abk Journey: When Not Knowing is Knowing

“Necessity is the mother of invention.”- well-known proverb

One of the most powerful sentences I have learned to embrace along the journey of the last almost four years is this: I don’t know.

If you want one of my secrets, that is it. We can’t predict or control life, no matter how hard we stubbornly try. (Just look at last year’s hurricane season.)

Is this going to work out?

I don’t know.

Is this a big mistake?

I don’t know.

Does Mississippi suck?

I don’t know.

Will I get really good at golf?

I don’t know.

What’s my end goal?

I don’t know.

Will my body hold up?

I don’t know.

Will there be enough money?

I don’t know.

Will a hurricane hit?

Yes, but I digress.

Will I meet new friends?

I don’t know.

Will I be accepted?

I don’t know.

How in the world could I know the answers to any of these questions? This is my first and only life, to my knowledge, and I’ve never done any of these things before.

Previously, I had never, at the age of 36, quit my comfortable job with great pay and benefits, moved away from my family and friends to Mississippi, altered this, changed that, dropped most (if not all) stale/outdated/irrelevant beliefs, started writing, travelled aimlessly and endlessly, embarked on a rigorous golf journey… to fully understand the life and design the lifestyle that I personally, consciously wanted as a now 38 year old adult.

I had never done that before. How could I possibly expect to know anything?

Ironically, as I mentioned last week, ever since I adopted complete uncertainty into my life, I feel like I have lived four beautiful lifetimes, if not more.

It’s an unorthodox life, for sure, as it relates to the straight and narrow. A conventional financial advisor might scream at me. But surely you know by now that I’m not into the orthodox, conventional, or traditional. I’m into personalized, customized, highly intentional, one-of-a-kind living.

I’m not interested in the restrictive, made up categories of life. I’m interested in life as a massive, endless opportunity. Sure, I could offer some insight into certain categories: navigating change, playing soccer, real estate investment, or how to hit a 7 iron (I have and I happily will).

But I’m really not on this Earth to give advice. I learned that early along the journey. I like to tell stories. I don’t like answering the question, Will this work?, because the answer is often I don’t know. That’s why each person, myself included, has to own their life story. Own the dirt and the grime, the uncertainty, and the failures.

Speaking of, I have one other secret: my definition of failure is my own, no one else’s. I honestly don’t think much about failure because failing at what I’m trying to accomplish is still massive success. But if I have to articulate it, failure, for me, is not giving everything I have in the tank as it relates to my relationship with life and my potential. Failure, for me, is not even attempting what I previously knew to be impossible. You know, the you can go anywhere, do anything, be anyone that is taught in kindergarten, then oft just tossed to the side.

This not working out or that not working out categorized as failure? Who cares? Seriously, who made all this stuff up?

Have a great week.-Benj

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