My friend Tara Meyer-Robson and I met for coffee this week. She’s the best selling author of The Flow Method and a trustred gal-pal who thinks like I do. As such, we always end up in dozens of a-ha moments about our life and work.
This past week produced some insight that just floored me.
Have you ever been so close to something you looked right passed it?
If you hold your hand up to your face and spread your fingers wide, you’ll be able to see around it. It will be so close you might even over look it. They say, “fish discover water last” and that’s how I felt this week talking with Tara.
I realized my entire life has involved travel.
I have packed and unpacked since I was six months old. I moved 13 times before going to college, spent 20 years in the Navy, and took a train across country to get to my wedding. I’ve seen almost every country in the pacific rim, manage to get myself to the Caribbean more often than I can count, and just drove across country with my daughter just because it was an adventure (http://CupcakeTravels.com).
I’ve cruised through the Panama Canal, explored private islands in the pacific, and seen Tasmanian Devils in Hobart. I’m writing this article from 30,000 feet.
Travel isn’t something I “do” – travel is part of who I am.
I seek it. I fold it into my life. I am never not traveling or planning the next trip.
Good heavens, even my website banner reflects the perspective that life is a journey and living a first class life is the ultimate adventure.
It is deep in my bones to help people unpack their true calling and map out what they have always wanted to be in their life, before it’s too late. And much of that perspective comes from the education of travel.
Defining what a first class life looks like for them seeps into every encounter I have. Implied in the question I ask every stranger, “How has your day been?” is the underlying curiosity about whether they are doing what they were created to do.
Are they truly, deeply happy? Does what they currently do bring them joy?
When I retired from the Navy (after truly having seen the world – go figure!) I knew what I wanted my day-to-day life to look like. I wanted to be home when my daughter went to school and home when she returned. I didn’t want to work for anyone else and I wanted the freedom to travel a lot with my family.
And I wanted to help others discover their own first class life.
Once I understood what I wanted my life to look like, I was able to chart out work I loved that fit into that design. It meant saying, “no” to opportunities in conflict with that design. And it meant setting out on an uncharted path, learning more than I ever wanted to know about technology, and building a laptop lifestyle I love.
Was it easy? Not a chance.
Was it worth it? Absolutely.
Consider how you got where you are today – did you just fall into your life and work because that is what circumstances allowed?
Did you follow the path of least reistance, go with the flow, and never stop to ask if you were meant for something completely different?
Or have you always known you were meant to share something distinct with the world but have kept it hidden away because it somehow doesn’t “fit?”
I want for you a life that brings you alive.
Instead of working 50 weeks of the year so you can go on vacation to escape your real life, why not define what a first class life looks like for you and then design work that fits into that life?
Kind of like packing your essentials first then seeing what will tuck in around them.
With travel so deeply enmeshed in my life, I’m reinvogorated and excited about sprinkling more of it into my work. I just needed to see what was right in front of me.
I’d love to hear your ideas on this – leave me a comment and tell me what you think!
Be bold! – Ann