A Journal Entry Concerning Time; Finding Your Internal Compass

Time is probably the most precious commodity that we, as humans, have.  As it passes by, our lives go with it, leaving only memories and wisdom behind.  It’s interesting to watch how many people fill their days with activities they otherwise hate, and their minds with worries of the future or empty entertainment that keeps them distracted from the present.  People that I know and love spend much of their lives worried about how they’ll retire, and often, they skip past the part of their life where they are the most capable and able-bodied.  Others don’t take any time to do this, live only in the moment, and are miserable because they have yet to find how to properly fit into this world.  I watch as people circumvent their own dreams and aspirations for the realities of others.  They do this by using their time to watch television, scrolling Facebook or Instagram feeds, or gluing themselves to the always BREAKING cable news programs designed to breed anxiety and further division.  I still fall into these time-sucks, but I am now cognizant of what they’re accomplishing and how their accomplishments change me for the worse.

Other ways this can be emulated is in the working of a nine-to-five for a company that often does not align with one’s own ideals.  Of course, there is nothing wrong with watching your favorite show on television, and we all need to put food on the table, but the truth is, most of the time we spend in front of digital media is 100% useless and is just a method of escapism that keeps us from fulfilling what is authentic to us as individuals.  The goal here being: to create a reality that is preferable to the one we are told, by society, to follow.

Preparation, however, should not be skirted, and it is important to take steps to create a stable future.  Dwelling on it as life’s main objective, however, seems to lead to missed opportunities, as well as a somewhat bland, and perhaps, meaningless life.  Often, with people who follow this course, once in retirement, purpose is still missing.  Family seems to make up for some of this, as well, a family lends itself to a larger purported purpose, however, with one’s individuality unfulfilled, even the most accomplished businessman, might feel unaccomplished if their true desires and potentials were never fully met.  If they never tried to write that book or taste the snow on top of that one mountain.

As I close out my first “Quest” —the year of self-improvement that I started following my brother’s wedding on October 3, 2017; a day that began with a hangover as I moved to cease my consumption of alcohol and focused to redirect bad habits into good ones— this has been one of the take-away lessons that I have learned.  Last night, as I was journaling, I wrote about it.  Below is that entry.   img_4436

With little more than a week left in my Quest, I will be sharing the changes that have occurred in myself, and the lessons that I have learned along my path.

For me, finding my internal compass has been one of those lessons.  A lesson that can only be learned void of distractions; when one clears their mind and turns off the outside voices.  There are so many profound and exciting revelations that have come from this year’s experience, and I cannot wait to share with you what those have been and how I plan on continuing my growth in my upcoming Quest Part Two.

Cheers 🤙 ,

~Dane

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My Reflections in Nature; The Final Quarter

9-Month Quest Update

At 9:30 last Saturday night I was running up a road back to my girlfriend’s white Nissan Rogue after completing a stunning backpacking trip through the Glacier Peak Wilderness in the Cascades (full trip report and vlog coming very soon).  Three of us took on a 44 mile trek and I was pretty damn exhausted while finishing the last three miles, trail running up a mountain towards our transportation.  All of this in celebration of the Fourth of July, or more just an excuse for a backpacking trip, which also happened to coincide with my nine months of living alcohol free.

One reflection I had while walking through these stupidly beautiful and varying landscapes, was how similar life is to the adventure we were on.  Challenges in the outdoors can be very complex and require quick thinking, just as in real life.  They can take you off track due to faulty route finding which in turn costs you time on the trail pushing goals and camps further from reach.  They’re physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding.  You’re always being faced with new challenges, both minor and major, some grueling, some require digging deep into your fear and conquering it, but they’re always overturning and linking from one to the next followed by breaks of insane beauty before reemerging you in chaos.  You learn from each of these experiences and move on with the knowledge of how to handle a similar situation later.  Shifty rocks, unstable snow, darkness setting with no camp in sight and mosquitos biting the shit out of any exposed skin, legs cramping, dehydration, exhausting heat, numbing cold.. the list goes on.  No matter what happens during the trek, it must be finished at some point, in some way.  The option to bow out and just not finish what you have started does not really exist after a certain point, unless not being alive is an acceptable outcome to you.  Which means, when unfortunate circumstances arise, you have two options: be mentally miserable, bitch and complain, or you can find a way around the obstacles that present themselves and make the best out of your misfortune.  Since we are just a bunch of organisms attempting to ping our neuro receptors with jolts of dopamine, adjusting your mindset to do the latter is possible.

