Let fear be a counselor and not a jailer. — Tony Robbins
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover. — Mark Twain
Mike took the lead again. “So what made you want to do this anyway?”
“Well, I had recently finished school and just wasn’t sure what I wanted to do… I thought it would be a pretty cool item for the life resume, a good challenge. I thought I’d come out here and try to find myself.”
At that last statement, Mike chuckled and said, “Yeah, get that out of your system.”
I thought I saw Maggie turn her head just slightly to Mike and give a look of incredulity at what he had just said. Then again, maybe I was the incredulous one and had just imagined Maggie was on my side.
“Well that’s great, Nathan,” Maggie said, “has it been a good experience so far?”
I thought about it before I answered. “Yeah, it has.”
We talked a few more minutes before I let them go. Decided on my course, I started on the 6 miles of pavement up toward La Manga Pass.
Mike had said, “Get that out of your system.” I couldn’t get that out of my head. I didn’t take offense to what he said. I wasn’t insulted. In a weird way, I was inspired. But why?
Out of my system!
What Mike said had clicked. Being inspired by his statement didn’t seem strange any more, rather it made perfect sense. I had said the trip was, in part, an attempt to “find myself.” Well, where did I go? Did I lose myself? Was my body just mindlessly wandering around without me? No! So what the hell was I looking for!
In my study of philosophy I had read about switching our energy from action to contemplation. This made no sense to me when I read it. Wasn’t that counterproductive? But Plato, he defined contemplation as “knowing and being.” We should switch our energy from “seeking and becoming” to “knowing and being.” Switch your energy from seeking to knowing. What was it I sought?
I had been suffering from the illusion of an internal separateness. I had thought there were two versions of me: the person I was and the person I wanted to be. I was searching for that other person, as if there were a secret that other person had, as if he knew what I wanted and needed, what was best for me, what I should do. What a bunch of bullshit. Mike was right, I needed to get that kind of thinking out of my system.
Destiny is not a matter of chance — it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for — it is a thing to be achieved. — William Jennings Bryan
Keep reminding yourself: I get what I think about, whether I want it or not. — Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
The following excerpt is from my book The Divide. Read more about the book and see the index of excerpts here.
The wind was ceaseless. It filled the sails of the boat and pushed me further out to sea. It raised bumps on my skin as well, but the sun was bright and the sky clear. I breathed the ocean salt and bid farewell to land as it retreated over the horizon. I turned to face the ocean ahead of me and said goodbye to a love lost. Laurie. We had been in love. She had been a fairy tale.
I met her before I started college and only knew her briefly. We lived far away from each other and fell out of touch. It wasn’t until after my first novel was published that we reconnected. I had been traveling around the country to promote my book when I landed near her home. She came to a book signing. I recognized her instantly, but I didn’t let it show on my face. She walked up to the table and handed me her copy.
I can’t remember what I said, but it made her laugh. Her laugh was the greatest and sounded just how I remembered. She scanned my face for any sign of recognition, but I played it off like she was another person in the crowd. I handed her book back and her face fell.
She was halfway to the door when I called out her name and told her to read the inscription.
Laurie — You are even more beautiful than I remember, which was already more than I thought possible. Please have lunch with me.
That was the beginning of our relationship. We were together for several months, but the distance made it hard. She flew cross-country to visit me for a weekend. She broke it off. She went back east; I went further west and refused to stop at the ocean. The wind carried me away from all of that pain. Or so I thought. What if I hadn’t gone west? What if I had followed Laurie east? What if I had tried to make it work? What was it about tragedy that I found so appealing?
I didn’t get on that sailboat. I didn’t have a relationship with Laurie. I never wrote an inscription in her book.
I never wrote a book.
I never left my bike.
But the wind was ceaseless.
We learn wisdom from failure much more that from success. We often discover what sill do by finding out what will not do; and probably he who never made a mistake never made a discovery. — Samuel Smiles
Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future. — Deepak Chopra
Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from. — Seth Godin