…the expectation you have for your life and the reality of where you are.
That one hit different, as I had not thought about this in such a manner. I, like almost everyone, deal with an underlying stress and anxiety despite my best efforts to combat them. After really thinking about this statement for a bit, I came the conclusion that for a long time I was not really sure where I thought I would be at this stage of my life.
Early on, I thought I would live on the farm in my home town forever. As a kid, it is easy to think about life in such a simplified manner. After moving to Phoenix when I was 12, things took a different turn, and I start to realize how much more there was to life than that 50 acres in rural PA had to offer. At age 16 I discovered racquetball and my life was never the same from that point forward. I envisioned myself as a Top 20 player in the world, traveling the country playing racquetball for a living. This was my sole focus until age 30. Once I burned out and retired, I felt lost for quite a while. I had a hard time locking into a new identity or dream to chase. I bounced for one job to another, enjoying certain aspects of each new opportunity I tried, but never really feeling totally at home anywhere.
During the post-competitive stage of my racquetball days I started coaching, and this was the most personally rewarding thing I had ever done. But it was a volunteer gig, and I never got paid a dime to do it. So this wasn’t a career move, it was a passion pursuit. In some ways, this fulfilled my desire to impact others since my day job(s) were not going to do this. Now in my role at TriageNow as VP of Sales, I do feel a sense of real satisfaction in my work, and it happens to also compensate me well for my efforts. I take pride in being one of the best in my industry at what I do. But something was still missing…
When I started doing Public Speaking, I feel I have found my calling. I had always been interested in this role, but I never pursued it previously. After surviving a head-on collision with a wrong way drunk driver, I realized to the largest degree ever in my life, that life is temporary. I knew that I had been lucky to be able to walk away from this unscathed, but that is a story I have told before. I can tell you without a doubt that since I have been on this journey that my own anxiety has subsided a noticeable amount. Having a new dream to chase seems to be the key for me to feel like I know where I am headed, and that the gap between my expectations and my reality is closing.
Since I have never had a burning desire or defined career goal that I pursued through a college degree and then working my way up the food chain at a company, I guess this is my version of that thing. Many people start out with a good idea of what they what to do in life and then pivot accordingly when needed. I did it the opposite way, which seems to be a pattern in my life. I don’t consider myself terribly counter-culture or disagreeable, but I do seem to gravitate towards doing things my own way.
So now I have new expectations for my life, and the gap between where I am at and where I want to be is significant, but I am on the right track. What I want, to publicly state it and therefore hold myself even more accountable for it, is the following:
–Traveling the country as a paid Public Speaker, minimum of $5,000 per gig.
–Do the Podcast Tour of the major players like Joe Rogan, Tim Ferriss, Rich Roll, and others.
–The Chatter-Box app has a minimum of 10,000 subscribers, and I “gift” this to charity organizations of my choosing free of charge.
–With this additional income, I am able to help as many people as possible through donations and other in-kind services.
There, it is now public record. Lofty goals carved in stone for all the world to see. Does this scare me to do, a little, and that is the point to some degree. I NEED a challenge, a big hairy goal to shoot for, to get out of bed for, to work endless hours on something. I want to achieve great things, and the only way is to find the target(s) to aim at and start putting myself in position to close the gap between where I am today and where I want to be. WHEN I get there, I will revise the list and start chasing something new. That’s how I roll. I believe this is how it is done. Most high achievers will tell you the same thing, or a very similar version. You need to be able to see it, envision yourself doing it, and then start working to make that dream a reality. I can picture myself in the JRE studio, headphones on, Jamie standing to my left and Joe and I having a three hour conversation that goes by in a blink. I can smell the cigar he is smoking and taste the Buffalo Trace Whiskey that we toasted this monumental occasion with. I can feel the goosebumps already…
Does the anxiety that I experience concern me? Not really, it is a part of life. I think the only time we don’t is when we are six feet under. But if you feel the burden of this underlying anxiety, maybe a good place to start is with this question:
What is the gap between my expectations of my life
and the reality of where I am at now?
This might be a real source of this anxiety, and once you discover that, now you can actively take steps to combat this. You can create a plan, an escape, a method to getting closer to where you want to be. You can begin to live a version of your life that you look forward to, that you are proud of, and that fulfills you in ways you didn’t originally see as possible. This is an addiction of sorts when you live this way, an addiction of the best kind. It tugs at you, gnaws at your soul to do more, to be more. I believe that it is our responsibility to do this as a human being, to maximize who we are and become who we are meant to be. Imagine the impact you could have on the world you will have when you do this; whether it is raising a couple of well adjusted and productive adults, or extending your reach to tens of thousands like I strive to do, any version of this is a worthwhile pursuit.
I wish you luck in finding your purpose, and chasing after it like your life depends on it…