The past nine months have been the most transformative, life altering months of my life.  They’ve been productive in ways that will benefit me for years, perhaps decades, to come.  Yet there is still an internal turbulence brewing that works against what I am trying to accomplish.  I have had to learn to silence that turbulence, and also, energize it when necessary.  To get to a place where that is possible, I need to completely calm my ever-pulsing brainwaves.  Meditation has done me wonders.  Intense exercise also helps clear the thought tinnitus riddled with politics, work tasks, relationship issues, and other trivial, lizard brained bullshit.  But the activity that proves the most effective is, without a doubt, spending multiple days outdoors with a set goal to obtain.  Removing myself from the stresses of modern life and replacing them with survival and nature allows a deeper cleansing than you’ll find at any Gold’s Gym and earns me a fresh perspective.

The days spent away this last week were more like a firmware update than a vacation.  I regained my purpose for this quest.  Remembered what it is that I am working for.  Realized the progress I have made so far.  Saw where I can make improvements.  Got calibrated.  A lot has changed in nine months, more positive change than at any point in my life, and I still have three more to go to finish off this year long assignment.  In reality, it never stops, until it does, and I want to make it the best it can be all the way up and to the ending.

“You want to know what anger is?  Well, just observe the sensations that arise and pass in your body while you are angry… … … Whenever I was angry, I focused on the object of my anger — something somebody else did or said — rather than on the physical reality of the anger.

… The most important thing I realized was that the deep source of my suffering is in the patterns of my own mind.  When I want something and it doesn’t happen, my mind reacts by generating suffering.  Suffering is not an objective condition in the outside world. It is a mental reacting generated by my own mind.” Yuval Noah Harari, author of Sapiens and Homo Deus, excerpt from Tribe of Mentors, by Tim Ferris

 

Cheers 🤙 ,

~Dane

Vlog #6: Str8 Up Killin’ It!

Here is the long awaited VLOG (barf in my mouth) that I have been promising you.  Enjoy… well, as much as you can enjoy a VLOG, which is probably not very much…. I really am setting this content up to succeed.  #SelfDepricatingHumor

If you have suggestions of what you would like to see more of, or less of, for that matter, leave them below in the comments!  Just don’t be a pecker.

Cheers 🤙 ,

~Dane

VLOG #1: The Mission

Me, looking like a scrub, explaining my mission.  This is somewhat redundant, as I wrote this out in the first post, but some stuff has changed a bit, and I wanted a video for my YouTube channel.

Are my glasses crooked?  Yeah, I think so.

Here weeeee goooooo….

The Week Before: My Brother’s Wedding & Prepping for a Change

My younger brother, Jake, gets married on Saturday.  I am his best man and am absolutely stoked for the upcoming adventure out to Estes Park in Colorado.  The daunting task of writing a loving and crowd-pleasing speech is still weighing on my shoulders as I have procrastinated my way through week after week of the now-gone summer.  It’s all good, I’ll get it done.

This is my first blog post.  I am going to be doing this blog now for the foreseeable future as I delve back into writing consistently and a quest (of sorts) that I have decided to take on.  That quest is to stop drinking for an entire year starting after my brother’s wedding. This is not because I feel like I am an alcoholic, although tendencies have been established, but instead because I am in need of some focus and think that removing this distraction is going to get me closer to my goals in life.

To make this experience more engaging for myself, I have borrowed from others and used their positivity and lessons to create my own structured plan.  One of those people I am learning from is Tim Ferris and the many astounding people in his book, Tool of Titans, which has had a profound impact on me in the last couple months as I have moved from gainfully employed to home business owner.

Here’s my current thoughts on how I will structure my plan of execution to become sober and more focused in the coming 12 months:

1.  There will be four different aspects I am categorizing everything I do in my life into during this challenge.  Mental Health; Physical Health; Creativity; Financial/Career.  Everything I do is going to be to improve myself within those categories.  I will journal about this daily and post a blog on my progress as I go.  (I am going to go into deeper detail on this in another post)

2.  Removing negativity and growth hinderance.  I also am going to look through those four columns stated above and work to remove the things that are hindering the growth of that particular category. For instance, what keeps me from being creative?  Television & video games are two things that come to mind.  So, those are going to be either removed entirely from my daily routine or rationed out based on performance in other areas.

3.  At the end of my year I am going to have a large reward.  Right now I am leaning towards a trip to Patagonia.  But that is not quite good enough.  I need to further define what is going to happen on that trip and build upon it to create an ultimate goal.  Something like, backpack 150 miles through the Gloopedy Dupedy peaks (Don’t know the name of the peaks in Patagonia) and summit so-and-so mountain.  That’s more what I am looking for and what I am currently researching

4.   I am going to use whatever reward I have chosen as the thing I train for during this time of sobriety.

Now, back to my little brother.  I couldn’t be more proud of him.  And, being his bigger brother is a reward in and of itself.  My entire family will be present and I can’t wait to have a last hoorah as we celebrate him tying the knot with an awesome gal.  I plan on getting white girl wasted.  It’s my last go anyway!

Cheers to Sober October!

~Dane