- Intermittent Fasting (only east between 1pm-9pm)
- Helped raise $12.3M with Zeo
- Kitesurf in Nicaragua
- Started writing a book – Sleep is Awesome!
- Learn to climb Ice Waterfalls
But am I approaching life with the right perspective? Am I trying too hard?
I met someone pretty rad while I was kitesurfing in Nica – she has an entirely different perspective on life. Jessica Winkler made a huge life change about 4 years ago – from a conventional uber-successful white-house with a picket fence life into a super-rad world traveler and kitesurf instructor (the first kite school in Nicaragua!) And she is one of the happiest and most fulfilled people I have met (not to mention the impact she has on others…)
She gave me the following advice (in a nutshell): Chill the fuck out
It started with an observation as she was teaching me to kitesurf. When you crash a kite (happens pretty often for me…) – the next step is re-launching the kite from the water. The instructions are pretty simple. Relax – let the power out of the kite. Swim until you are at a 90 degree angle to the kite. Gently tug on one of the lines until the kite launches. Let the kite do it’s thing – it’s supposed to relaunch – just let it and help it a bit on the way. What do I do? Kite hits the water – and I start pulling and yanking and trying to FORCE the kite into the air. More MUSCLE. More POWER. CONTROL the kite! Shocker – it didn’t work. I was trying WAY too hard. As we ended the day with a few beers on the beach – we extended this metaphor to the rest of my life.
Jessica described to me the way that some of the people she most respects operate. They are hugely successful – but they also have a beach bum mentality. Her perfect example: Richard Branson (I need to read his book).
In Jessica’s words – Branson sits back and chills – and watches others run around like chickens with their heads cut off making deals, working like crazy, and testing the waters. From his chilled, outside the fray perspective – he is able to see opportunities that everyone is running right by. Then he lays some chips on the table and has a huge win. He doesn’t force things, doesn’t over-control things, and knows how to relax and rejuvenate. Even more important than success – this perspective brings happiness and fulfillment to Branson as well.
Me? I try to muscle things. If I just think harder, work harder, apply the right techniques – I’ll WIN. Hence Jessica’s advice – in business and in life – chill the fuck out.
When it comes down to it – many of the people who’s advice I admire come to the same conclusion in different ways. Tim Ferriss found that working only 4 hours a week allowed him to gain perspective and balance – and be killing it at the same time. One the entrepreneurs who I deeply respect (Daniel Putterman of PogoPlug) has an amazing balance in life beyond business – family, exercise, and healthy time off. Julien Smith and Johnny B Truant are great examples too – these guys live by their own rules – and people naturally gravitate toward the pure life force that results. All these guys are hugely successful and happy as hell. So many of the other successful people I work with have wrecked home lives, live unfulfilled, and are unhappy without the constant crackberry action that keeps them going.
So what does this all mean? Honestly – I don’t know. I still want to Become Fucking Awesome. But maybe chilling the fuck out is actually going to propel me there – rather than a maniacal pursuit of progress at all costs. I’m going to let this one chill for a bit and get back to you.