to the top and safely back down. Far too many climbing and financial accidents happen every year not on the way up the mountain, but back down. I am far from retirement, but when I do reach those amazing years of my life I will have a clear cut plan. A plan that will ensure the money I have accumulated will last the 25-40 years of my retirement. Perhaps longer :)
Keep in mind here that once you start taking money out of your retirement account that you are no longer feeding it. The mountain you have built is getting smaller and the goal should be to not fall on the way down. Like climbing a mountain one poor decision could result in sliding all the way down the mountain, instead of enjoying the journey.
Take some time to identify and plan for the risks that you will have to face on the way down your financial mountain. This will allow you to enjoy your life and live peacefully knowing that your money is safe during the descent.
“May you keep your dreams alive and live the life you’ve always imagined.” - David Rosell
Like David, my father and Great Grandmother taught me a simple principle at a young age. Save 10% of every dollar you make, invest it into your retirement account and watch the magical formula of compounding interest work for you. I have also learned that living within your means will help ensure financial peace of mind. Far too many of us including myself have created a habit of spending before we earn. This means the bank and creditors own our homes, cars and food we ate last night. Make your money, save some of it then spend what is left on your living expenses. Become one of the Balance Sheet Affluent (people who have actual wealth or a high net worth), and not one of the Income Affluent (people who just make a lot of money and spend it).
I also learned that doing ordinary things extraordinarily well is often the difference between financial winners and losers. You do not have to hit the stock market jackpot to become a millionaire. All you have to do is make saving money one of your healthy habits.
Saving $200 / month for roughly 40 years and investing it into a 10% annual growth account will turn you into a millionaire. It is really that simple! You may be thinking right now that you do not have an extra $200 / month to save. Well I am here to tell you that you cannot afford not to do this. If you are buying a cup of coffee and eating out for lunch five days a week then you have at least $200 / month to save. Do not wait until you are older to begin climbing your financial mountain. It will only get harder.
Enjoy the adventure of chapter one of “Failure Is Not An Option.” on DavidRosell.Com.
Summit as friends!
I have recently started training for the Mt Hood 50 mile trail run coming up this July.
Many people have asked me - Why would you ever want to run 50 miles?
My response has been simply for the physical and mental challenge of doing something beyond my current limits. I am not setting out to prove anything to anyone other than myself. To do so would forfeit me of the true reason.
Responses have been no different than when I share about some of the other awesome adventures my life has taken me on. “That sounds miserable.” “Ralfffff!” “Running 50 miles sounds like hell. 2 miles sounds like hell.” “You are crazy!”
I felt a need to get clear on why I am going to put myself through the physical and mental challenge of such an endeavor. So here we go!
I have been a marathon runner since the young age of 17. Through this experience I have come to find no limits in what is possible during life. A deep understanding of what I am truly capable of has been found during 26.2 mile runs and beyond. Many people finish a marathon and move on to the next challenge in life. Going back to a job they do not like. Raising a family. Buying a home. Adopting unhealthy habits. And more… Not always bad, but often times so.
My next challenge is to run 50 miles. I am doing this to experience a greater level of physical, mental and spiritual strength than ever before.
Physically, I am capable of many things. Skiing extreme terrain, climbing mountains, running marathons, rock climbing. I have found no physical limit. I have covered over 40 miles in one day by foot, but never 50 in one consecutive foot race. Am I physically capable of this? On July 12th my preparations will be put to the ultimate test.
Many things in life are mentally challenging. Quitting an unhealthy addiction, running 26.2 miles or biking 850 miles from Hood River to Ogden Utah. I am sure your list is quite different, but a challenge is a challenge. Life is full of them!
In order to complete a 50 mile foot race in good shape I must commit to training for the next 17 weeks. Everyday! I must persevere through the voices in my head that tell me to quit. I must find a new mental ceiling of what my mind can achieve. Through meditation and focus I believe that not only this challenge is possible, but the ones to follow.
I have come to believe in a higher being and my connection only grows stronger with each foot I put forward. Often times all there is between me and one bad decision is the spirit of the marathon. Sometimes something else! I have found through many challenges that when my mind and body have reached complete fatigue I must dig deep inside for something more. I have always been able to find it. It is time to raise the bar.
Am I capable of raising my current bar of what I am physically, mentally and spiritually capable of? I think yes!
I look forward to sharing what these 50 miles bring into my mind and life. I do not know what to expect other than one wild adventure.
Summit as friends!
I recently went through a phase in my life in which anger was a frequent emotion. I was angry at people, places and things because they were not giving me what I wanted, now. Not only did I react to this anger, but I let it get out of control. My friends and family slowly drifted out of my life, I slipped into a depressive state and really did not know what to do.
