Get Ready, and Stay Ready

9BBE419D-894D-4448-87C7-ED9B8975C324Want to know what I have planned for 2018? Not a damn thing. Now, we all know that’s not really true, is it? Well, it kind of is. Let me explain. I made about 50 (yes 50) changes in my life in 2017. Some small. Some very large. One of the changes I made was to not concern myself with goals and planning, and let me tell you what I mean. We’ve all been taught to make 90 day plans, 1 year plans, 5 year plans, where do you see yourself, and so on. And you know what I’ve found? People are so interested in what the plan is that they forget to enjoy the journey and live life. If something amazing enters their life that isn’t part of the plan, they dismiss it. They ignore it. They miss out. Just because it wasn’t part of the plan. I was talking to my buddy Kevin the other day, and he reminded me of a great example. Last year, he got the opportunity to go to Duke/UNC at Cameron Indoor Stadium which is literally the bucket list of all bucket list items. One caveat. It was same day, and he essentially needed to go tell his boss he was leaving right then and there. So he did, no questions asked. And I was so proud of him, because so many people wouldn’t have, and they would have missed the most amazing life experience. Simply because it wasn’t in their plan for the day. So I’ve squashed plans and goals. I’ve learned to enjoy each day and be open to what may come my way at all times. So my plans for 2018 are nonexistent. But I do have some ideas. You ready?

Am I traveling? Well, of course I am. Remember last week when I said I had been to 20 states in 2017 (21 now)? Well, I plan on hitting that number plus some on just one trip next year. Cross country drive. What are the plans? Who knows. But stay tuned because it is going to be epic! I also want to head back out West and attempt to ski, and there will certainly be plenty of others. I usually only plan my trips 2 weeks in advance, if that. Let me tell you how it works.

C42195AC-7EDC-4B32-AEBA-1F8AE8AFA1F5First off, places like Disney World and Myrtle Beach and Paris never cross my mind. Would I go there? Sure. But touristy places don’t do anything for me. Someone wants to head to Milwaukee, Wisconsin or Mexico City for a little exploration? Now you have my attention. Okay, so maybe it’s Tuesday night. I’m feeling a little adventurous. Most people are waiting for the weekend to do whatever it is people do on the weekend. I decide I’m curious about Portland, Oregon, for example. So I dial up Travelocity and check out flights and hotels. I then see if the Trail Blazers (NBA) or Timbers (MLS) are in town. I research concerts, festivals, top stores, best restaurants, and local brews. I think do I know anyone in the general vicinity that may want to have dinner. That’s it. If it tickles my fancy, then I see if anyone wants to go with me. Sometimes it’s no. Sometimes it’s yes. And then I (or we) go. It ain’t rocket science. It’s just living.

3C95E772-1A7D-4550-9D24-BB2B39140F0EOn a smaller scale, I want to continue to be a minimalist and pare down the things I own. Stuff weighs you down and prevents you from living life. I want to be outside more. Maybe hike. Maybe run some more. At a minimum, I open my sunroof every chance that I get. The fresh air makes me feel alive. I want to make things with my hands. I have been crafting a unique jacket all year. I used to make cool bead necklaces and bracelets. I want to learn how to make hats. I want to teach and inspire as much as I can. Maybe it is the blog, daily or weekly huddle sessions with co-workers, or the phone calls that I have learned to love with just about anybody. And of course, it is time to get back to playing soccer. These are all just minor, but contribute heavily to my happiness and fulfillment.

So what’s the point? It’s been a really tough past 10 days here. I lost a wonderful, wonderful friend, and on last Tuesday paid my last respects to Blake and his family. He was 35, and is the second “best friend” of mine gone way too soon.

I implore you to start living life. You never know when it will be gone. Whatever you have always wanted to do, do it. Don’t make plans to do it. Do it. Don’t think about doing it. Do it. If you want to travel, travel. If you want to learn a skill, sign up for a class. If you want to be taken more seriously or feel more confident, consider sending some things to Goodwill and revamping how you present yourself. But listen, it’s what you want, nobody else. Society tells you that is selfish. Nonsense. The more you pay attention to your own gifts, happiness, and fulfillment, the more you have to offer everyone in your life. I have experienced this first-hand. Listen to your heart. Don’t overthink things. And act. You are going to hear a lot of that from me this year because I am finally getting through to people. Your feedback and actions let me know that, and I couldn’t be more pleased. If you want to get in on my weekly random bang-out phone conversations, message or call me. This is my side hustle. This is my passion. And I am begging you to recognize yours and act on it. Now.

Have a great week.-Benj

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