As a serial entrepreneur, I have spent the majority of my adult life (I use the term adult loosely) developing businesses and chasing the ever so elusive “American Dream”. I certainly do not have any regrets about how I have lived my life thus far. I have always followed my heart, and my pea-sized brain has always worked extremely hard to chase after my dreams. I am surrounded by incredible people, and will always continue to work hard for those who have entrusted me with their lives and their dreams. But over the last couple of years, I have really started to question the daily chase.
Although I was finding tremendous satisfaction in my business successes, there was always something missing. I would wake every day to a beautiful wife, and two beautiful children. But in a world that is best lived with a balance of mind, body and soul, I was failing miserably. In my daily grind, I grew extremely efficient at exercising the mind, but unfortunately I was ultimately sacrificing the underlying needs of the body and the soul. This way of living was simply not sustainable. I needed to change the way that I lived in this world. I needed to find balance.
After much soul searching (and a much needed sabbatical), I decided that it was time to change the way that I was living my life. Slowing down and taking a closer look, I could not help but notice all of the stuff (a.k.a. crap) that I had accumulated. It was amazing to me to look around at all these stupid things that I simply did not need, but yet I had been working so hard to accumulate this heaping pile of nothing. Why is it that we all work so damn hard to accumulate a bunch of worthless stuff that could never ever possibly bring us happiness? It brought me to the conclusion that there is no end to this chase, and that the chase simply needed to be eliminated.
With more than a little encouragement from my wife, I also began to take a closer look at the impact that I was personally having on our planet. I had always felt that I was doing my part to protect this big blue marble that we call home, but it did not take long to realize that I could do so much more. My wife (and my hero) has always been an advocate for sustainability and sustainable practices. She had always been pressing me hard to make small changes that could have a significant positive impact on our environment. Unfortunately, I was moving through life way too quickly to take notice. Also, what in the hell did I possibly know about sustainability? Sustainability was not my problem. But it was important to my wife, and as any good husband knows, what is important to your wife IS your problem.
Now, with my eyes wide open, I started to see the problems that were lying just outside of this bubble that I had been living in. I also began to see that the blessings in my life were not the ones that I was chasing, rather the ones that were visiting me daily. It was a long overdue awakening.
So now that I had finally identified the elephant in the room, I decided to make some radical changes. It was time to get rid of these chains that tied my life to imbalance, and focus on bringing back the simplicity in life that provides clarity. This does not mean giving up the things we love, just giving up the things we do not need. It means getting rid of the “crap”. It also means being a steward to our planet.
In reevaluating (and some prodding from my wife), I took a good hard look at what we have been doing to our planet. To be quite frank, it really scared the hell out of me. The more I learned, the more I felt that we are nothing more than a virus that continues to multiply, and take everything that this planet has to offer.