Beautiful Distractions

I’m not one to make New Years Resolutions. I do evaluate and re-evaluate my goals and ambitions quite often. Perhaps, too often. Nonetheless, I’ve made one declaration for 2018. 

When I speak about distractions, I am speaking about anything that’s preventing or attempting to prevent you from doing the thing(s) you know you should be doing.

The previous two years (2016 & 2017) I fell victim to destruction. Beautiful distractions, as they were. These distractions prevented me from devoting time and energy to my calling. But, it’s not all black and white. 

Did I completely neglect my calling? No. I did move it down the priority list a notch or two and that cost me some time. However, I learned a lot from these distractions so I don’t count them as lost. 

Each distraction came filled with meeting great people and making great memories, which I consider to be the greatest currency on the planet. In the beginning, they weren’t distractions. They only became distractions when they began preventing me from doing what I knew that I needed to do. 

Distractions never present themselves as distractions. Rather, they look like awesome opportunities. In a similar way, evil rarely presents itself as evil. There are many wolves in sheep’s clothing lurking to take advantage of those with their guards down. 

But, not all distractions are evil in nature so it’s unfair to group them that way. However, if it helps you to think of anything that prevents you from living your best life, by all means, call it evil and do not allow yourself to be bothered by it. 

Don’t misunderstand me. I am not deflecting blame; I take full responsibility. I blame no one but myself. It was my choice and I must live with the consequences. I can’t go back in time and change anything nor do I wish to. The lessons I have learned are invaluable to me. I wish to share them with you here. 

 

Avoid Distractions

Once again, I find myself in quite a predicament. This seems to be an ongoing theme of my life. I wish not to complain about these situations because each and every time, I’m stuck in a predicament with two pretty sweet opportunities. 

However, if I’m not careful, I’ll choose the wrong one and put my Personal Legend* on the back-burner. My one declaration for 2018 is to avoid distractions. As you may have guessed and I’ve certainly experienced, it’s certainly easier said than done. 

Over the last year, I have been in contact with several producers for television and film. They seem to believe that I have a potential acting career. I can’t say that I believe they are wrong. After all, I truly believe that anything I set my sights on I will be successful.

Call it arrogant, confident, or something else if you wish. I’m not one to argue semantics or labels. Feels like a waste of time. I know my intent is pure in saying that. I think more people would live better lives if they, too, believed it. But, I digress. 

“Is this opportunity a distraction?”

The question that I ask myself is whether or not this acting opportunity is a distraction. During my Thoreau-like move to Colorado in August of 2017, I learned a lot about how it is I wish to live and experience this life. 

On the other side of this predicament, I wish to work at a ski resort, either in Colorado or California. I wish, and always have, to live simply. Snowboarding, mountain climbing, hiking, and writing is what I feel convicted to do.

The mountains, in particular, put life in perspective for me. The Metaphor of the Mountains is something that I really relate to. It’s so indicative of life. 

As far as making money, I believe that my current business model will be fruitful but not for several more years. I wouldn’t laugh because it’s already made me a few coins despite my overall lack of effort. For now, I’m cool with picking up seasonal jobs in places that I wish to experience and explore. 

I’m quite sure that all of this is sounding absolutely ridiculous. If you break it down, one could come to the conclusion that my behavior is mapping to become a world-class dirt bag. While that may be true, I’ll be the happiest dirt bag on the planet and put out work that I’ll be more than proud of. 

I know a few things.

One, I am a dude with some heavy convictions. I can’t bring myself to do anything that I know I shouldn’t be doing, at least for long. I’m not talking about a ‘moral high ground’ here. I’m talking about doing things that prevents me from doing what I know I should be. Call it a distraction if you like 😉

Two, each time I’ve followed my heart (and convictions) it has paid off. Despite looking like absolute absurdity in the beginning, people began to put the pieces together and making sense of it all. 

Not that others need to be able to put together the pieces. Truth is, they won’t be able to until you’re well into the decision. Don’t get me wrong, once it begins to make more sense, they’ll still call you crazy. But, in my experience, getting called crazy is one of the best affirmations I’ve ever received. 

“The more I’m called ‘crazy’
the better I feel about the path I’m on.”

Three, the more you value what others think of your life and your decisions, the more likely you are to behave in a way that attempts to please them. It’s impossible to please every body and the endeavor is not worth the pursuit.

You owe it yourself and everyone around you to put your own happiness as top priority. Doing things to please others is probably the biggest and worse distraction one could make. 

