We are all living a life that took decades to produce. Like the path of a glacier, our lives consist of the habits and elements which have been slowly carved into our existence. Because glaciers move so slowly, we can’t always see their destructive or creative power until what will be done is already completed.
Sometimes we get the chance to catch them in the act and alter their course, but more often than not, we are required to experience the “disaster” they’ve surreptitiously created before we get nut punched by their existence.
I HAD LOST MY WAY
Years ago someone asked me, “What do you love doing for fun? What still gets you excited?”
My answer scared the hell out of me, and put me on the radical path you see before you.
“Nothing” I said. The room went quiet.
It seemed that the last bit of my adventurous and daring spirit had been consumed and frozen in the “glacier” of what my life had slowly become. My internal alarm went off.
QUICK STORY ABOUT PURPOSE
It took about seven years for this to happen. The “glacier” got pushed in this disastrous direction when I left the SEAL Teams. Obviously, the life of a SEAL is an active one, but my life outside of work was very active as well. I just assumed this was all because I had a lot of energy. I hadn’t realized that the ability to remain active was the result of something deeper.
I thought I liked picking locks, because it was cool and interesting. I thought I liked backpacking, because I was outdoors and enjoying nature. I thought I liked spearfishing, surfing, and mountain biking, because the activities relaxed me.
I thought it was me-- Eric, out there doing all that stuff purely for the joy of it; instead, it turned out that there was purpose behind every “active” thing that I did. When I lost that purpose, I began to lose the active life that went with it.
You see, back then, every run was a training run, so I ran as much as I could. Every hike was a “shakeout patrol” to test new gear, so I hiked as often as I wanted. Even trips to Disneyland were opportunities to hone my Personal Security Detachment (PSD) skills while protecting my kids.
Everything in one way or the other was tied to a purpose and it was the “purpose” that kept me active, not my energy. So, when I lost my purpose, I began to lose my active life. The “glacier” began to press forward.
WHY YOU NEED A “PURPOSE” TO GET SOME
Why do we need a purpose to get outdoors, hike, camp, run, bike, spearfish, paddle board, or travel the world? Shouldn’t the activity alone be the purpose? For me, the simple joy of the action wasn’t enough to justify the time away from my work and my kids. I guess, in a way it felt too selfish.
Just “wanting” to go wasn’t working, and I would argue this to be true for most of us. This is why many of us don’t really do that much. At least not anymore.
Sad? Absolutely, but how many trips have you declined, or miles have you not run because you had “things” to do? Exactly! We need something important motivating the activity, as it is competing with other very important things.
I needed a purpose – a mission that was so important that it would break me free from the lifeless chains of stress and obligation. I needed a reason to travel to Africa twice in a year and spend weeks under the stars of the Sierras, or a reason to scout diving, paddle boarding and climbing spots on the Amalfi coast of Italy. I needed to survive, and the best way to survive is to be ready.
PREPPING ON PURPOSE
After reading many of the comments from “You Are What You’re Ready For”, I thought it important to give everyone a little more “juice” to inspire them to “be ready” for their life.
This tactical, special operations meets adventure executive “Preppers” mentality has captured the attention of many for good reason. On a very human level we all know we’re responsible for our own survival, as well as for those who depend on us. Should we find ourselves safe and sound we know there are others, many others, on this planet who still need help. Prepping is at our core of being human, unless that part of your soul, you know, has been frozen.
As I’ve said many times, the disaster you’re prepping for has probably already hit you. It just happened so slowly that you didn’t even notice. It’s time to wake up from that and save yourself.
IT’S TIME TO SAVE YOURSELF & OTHERS
So, don’t just “go camping.” Practice survival techniques on weekend trips with your family in the woods.
Don’t “travel the world.” Put yourself in new situations to test and evaluate your gear and ability to move around safely and with intention.
Don’t “go jogging” because you want to be thin. Condition yourself to escape and evade, transit trails, and climb mountains.
Let’s get out and go, so that we can live.
DISCUSSIONS OF A TRIBE
1) What have you been “wanting” to do that life has stopped you from doing?
2) What greater “purpose” do you think is driving this persistent “want”?
3) What does this greater purpose now inspire you to do?
[_] Download the Habits of Heroes ebook if you haven’t already.
[_] If it’s been a while, re-read and review it. Live it.