It was 2016, I was 43 years old and just became a director at the sixth-largest defense company in the US. The sixth-largest of anything is not the most sought-after place. My customers referred to my company as bottom feeders. We weren’t big enough to win any of the prime government contracts, we got the leftovers after the big companies like Boeing, Northrop, Raytheon took their shares.
It was lunchtime, and I closed the door to my office, walked over to my mini-fridge, and popped my leftovers in the microwave. As they heated, I walked back to my desk and kicked my feet up on my old metal desk, which had seen better days since it was first released in 1979. I opened a PDF copy of, The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. I was reading this book for one reason only, to find that next side hustle so I could escape the dumpster fire of a life that I had created.
At the beginning of the book, there is a series of questions that Tim Ferriss asks that really impacted me. The one question that haunted me was this:
“Why do it all in the first place? What is the pot of gold that justifies spending the best years of your life hoping for happiness in the last?”
I sat there contemplating my answers. I was deep in thought when the microwave pinged and snapped me back to reality. I retrieved my food and sat back down, as soon I did a thought popped into my head. A friend of mine told me about a blog post that captured the average lifespan of a human in an infographic. Looking at this graphic with Tim Ferris’s questions running through my mind it hit me! A moment of Satori. A flash of “knowing”, where I saw the fallacy of the construct that I was told to believe in. That’s when I finally perceived my own mortality.
I always thought I had time to create the next thing, to get a different job, to one-day love life, but at that moment I saw that there was no tomorrow. There is no next week, next month, next year. It doesn’t fucking exist. The only thing that exists is now. If I was going to love life, I had to love life, NOW.
The western world structure is a well-planned system. The first 22 years of life are focused on your domestication. You’re taught what society expects from you. How to behave, what and what not to say. When you do and say the “right” things you are rewarded in contrast say or do the wrong things you are punished. Your classroom structure has not changed since the industrial revolution. You’re taught to get a job for an organization where you become either an asset or a liability depending on the company’s projections. You were taught to consume and the better you are at consuming, the more society values you. You were taught that the ultimate fulfillment was to fall in love and procreate so that the cycle can continue to serve the same system.
In elementary school, “they” tell you to wait until high school, that’s when shit will be awesome. When you get to high school you realize being a freshman sucks, and they quickly convince you to wait until you’re a senior. That’s where it gets good, promise! Then you become a senior, you’re bombarded applying to colleges, taking SATs, and having your life completely mapped out. They tell you college is where it all get’s going. That’s when you will finally have fun and be happy!
As soon as you get to college, yep you guessed it, they tell you to focus on graduating with a high GPA finding an internship, and start focusing on what impressive company you want to work for.
The next huge chunk of life (this red section) is labeled career. Once you land a career, they tell you to focus on retirement! Plan now while you’re young, start saving and investing, buy a house, cars, and fancy vacations to escape the rat race. Don’t worry it will all be over in 30-40 years and then in your 60’s or 70’s you will finally be happy!!
Here is what I experienced in corporate America. I watched colleague after colleague retire only to find there was no pot of gold. Little happiness was found. Most of my colleagues dedicated their entire careers to organizations that just managed them out when they got older. Those that could afford to retire, couldn’t afford it until their 70’s. They were raising their grandchildren and now had to pay for a whole new generation. They felt this deep obligation to pay outright for their children’s college, so when they hit their 50’s they start shelling hundreds of thousands of dollars to some fancy school. This meant taking second and third mortgages in their 50’s. When they finally got out of debt, there was no traveling the world or enjoying retirement. Most were sick, obese, burned out, and barely scraping by. Most sold their homes in Southern California and moved to some shithole state, in a shithole town where they could buy a house outright for $1.87. Now, nobody wants to visit old Mom and Dad in some bullshit place. That my friends is the “pot of gold” that I saw play out for the VAST majority of my time in corporate America.
It was apparent that the only way out was to create a new life with a new outcome. I was 43 at the time and I knew I was well over my halfway point in life. I didn’t have much time left. This knowing served to create the strongest “why” I’ve ever felt.
Why travel during a pandemic? Why be a life coach? Why be any of this shit? I now understand that time is a very finite resource and I need to go after my dreams NOW. The one thing that I’ve learned is that just pursuing my dream is enough. Just being on the path has filled me with limitless joy!
I want to help you get there too. That’s why I’ve created my coaching business and my YouTube community. You and I have one shot at this life! Are you living your life to the fullest expression of the magnificent human that you are? Are you living your dream? If no, then why the fuck not?