Recently, I have found a few ways to combat falling for the enticement of distracting opportunities… they may just surprise you.

*The Alchemist reference 

[My personal legend is to build a reputation of credibility, reliability, and to provide accurate and honest information. Part of that means that I must network with other people who fill in the gaps of my educational stature. Contrary to popular belief, I do not know everything.]

 

Fear Setting

I’m sure most of you reading this think I am fearless. That’s not the case. I’ve done some ballsy things but don’t think for a second that it didn’t spark some fear. The reason I was able to look fear in the eye and do it anyway was because I was more afraid of who I’d become if I didn’t take that leap of faith. 

While there are certainly more immediate fears, the one big fear I’m afraid of is getting toward the end of my life and having regret. Pardon my french, but that scares the shit out of me! 

At the end of this month, I will turn 27. Still a very young man with my entire life ahead of me. I have opted to remain #Relentless with my determination and patience. 

What I wish to build will take some time but it will have impact long after I am gone. I am willing to take my time and lay the foundation, so that it remains strong and useful for those who visit. 

Allow me to push the barrier of arrogance and/or confidence once again… I believe that I am one of the great thinkers of my generation. I have come to this conclusion by my many interactions with those of my age and older.

It’s extremely rare to find another who thinks similarly. I have been blessed to be both left brain and right brain dominant. My emotional intelligence is probably my best trait, while I’m equally as good with numbers, logic, and I’m sure not many would argue with my analytical mind. 

This is something that has just recently come to mind. I did some more research on left brain and right brain thinkers. Turns out that most don’t have a dominant side. However, I do believe that humans have a tendency to lean on their strengths and burry their weaknesses. I don’t necessarily find this to be a bad thing. 

However, the thing that separates me is that I have (accidentally, one could say) honed my brain to think, both left and right, highly affectively. I have always found myself to be incredibly intuitive. I can’t say that I have done anything to earn this. It’s quite possibly a gift of good genes. Thanks mom and dad! 

Fear setting is something I have just started doing when I find myself in such a predicament as this.

Many people set goals but very few clearly define their fears. I have found that expressing what you are afraid of, at least to yourself, is incredibly important. It’s like stating what you are willing to do and unwilling to do, whatever the reasoning. 

As I always strive to do, I will lead by example…

This is going to sound absolutely crazy but it’s the truth. I am most scared of pursuing acting, becoming successful, and being completely miserable… 

No harsh words, please. I already feel like an asshole saying that and even thinking about turning away from a career that many people dream of. 

On the flip side, I can’t imagine having too many bad days in the mountains. I’m more than qualified for several positions at a resort. The job part doesn’t matter, anything will do. If I’m in the mountains, I’ll be happy. 

If you’d like to hear Fear Setting in a more elegant way, check out this TED Talk by Tim Ferriss. I think you’ll get a lot out of the entire talk but if you’d like to fast forward to the fear setting, skip to 5:10. 

 

F&$% Yeah! or No

When it comes to making decisions or deciding on opportunities, I have found this simple principle to be incredibly helpful. Although it’s not bulletproof, nothing is (coffee included), it is a very simple and useful tool. 

When presented an opportunity, if it’s not something your immediately excited about then it should be a no. When presented the opportunity and in your mind, or out-loud, you’re like ‘hell yeah,’ or better yet, ‘fuck yeah,’ then it would be appropriate to see it through. 

It’s really that simple so I won’t beat this dead horse. This article is long enough already. 

Closing Thoughts

 

“We suffer more often in imagination than in reality.” 
– Seneca

I have suffered enough over this decision. I need to make a definitive move forward and not look back. If you have read this far, I’m sure you’ll be able to guess my next move. But, I hope that you’re also able to see my struggle with this decision. 

I’m not sure that you got anything out of this article but I have found this process to be incredibly insightful and beneficial. I’m so glad I took the time to write this down. I would encourage you to write down your thoughts when facing a difficult decision. 

You don’t have to share for the world to read like I have done. But, I know that it will benefit you to get it out on paper. At the very least, you’ll receive your mind from having these thoughts bounce all over your cranium. 

The best part about this decision is that it’s completely up to me and 100% within my control. I am grateful for that. I am also grateful for you! For taking the time to read this and share this journey with me.

I pray that this has somehow/someway helped you! I wish you nothing but the best in the pursuit of your personal legend. 

Until next time, stay #Relentless 

 – Nick 

 

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