I wrote this post to take another step towards being more genuine and honest about myself. I want people to either like or dislike me for who I really am, not a facade or a fake image, so I am publishing this as insight into my life. The clips are part of a 30 minute unscripted wrap up to 2011 where three close friends each talked about what we liked / didn’t like about 2011 and what the new year holds. My clips (the entire talk here) are accompanied by my commentary in order to further explain and clarify the points. I am making myself completely vulnerable by opening up and publishing these somewhat private thoughts so I hope you enjoy.
Biggest Crisis / No Community
After dropping out of college, I moved out on my own to figure out my next step. I took a job at Austin Canoe and Kayak, moved to North Austin, and embarked on My Entrepreneurial Journey, a 6 month course that helps entrepreneurs find, hone, and prove their story. It was a difficult, overwhelming time because I was asking deep, hard questions about my past, my future, and my life. I was truly stuck, unsure of where I wanted to go, what I wanted to do, or who I wanted to become. Most people can probably relate. I was at a point of total confusion so I know how it feels: up, down, lost, distressed, emotional, overwhelmed. It was a roller coaster period filled with huge swings in motivation, clarity, and emotion. I was attacking life questions head on with no escape: I wasn’t going out, I didn’t have close friends, I didn’t have an outlet. I dealt with it all on my own with no community of friends to back me up. Overall it turned out to be a fantastic experience that taught me huge life lessons, but at the time it was a deep and long struggle.
Association / Relationships
After the period mentioned above, I tried to reconnect to friends I had from high school. We played basketball, hung out, and I tried inviting them to other activities. Despite the repeated efforts, the reconnection wasn’t working and I soon stopped trying. I made the decision to only start associating with people that would support me, encourage me, and push me forward: I wasn’t going to let others hold me back. (This was months before writing Burning Bridges). At first it was difficult because I once again didn’t have close friends and I was spending more time alone. However, sticking to my “quality not quantity” decision gave me more time to learn more about myself and who I want in my life. When I started making friends again (it didn’t take long) I did it with a strong personal understanding of me, what type of people I want to associate with, and what I want my community to look like.
Since moving down to the central area of Austin my friend situation has changed drastically. Where as I used to not have close, real friends I now am surrounded by people that motivate me, inspire me to dream bigger, and enlighten me to different ways of thinking. I am constantly meeting new people and expanding my circle in a way that allows me to regulate who is influencing my life.
Launching Action Catalyst!!
Just listen. Hear the raw excitement and enthusiasm?
Autonomy / Agility
Freedom and Agility are huge for me right now. I am at a very free, unrestricted season of my life and I am embracing it fully. This applies to both daily and overarching actions ranging from being able to control my day to directing my future. It’s some what selfish but it needs to happen in order for me to keep finding myself and to keep exploring my path.
“Life is Good”
This clip is awesome: it about sums up my thinking right now.
“I don’t want to get to the end of my life and say, ‘Life was good.’ Fuck that. Life is not good, life has to be amazing. Life has to be lived everyday.”
This is a “10 Year Lifestyle Goal” for how I want to live in at 30. But why wait? This is how I approach everyday, now.
I wake up everyday thankful and happy that I define how I live my life, that I love who I am, and that I love what I do. I live a wonderful life guided by myself, my views, and my actions. I am fully responsible for my life and for that reason I am proud of who I am. I am constantly growing and learning in order to live more successfully but at the same time I happy with where I am. I blend contentment and ambition to create a mixture of loving what’s here but pushing myself for what’s coming.
Thoughts on Girls
I have made the opposite sex a major area of focus lately and thus it has played a key role in my growth. When I was living alone last year, I cut back on girls in order to focus on myself. I didn’t want to cloud my personal understanding by throwing a significant other(s) into the scheme. But now I know enough about myself to start mixing women back into the mixture and seeing where it takes me
Growing Apart From My Family
Growing apart from my family has been a big area of growth in my life because it has allowed me freedom to be more me. I live in the same city as where I grew up so my family lives here, as well. With my situation last year (see above) it was very easy to justify going home to hang out and escape. I wouldn’t have anything to do on a Friday night so I would leave my apartment to go be with them. When I moved more central, I made a choice to not go home as much and distance myself from that safety net. This will soon be tested more: I feel a move to a different city coming soon.
Growth over the Last Year
The amount of growth and change I have been experiencing lately is incredible. The shedding of old and the developing of new, the experiences, the learning, all of it is happening at a an incredibly fast rate. Being open to ideas, pursuing myself, and writing have all contributed heavily towards my recent growth. And it’s just the beginning: I have a long year (life) ahead of me to keep up this momentum and to see where it takes me!
Lack of Adventure / Too Much Focus
I was too focused on making progress and not living enough day to day. I had the thinking that I would delay gratify living life until I had more money, more time, more… This thinking has drastically changed. I am now living everyday, making the most of my life, now. I am constantly pushing myself to live more: more excitement, more adventure, more living.
I really like asking myself, “What is the most awesome thing I could do right now?” then I do it.
Not Settling for Stuff
I have gone from “settling” to “not settling”. I used to hide from my weaknesses and only try to show my strengths but now I am no longer running from these problem areas. If I have an issue with something about myself, I immediately set to work fixing it. I know that I have areas that need improvement and I am “Declaring War on Myself” to fix them.
I used to have huge, correctly set goals to motivate myself. Now, instead of goals, I have a theme: Move towards Success. That is all that I do everyday. I know what it looks like, I know what it means, and daily I live with that mentality. If everyday I do what I love as much as possible, I don’t need to reach goals to know that I am making progress.
“Success in 2012 = Freedom, Agility, Growth, and Balancing Contentment with Ambition.”