I’ve been vacillating on putting out my first post on LinkedIn for well over a year, but have decided to bypass fear and perfection, and just break through the barrier and get it done. While I realize all the risks associated with social media and approval, I also understand even more so, the risk of not starting. Done, is better that perfect… so here goes… and a plan for more discussions on adventure and team building to come.
What would you do, if you could take a year off, have $150K in spending cash, and a blank slate to do whatever you wanted?
I want you right now to think about who you would help, how you would change? What you would see? Where you would go? And why you would do it?
Imagine the good you could do. For yourself, for your health, for your family, for non-profits that you believed in, and for your friends.
When I made my decision to take a year off work, and a year ON with life, my main focus was to make an impact on my children, and to get involved with a local inner-city youth leadership non-profit, CityWILD. I also wanted to adventure as much as I could, and my rallying credo was that I wanted to help people transform their lives through adventure.
On the surface, it looks like one grand whirlwind adventure. 104 days of skiing all over the world; Austria, Switzerland, France, Colorado, Utah, Tahoe and Detroit, 52 days of Rafting, 64 days of mountain biking, 5 major backpacking adventures, and a over 75 hiking days. Does that sound exhilarating, or exhausting? Life Enriching, or draining? That’s up to you to decide as it’s different for everyone.
My adventures included helping my father move across country to Seattle, helping with the Boulder flood relief; personally impacting 8 families and their homes, The 30 day Epic Ski Race, that my son and I competed in, A week in the Bahamas at the atlantis resort with my daughter, A spring break mountain bike and rock climbing trip with 12 students from CityWILD, Mountain biking and Bungee jumping adventures in New Zealand with a buddy, rafting adventures through Idaho on the Lochsa and Salmon rivers with my son, Jr Raft Guide school with 6 incredible inner-city youth, Some epic mountain biking adventures on the Monarch Crest trail, Fruita and Moab. Motorcycle trips with my daughter. Every day was a new adventure, and I felt myself craving adventure with ravenous voracity.
As I started saying “Why Would I Not?” to so many adventures, I was also saying “No”, to some of the important things, that my kids were requiring. Structure, comfort, quality downtime with Dad. And it made me go back and revisit my mission; that I wanted to spend quality time with my children.
Have you heard of the law of scarcity? Some say yes and understand, but it really is more of a myth of scarcity. However, I will say that I became trapped by it. I continued to say things like “I’ve only got 3 months left of Sabbatical”. “I’ve only got $30,000 left before I’m out of spending money”, “I’ll never get in all the rafting, skiing, biking, adventuring in the time I’ve got left”. The focus was constantly on what I was missing out on, and when I turned my attention to my daughter, I was doing it begrudgingly thinking, “I’m sitting here at home while she’s upstairs surfing instragram or snap chatting with her friends, when I could be out running the rivers, or riding the hills”. I was totally into the mindset of scarcity, and I believe that my daughter could feel it. It almost felt like she was punishing me and looking to do everything she could to make my life miserable, but it was me that was doing that. The more I went into the scarcity mindset, the more down and disheartened I became, and the less motivated I was to continue to work on making my life of adventure work for me and enter the flow.
As I started to research and realize the law of sufficiency and abundance, I realized that I had exactly the same amount of time as everyone else. I also realized the more that I gave of time, money, love, attention and adventure, it was returned to me multiplied. I realized that as I let go of the thoughts around scarcity, that the flow of my life started to blossom and really work with me, and not against me. While sometimes it is a hard lesson to learn and be cognizant of, it was valuable to realize that as I start investing time in the things that were so very important to me, that it helped with the flow of my fatherhood, my friendships, my relationships and my financial well being.
After 20 months of Sabbatical, I finally have realized the dream of my efforts. 3 months ago I purchased a company that does amazing and unique adventures and I’m working and realizing my dream of “helping people transform their lives through adventure”. I’ve also been working deeply with CityWild to add inclusiveness and community impact series to the CBST Adventures/CityWildpartnership where we give leadership opportunities as well as job skill training and opportunities to our CityWild students. I’m also working diligently with my children on adding appropriate adventures as well as proper downtime and conversation areas to build trust and proper parenting time. At this point in my life, with the belief in Sufficiency and a combination of love of adventure, doing that through work, and giving back, life sure seems to be hitting a beautiful and natural flow. It’s tough to separate work time from family time from play time from give back time as it all seems so serendipitously connected.
If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.
– Bishop T.D. Jakes