*Note – this post is a bit more philosophical than practical but hopefully there’s some value in there for you anyhow.
This week, I was saddened to hear of the loss of an old high school football buddy. He was a cool guy. He was the same age as me – 35.
Naturally, I spent some time remembering him and then thinking about my own life and situation.
It’s a sobering thought knowing that you could “go at any time”.
It’s also incredibly motivational.
The Gray Cubicle Prison
I used to sit in a cubicle. I did it for 40+ hours a week. I spent another 20+ hours a week commuting.
During my lunch breaks, I tried to avoid the typical lunch places. I couldn’t stand seeing all of the other worker bees with their khaki Dockers and work badges hanging neatly from their belts.
Instead, I went to parks and even stores. I used to walk aimlessly around Target looking at the “normal people” who somehow escaped having to be at a job.
I used to wonder what they did. How did they not have to get back to a boss? How did they make money?
What allowed them to wander freely without any buzzing in their head that they had to clock in again?
After my lunch break, I used to log back in to my computer only to see a screensaver of a tropical island staring at me.
With a little sigh, I’d start pouring through emails again waiting until after 5 when I was then allowed to go back to my family.
Bottom line, I spent the best waking hours of my life doing something I didn’t want to do with people that weren’t my family all while dreaming of something better.
I was dying. Slowly. Methodically. One time card after another.
My Atheist Ah-Hah Moment
I once worked with a guy who was an atheist. He knew I was a believer and we often spoke about each other’s convictions (respectfully, I should add).
One day I asked him what he felt happened after this life. He said, “What do you mean?”
“Like, when you die I mean? What happens? Where do you go next?” I said.
“Nowhere. This is it.”
“You just stop? Like cease to exist? No thought process? No feelings? Nothing?” I asked.
“Yeah”, he said.
“Then what the heck are you doing here at this job!?” I asked incredulously.
I then grilled him that if he could go at anytime, why was he wasting time at a job? Why not take off to exotic lands, tall mountains, and tropical beaches?
“Well, I have to have money I suppose. So I work here.”
He didn’t know it, but his reply had a HUGE impact on me. It became a conversation I thought about frequently. It helped me evaluate everything.
Living the Dream
We’re currently in California renewing visas and visiting family for the holidays.
Last week I got to visit a good friend and take a tour of his design consulting company (Punchcut) based in San Francisco. And I mean, his company. Like, he started it with 2 partners and it’s grown to be very successful.
I’m always fascinated learning about successful entrepreneurs and their journey.
As we were walking around his office, my friend introduced me to one of his employees. He said, “This is my buddy Sean. He’s living the dream with his family down in Cozumel, Mexico.”
It hit me in that moment that I really was living the dream!
The cubicle is a relic of my past. The job is no more. The screensaver from my work computer has turned into my daily view.
I engaged in some small talk with the guy but my mind was still reeling from the realization that I was living exactly how I wanted to.
Pretty. Darn. Awesome.
The Big Point of it All
It shouldn’t take the death of a friend to make us evaluate what’s important.
It shouldn’t matter if we’re believers, atheists, or whatever. It shouldn’t matter if there’s more after this life or not.
What does matter is that we’re living every day exactly how we want to with the people we want to.
I’m so grateful to say I am. And I’m kind of a schmuck!
In other words, if I figured out how to do the thing, you probably can too. And a lot faster too!
And that’s pretty much what this blog is dedicated to. Helping you figure it out and then get out there and do it!
I know this message isn’t for everyone. It’s not.
But if you’re like me and you have even a tiny inkling of wanting something better, then hopefully you can poke around and find something here that will help you.
If not, shoot me an email. I’m a pretty average guy but maybe I know something or someone that can help you with what you want to do.
Here’s to really living!
PHOTO: taken by ME on a dive in Cozumel