This is something my family tries to live by wherever and whenever possible. Admittedly, I wish we did even more, but we still do a fair amount of it. It’s about living. In business, I like to scare myself - or maybe more like push myself into unknown or uncertain territory. It is daring to endeavor into things when the outcome is uncertain, but I’ll give it a shot whenever I can. Sometimes there is real risk of peril, financially or emotionally. Other times it works out brilliantly, and all the rewards of energy, low stress, happiness, and financial gain are realized.
There is this saying,
"Do something that scares you every day".
For some people, their response would be, "Okay, well, it scared me to say hello to that stranger today." There is no standard as to what that thing is, so even that's a good start. Everyone has different boundaries for what scares them. While just showing up is a nice step, it isn’t really the spirit of what I am talking about when it comes to doing some epic sh*t.
Come out of your shell, get into a perceived safe (not life threatening) space and try something bigger. Granted, your epic sh*t might be different from mine. Our lives are very short. We live an infinitesimal existence, as minuscule parts of this whole world. We're here like a flash of light, a speck of sand on a beach. Why would you spend your life not considering the option of doing something epic occasionally?
Look at the work that we do in life. Consider how we build our lives around the belief that once we finish our work, we'll be able then to go and do epic stuff. I believe we have it all wrong. We have it turned in knots.
I suggest success in business isn't as important as success in life. What is your measure? We have one shot at this. When we consider the finite amount of time we have on earth, we want to find ourselves planning those big life events, experiencing personal joy, without regret or longing. Celebrate the milestones and experiences in this wonderful, vast universe, world, country and community wherever you are.
If you are reading this, you are already one of the most successful human beings to ever walk this planet. You don’t spend the days foraging for food, sheltering from the elements or shielding yourself form death at the hands of foes or predators. Don’t take that for granted. Don’t choose work yourself to death.
Let’s reverse our intentions. Plan the life experiences you wish to have and then build everything you do for work around them. My goal was to take more days off traveling, enjoying my family, and supporting our children in their activities and pursuits than working during the summer. That is something we have been able to arrange in the past few years. We get to see amazing mountains and landscapes, new cities and new towns, and meet new people while spending important, focused time with our kids.
I built my work life around being able to do that. I made the proclamation, “This is what I want to do with my life. This is where we want to live. This is where we want to play, and this is the epic sh*t that we want to do.” Then I asked, “What do we need to do to achieve it? What can we do in between today and our ideal life to ensure that the next year and the year after that, we build a business that allows us to continue to enjoy that freedom?"
The focus is on developing a quality business that operates in a way to support your pursuit of happiness and the experiences of life. It allows you live a life that matters, with impact for you, your family, and the community and the world around you. Build those personal life experiences first and have your business, your career, your enterprise work to support that. Now we're talking.
When we are working less, but working right, we can be just as passionate, innovative, and creative in our businesses. In fact, as a result, we get more accomplished and make more money. This is because of the time we spend out of the business, not what we spend in it. We get out of our heads and into the experience.
Anyways, what is my epic sh*t? Besides snowboarding, hiking and travel, one of my epic shit things to do is Downhill Mountain Biking. I’ve been doing it a lot. We ride in all kinds of different locations. We get to travel and see wonderful trails and new horizons all the time: animals, scenery, landscapes, mountain ranges, rivers, lakes, creeks, everything.
Riding bikes downhill fast is a singular, focused effort. There's only one thing I could possibly process in my mind while riding and that is to be successful, safe, and secure on the way down a mountain going thirty or forty kilometers an hour while navigating rocks, trees, bumps, and jumps. It brings all my attention to that moment, experiencing flow and immersive focus. The epic stuff I do un-clutters my brain, allows me freedom to think outside of the activity, and ponder bigger, better things for myself. It allows me to be more creative.
Our work life and our business are being created to support an ideal lifestyle, not the other way around. We're not just going to “fit it in” around our work.
So get out and do some epic sh*t!