I spent years avoiding the responsibility of sharing my work because I didn't think I fit into the world of Austin startups, entrepreneurs, and flashy accelerators and incubators and refrigerators or whatever. Thanks to my mom, I can now see the only real requirement for being an entrepreneur is to fill real a need with your unique skills and perspective. And to get really good and never quit.
If you're anything like me your head isn't always the safest place to be. Whether it's the stories you're telling yourself or the thoughts you're allowing to persist, our mind can turn the entire world into a haunted house if we let it. Here's the good news: We have more ability than we realize to influence what happens in our noggins. Though we can't always control the incessant head chatter, if we're purposeful we can get to a place where every thought doesn't also have to be a threat.
We believe one day we'll construct a life without distractions when we'll be able to be who we were meant to be. And the days keep passing. The truth is we'll never have perfect circumstances. What if things never slow down? What if the challenge you're facing with your family or your health doesn't ever let up? Then what? We must stop waiting to do what we were meant to do in the hopes we'll one day be given the gift of more time and less challenges. Dreams of a future supported by perfect circumstances will only delay a life meant to be lived today. Participation here and now is the answer, not more time.
Though our circumstances might not present us with opportunities for car chases or heists or revolutions on a daily basis, our wiring is still the same. Meaning we still feel fear, wonder, awe, and the rush of doing something risky. We feel it in our bones when we to choose to be bigger, more confident, or different when it's the last thing we want to do. The moments when we feel those things are what punctuate an adventurous life.
It's graduation season and everyone is terrified their futures aren't going to pan out the way they expected. Don’t worry - I’m here to assure you the rest of your life doesn’t have to be so disappointing, if only you’re willing to work on your expectations. The secret to unlocking our potential, creating opportunity for ourselves and finding fulfillment is to remember our attitude in the present matters more than the alignment of our plans for the future. When we're grateful we can grow up to be great.
I was once scared of the idea I might end up living a normal life. For as long as I can remember I wanted to embark on my own hero's journey and rejected any path not exciting enough. Yet I'm beginning to see how my obsession with adventure was distracting me from the opportunities in my presently ordinary life. I'm learning to love a regular existence, because a normal life is the meeting place for the circumstances necessary to launch someone reluctantly onto an incredible journey.
We're a strange species. It seems like we enjoy learning the same lessons over and over again. I've found it helpful to pause and reflect on the things about myself I know are true, the lies I tell myself, and what allows me to best navigate life. Though the past isn’t a place to live, it can be a great source of wisdom - an instruction manual of sorts for how to move forward. We'll never live our lives perfectly, but by now you probably know yourself well enough to create default decisions or mindsets for scenarios you frequently encounter.
We waste a lot of time looking at the wrong scoreboard. The lives and the accomplishments of others are none of our business. When we keep our eyes on our own scoreboard and measure the things that really matter, we're able to make contributions that transcend point systems and actually add value to others.