I have no idea what I am typing or how to go about or layout what is about to be typed. I have listened to many business and lifestyle advice type podcasts and often heard about the exercise of journaling for the purpose of simply emptying the mind of the million thoughts and distractions to help get yourself focused. So this is my first attempt at just that.
My mind and brain are currently in overdrive to the point of being overwhelmed to a point of paralysis. Being the first time that I am attempting this exercise the question remains where to start? I guess one just types?
Why am I overwhelmed?
I have decided to take 60 days to focus on building my media reach and audience in the interest of facilitating some kind of future career or source of income during and beyond this bike ride. Where does one even start with such a plan? And is there even a point to all the work and effort? For example, last night I read multiple blog posts from full time adventures that have gone before me that are 100’s of time more successful than I can hope to be in this genre of adventure.
How am I am able to declare them more successful? Because they have accomplished adventures 100 times more crazier than a bike ride. They have released amazing hard core documentary style videos that have gone on to win various indie-type awards and already written many books of their adventures. They have spent the 100,000 hours plus it takes to be an expert at their “craft” and they still say good luck being a full time adventurer, you are barely going to scrape by.
That being said it is not my plan to be a “full-time” adventurer. But at the same time, I am technically an unemployed 47 year old guy. Everyday I wake up and a little bit more money comes out of my saving account (without being replaced) and this ride is still along way from completion.
I actually live in two worlds. One world where money mean nothing to me and one world where I stress daily about money. I have spent a lifetime of trying completely different things or going in completely different directions. Sometimes succeeding and often failing.
When this ride is over, I need to get to my home in Belize where life is not that cheap. And somehow, I need to figure out how to pay my bills in a country that doesn’t exactly provide many opportunities for success. Is it realistic to say at my age that I can not afford to fail again?
The world has transitioned into a place that if it didn’t happen online than it never happened.
And also a world where it is becoming about successfully building and selling your portfolio or brand online. The world wide web is full of a million examples of supposedly successful people who have done just that. And there is so much content out there that it is near impossible to figure out what to do next or how to stand out. Who is to know if these people are even successful? A lot of them like to suggest they are.
There seems to be a few categories of successful people on the internet. The people that risked big, generally university educated and they generally had some key unfair advantage(s) that helped them create some type of new technology that investors turned into a billion dollar company. Then there are the people that tell you how easy it is to be successful if you just follow these 5 steps (found in their PDF for $9.99). Then there are the people that just got lucky because of one or two things. And then there are the people that have put in the 100,000 hours required.
I suppose the key is to keep grinding content out into the world wide web and put my 100,000 hours in.
Pay my dues. But I want to make sure that I am on the right path. As much as this ride is for the experience. When I am not pedalling and I sit in front of my computer it ultimately becomes about ROI (return on investment) for my time. And I so easily get distracted to avoid the important tasks that moves me closer to success and at the same time get overwhelmed by information overload very quickly and easily. During these times of overload, TV watching seems to be the best next step.
Perhaps this is the time to explain my motivations behind why I am documenting my ride. As mentioned earlier we live in a world where everything is online including our futures. Your online credibility, brand and personal portfolio is becoming more important every single day. This requires a lot of work to build and a lot of skills to develop, but mostly work. Even if the success of this bike ride goes nowhere. Whatever comes next in life will almost 100% require some kind of online presence. The process of this current documentation is teaching and preparing me for those possibilities.
The three fears
The challenges and difficulties lie in the direction and execution of the most important next steps. And how to identify the next steps and not make things 10 times more difficult than they are or let your fears, insecurities and anxieties get in the way of taking those next steps. The fear of rejection, failure and even success (yes even success) are so powerful. I hazard a guess that those 3 fears are the greatest fears we face during our lives and occupy more of our thoughts, thinking and decision making than anything else, including death.
And that is actually another motivation for documenting my ride the way I do.
By putting my ride out there I set myself up for rejection. Rejection from those who are closest (or acquaintances). Rejections from strangers (audience or potential audience) and rejection from those who have the power to open doors or provide opportunities such as potential sponsors or media. The reality is that I need to put myself in a place to be rejected 1,000 times before I hear or get that one yes or door opened. Getting to that point takes a lot of muscle. In other words, a lot of rejection is required.
In a sense it can be very easy to quit this ride with some kind of legitimate excuse. But by putting my ride out there I set myself up for greater success verses failure of the ride. Even on the days when this ride feels too long or impossible or mammoth to even consider completing. Quitting or failure is not an option as it more impossible to consider quitting simply because of the fact that I have told the world this what I am doing. While I might not have much in this world and consider myself as alone as one can possibly be in this world, I have my word. If I don’t have my word, then I truly have nothing in this world and I am nothing.
By putting my ride out there I am doing battle against the fear of success. But I don’t even know what that looks like for me? Many of us are our own worst enemies. I am no different. Based on my understanding of the human experience there are 2 main driving forces to a successful life, love and happiness. In the grander experience of my life these 2 forces are in many ways non existent in my day-to-day life. Love has always failed me when I have given everything. Love has always proved me unworthy. Love has always created more hurt and damage than I find bearable. And I watch a world that goes from loving one person to the next to the next with no concern for the collateral damage left in the wake. But without love I guess there is no happiness? So I choose drive and ambition over happiness.
So maybe this is my problem???
That I choose drive and ambition over happiness. I suppose that it is technically very difficult to be successful if you are not happy? And if you are not happy it’s probably difficult to know where to focus your energies? But am I not happy when I am on the road? Getting further miles down the road and experiencing new things surrounded by the beauty of creation? I suppose on many levels I am “happy” when I am on the road. But even in that “happiness” there is no escaping who you truly are as a person. When you are travelling “alone” and have so much time to yourself. Your brokenness, thoughts, interpretations and feelings are never far away.
So where does this leave me and my thoughts? I have no idea. But perhaps my mind is hopefully clear enough to focus on the tasks at hand at least for today.
[Sidenote, I do realize that I have offered a lot of excuses in this post. Are there ways to overcome. Am I able to overcome? Absolutely, but there is a time and place for those type of blog posts. Just not here and now.]