Today, I am so grateful to have climbed out of that mind state and found a way to really create loving relationships with others and the world at large. This did not happen overnight, in fact it really took a lot of inner work. The work however has been worth the outcome.
Yesterday, I was riding my bike home from work reflecting on the fact that I had not been really angry for quite a long time. Well… What the mind focuses on it attracts. While my home is fairly clean I could not help but let the mountain of laundry, meowing cat, dirty floors, other peoples stuff drive me to a mind state of complete anger. I wanted to scream, douse my cat in water and instead of go on my run sit in my anger. I am glad I did not act on those thoughts. I simply responded to the situation.
I put my running clothes on, laced up my shoes with a flame blazing over my head and tromped out the door. I felt like a child, who did not get the toy he wanted. How ridiculous!
As my body began tromping down the river trail I could not help but begin stirring more thoughts of fury in my mind. This person did or did not do this. Why is my house in disorder? Why isn't everything going my way? Then something happened. It was as though a light bulb went off in my head. I asked myself one simple question.
Scott - Is the reality of things really that big of a deal or is your personal perception so freaking small that you are letting relatively minor things make you angry?
With my ego aside I was able to honestly answer this question. I am just letting things get to me because in the present they are not they way I want them to be. This means I need to reflect on my past, learn from it and respond in the present to make my life better in the future.
After reflecting on the situation. I asked myself another question.
How can I share my feelings with my GF in a rational way so it does not sound like everything is her fault? Another light bulb! I have a part in all of this too. We can work together to have a happier kitty and orderly home. All we have to do is break some bad habits. I have broken habits much harder than this, so why can’t we knock this one out of the park?
My conversation with Nicole went very well and we both agreed that there is room for improvement. I love that responding in a polite manner really helps you more than getting pissed off and lashing out.
In review, here the five things to do when anger arises. Your goal should be to manage your anger before it escalates and controls you.
5 Simple Ways to Manage Your Anger
Anger is completely natural. Do not think for a moment that you are abnormal because you are going through an angry phase in your life. Spend some time reflecting on why you feel this way. I have found alone time is best before talking it out with anyone. This allows me to respond instead of react.
Summit as friends!
Our to do list continues to get longer. We have not even finished last weeks tasks. The kids are sick. I have to make dinner. The TV is turned on and bugging the crap out of me. My pets are howling for food. And, you expect me to stay present? I mean in this very moment. Not thinking about the future, but focusing on what is right now.
Well, I am here to tell you that if you want to be happier then you really need to be in the present moment. You will find that in this place you are happier, more successful and others around you will enjoy your company much more. By focusing on what is going right now you will attract more of that into your life and you will look forward to the good things. What the mind thinks it creates. This will provide you with the mental strength and presence to respond to what is most important in this very moment. I am not saying you need not look at your past experiences in the present moment.
Our past is a great indicator of why we are where we are in life. The present is a period in which we can reflect back and learn from both the good and the bad situations. Doing this simple reflection exercise will enable you to make your present better than the past. Identify areas in your past that you do not wish to repeat, situations to avoid and people that brought only negative energy into your life. Stop putting your energy into those areas of your life. Here are three simple points for your reflection on the past:
Creating the life you have always dreamed of is most certainly something we should strive for. In order to do this we have to be willing to take time out of our lives to plan for our future. This will enable us to create a future that is better than the present. Visualizing what your beautiful future could look like is a great first step. What do you want your life to look like in 5, 10 and even 15 years? Creating a clear plan to achieve our vision is necessary if we want to experience a life better than our wildest dreams. And, we must put our plan into action in the present, not in the future.
Like you my mind often wanders to unnecessary places in time, when I should be present. I have found that my life is the most full of joy and success in the present, but the hecticness of life often ripples into my mind. Some great tools I have used to becoming more grounded in the present are mindful meditation, running and spending quality time in the outdoors.
I hope you find your present :)
Summit as friends!
There are so many positive things we want to achieve in life. Many of us want healthy relationships, more money and new material things. Through our process of achievement we often fail to realize that what we really want is happiness.
I recently went on a personal weekend retreat to the top of Tumalo mountain where I realized happiness is my ultimate goal. Yes! I do wish to double my income, purchase a new mountain bike, ski the world, grow a garden and more within the next year, but what I really want is shared happiness.
I have come to make a joyous game out of the process of attaining my goals. If I fail to truly enjoy the process then why I am shooting for something more?
There are several proven methods for achieving our goals. Many of which I have adopted in one way or another. You will find this information littered throughout philosophical writings and professional development books. Here are some pointers from a great movie and book called The Secret.
Ask: Silence your mind and ask for what you wish to attract into your life. Write your goals or wish as though they have already happened. For example. I am gratefully a millionaire and as a result I get to enjoy adventures all over the world.
