I’m writing this 37,000 feet in the air en route from New York City to Hong Kong. I’m sitting in business class on Cathay Pacific with my wife next to me. I have so much room to type this. The bed lays down flat. I have a huge TV screen in front of me to keep me busy for the 15 hour flight. I’m so full from all the food. We’ll stay in Hong Kong for two nights then a couple days later we’re going to continue to Taipei, Taiwan and stay for four months.
I didn’t have to think twice about doing this. I didn’t have to ask a boss for permission for time off. I didn’t even pay more than $300 for these business class ticket.
I don’t share this to brag. I’m sharing to show you what is possible when you take 100% responsibility for your life.
All this didn’t happen by accident. I wasn’t handed this on a silver platter. I’m not an overnight success either. What I did was take control of my life and planned it to be this way. Was it easy? Not all the time. Was it worth it? Absolutely.
What was important was a change in how I perceived this dream. Instead of being jealous of other people’s lives, I thought “if they can do it, why not me?” Before I would think it wasn’t fair. Why were they happy and I wasn’t? Complaining to no one in particular never helped. It only dug me deeper into a hole of self pity.
So I changed how I looked at them. I understood that there were other people doing what I wanted to do. That’s why I knew it was possible. There were just regular people too. They weren’t rich. They didn’t have connections or knew exactly what they were going to do in life right out of college. These people early on were people like Pat Flynn and Chris Guillebeau for me. These were ordinary guys who I could relate to and were living their lives doing what they wanted and with much more freedom.
I always knew that I had more to me than what I had done. I know many of you feel the same way because you email me and tell me that.
What was missing was being so determined to make it a reality. I was waiting for a miracle. I was hoping someone would tell me exactly what to do and how to do it. I had this unrealistic imagination that I’d wake up one day with sudden clarity for my future.
After wasting most of my adult life feeling stuck, I wasn’t going to let anything get in my way in late 2010. Not even the pain of being a beginner, self doubt, failures, and impatience.
Over four years since I wrote a letter to myself to wake up and get busy living and I feel proud because I took 100% responsibility for my life and am enjoying the results from it.
Your dreams might be different, and that’s completely fine. What you and I have in common is a desire to enjoy life more. We want to do work that’s fulfilling. We want more excitement. We want more freedom.
I want you to be able to create that.