Believe: Come to believe that what you wish for is already yours. You have already built an amazing relationship, developed a successful career, written a bestseller… Most of us cannot even begin to comprehend how things are going to manifest in our lives. Anyone who has ever achieved something great will tell you they came to believe it was possible then the steps started showing up in their lives.
“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” MLK
Receive: Find ways to feel as though you have already achieved what you set out to. A great way to do this is through visualization.
When you visualize you gain the ability to materialize. Through conscious visualization we have the ability to create any vision of our future that we want. And, what man puts his mind toward he shall attract.
I have adopted the use of a vision board to help me begin feeling what life will be like with my wishes. Through this I gain the feelings of joy and happiness that result from having already earned my first $1,000,000, purchased a new mountain bike, contributed to the world in a huge way and so on.
As Einstein said - “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions.”
Be open to the opportunities that this process will grant to your life. Focus on the positive things that move you forward and let the negativity slide by the wayside.
Remember my realization? I realized that my ultimate goal is happiness, not more material wealth. The material will just yield me experiences that result in joy and happiness. This is why I adopted appreciation and gratitude long ago.
I love the saying “Have an attitude of gratitude.”
If you want something more in your life then find things that you already have to be grateful for. We will not be happy with more things if we cannot find happiness within ourselves. Your current list of gratitude's could be as simple as 1. having the ability to read this article 2. having a shelter 3. having healthy food to fuel your body.
I hope you found use in these readings. Now might be a great time to meditate on one of your wishes :)
Summit as friends!
When most people were driving down the mountain I was headed up. Maybe this story will explain why my crowd of friends have always been a little bit crazy, rebellious, trouble making, rule breaking bad asses.
At 4 o'clock PM I headed toward the Tumalo Mountain Trailhead. My gear was packed and mind was ready for a new adventure. I would be sleeping on top of Tumalo Mountain in Central Oregon, at 8000 feet with no shelter. I camped in the back bowl last year while filming a backcountry ski video with REI, but never on the summit during early spring.
I started skinning up Tumalo around 5 o’clock at which time the trail was still slushy from a warm afternoon. I took the hike one slow step at time. My body was still a bit fatigued from a ten mile trail run only hours prior. Over the course of the last 500 feet the wind started to really pick up. On the summit I would meet a consistent breeze of 20 MPH. This was enough for me to know that without a wind block I would have a miserable night. I got to work!
On the summit I found a place to build my shelter that would provide me with a view of the mountains and sunset from my sleeping bag. (see photos below) I built a wall that would protect my body from the wind, which was becoming more fierce. After the wall was complete I crawled into the protection of my sleeping bag. Aww! What a beautiful view and amazing place to relax. I thought!
I enjoyed a pre-made dinner, read some pages from my book “The Passion Test” and the sun began to set.
As the sun set on the snow capped mountain tops my mind drifted into a meditative state. I was reflecting on life in general. It is really incredible to see how much my relationships, happiness health, physical fitness and passion has changed over the last year. I asked myself some deep and rather personal questions on the mountain top that evening.
And, today I think I found the answers. It is amazing what you can find if you just look inside yourself. Calm your mind, listen and stop looking around. The answers will come.
I spent the night sleeping under a star filled sky with moon lit mountains in the back drop. Each time I awoke the mountains were there. Peacefully sitting still in the vast wilderness. The wind never died down during the night and I wrestled with getting good sleep, but one poor night of sleep was worth the experience.
It is amazing where our feet can take us with a little willingness to do things outside of what others would perceive as a normal adventure. My friends and I have always been those swho seek an extraordinary adventure that creates stories of amazement. That will never change!
Now, I am off for another ten mile trail run in Shevlin Park. Let this wonderful adventure of life continue..........
Summit as friends!
My goal is simple.
Today, I am doing some mental, physical and emotional simplifying. I am doing this in an effort to free my life from the unnecessary and focus on what is most important right now.
My life and living environment has become too cluttered. It has gotten to the point where thinking is distracted, focusing is a challenge and the need to simplify has risen.
Life gets hectic. However, that should never be an excuse to complicate things, stop sorting your mail, folding laundry and putting things back where they belong.
Months ago I realized one of the keys to happiness can be found in simplicity. We do not need more stuff, in fact we need less.
Today, I am embracing the fact that this process will be painful. I do know that through simplicity I will find focus, success and something better than I can imagine.
What is going to happen this weekend?
I will complete this list and likely more. You get the idea. There are so many areas of our lives that get filled with little nagging unfinished tasks. Over time these become mountains. And, these mountains are near impossible to climb. Do not wait for your mountain to get so tall that it paralyzes your productivity. Simplify today!
Summit as friends!
Relationships empower us, give us strength when we are weak, show us how to love when we do not know how and make us feel a part of something greater than ourselves.
Where would we be without family, friends, amazing co-workers and people we are yet to meet?
Honestly! I do not even want to know. I believe relationships are what allow us to do amazing things with our lives. Sure! We have to take the initiative to create relationships and maintain them. Life would not be the same without loving and rich relationships.
I know this because at one time in my life relationships were not of the utmost importance. I thought I had life licked and did not need support from others. I could not have been more wrong.
This was one of the darkest stages of my life. I am so grateful to have climbed out of that hole, found a higher power, learned to love again and realized the importance of having quality relationships.
Today, I make the initiative, tell people I love them and give them hugs. I fill their minds with positive energy and as a result they come to me for advice, guidance and support.
Today, I realize the full value in my relationships and I will continue to invest in them. They are one of the components of my life that make me feel love, which is one of my top 5 values. Relationships are one of the means to feel love, share love and foster love.
How healthy are my relationships today compared to 12 months ago? I would honestly give myself a 1 12 months ago and a 7 or 8 today. Always room for improvement. Right?
There are some really simple things we can do in order to make our relationships richer than yesterday. And, guess what? They do not cost a dime. They do require you take some withdrawals from your love chest and invest them into others.
Here are a few things I have done to improve my relationships:
Communication: Frequent and honest communication with those you are closest to will allow your relationship to grow.
Kind Words: Using kind instead of harsh words is always best, especially when discussing something you may not both agree on.
Understanding of Others: Everyone has their own opinion. They own it, not you. Let them be with their perception of the way things are and accept it. Let it go!
Hugs: Hug some strangers. Lift up their day. You will feel better too. Hug your family more than in days prior. Share the love.
Smiles: A simple smile goes a very long ways. You can actually change your happiness one smile at a time, like I did :)
I hope this article motivates you to wake up and start treating others how you wish to be treated in return. The ROI equation works with relationships too. What you put in will determine what you get out. Are you putting the right stuff in? Are you yelling instead of resolving issues peacefully? Are you happy? Are others happy to be around you?
In the end, we only regret the relationships we failed to strengthen, the decisions we failed to make and the opportunities we failed to act on.
Don’t wait another day!
Summit as friends!
Finding who you really are and setting goals is really quite a fun process. I recently put myself through a fairly detailed and beneficial goal setting, value seeking and me finding set of exercises.
This process was time consuming and well worth the results. I am working toward a clear purpose and vision that I will have attained five years from now.
My goals, values and vision are more clear now than they have ever been in the past. And, I want to share with you the process in which I went through to find out who I really am, what I value and why I am here.
I really went through a collection of different books, ebooks and the exercises within them. All of them held their different purpose and helped me add another detail to my puzzle. In this article I will describe the different tools I used to come up with my goals and hope that you get some really good direction as to what your next step to finding you is.
Resources for setting goals and getting clear on your life purpose:
Mind Tools - Values Exercise
This is an excellent exercise to help you get clear on what you most value in life. I decided to come up with five values. If I am living in alignment with these values then I am truly living a balanced lifestyle.
My top 5 values: 1: Health 2: Love 3: Accomplishment 4: Adventure 5: Community Goodwill
The Passion Test By Chris and Janet Attwood
This book and website exercise is great. It helps you get clear on what your real passions in life are. It has inspired me to help more people in more impactful ways and take action on things that I really love doing.
Live Your Legend
Live Your Legend is a community built around helping others find and do work they love. Would the world not be way better off if we were all stoked to wake up in the morning and get after our passions?
There are several tools on the Live Your Legend website that I have found to be very useful. Aside from the hundreds of articles and must watch TedX talk by Scott Dinsmore “How to find and do work you love” I use the weekly planner that Scott shared with everyone as well as his goal planning worksheet.
Tools from Live Your Legend that I use:
Weekly Planner - I do not print this, just use it as a framework each Monday morning.
Goal Planner - Again, this is a great tool for setting you annual and big picture goals. I do not print this, just use it as a framework.
After you read Tony Robbins book “Awaken the Giant Within” you will realize that a lot of Scott’s inspiration stemmed from his work.
Tony does a great job of helping you find your physical, financial and spiritual destiny. His book is filled with rock solid exercises that will help you get clear and begin taking action now.
Remember, all of these tools are waiting for you. Take the first step and find out what your values are. Keep it simple. Dedicate an hour or so of quite creative time to this exercise. You will begin to feel and see a path to your new lifestyle.
I have and continue to put time aside each week to work on me. Constant and never ending improvement is only achieved if you dedicate yourself to it.
Good luck on your journey to finding you.
Summit as friends!
Welcome to Scott's Adventure Blog!