This morning I rode shotgun in a helicopter and flew though the Himalayas. I trekked through the trails in the Solo-Khumbu, encountered yaks, donkeys, suspension bridges, porters, stunning mountains and beautiful children. I smiled at every man, woman and child I came across, captured the day's events with an arsenal of cameras, a steadicam, a track and a trip-pod.
I'm currently time-lapsing three cameras under the stars while typing away in a tea house in the warmth of my sleeping bag. For me, this is heaven. For me, this is my ultimate dream. It isn't luck, it isn't a gift, it's something called life-design. Please allow me explain.
I remember the defining moment like it was yesterday. Eight years ago I trekked to Everest basecamp with a team of Canadians and my goal was to shoot a documentary about my friend Dr. Sean Egan. During one of his training exercises, it dawned on me that what I was observing and capturing though my lens was exactly what I wanted to do with my life. It wasn't necessarily that I wanted to be a climber, (although somehow that happened along the way) rather I wanted to travel the world and become an adventure filmmaker. I knew nothing of anything related to adventure at the time, but it appears as though I've done something right because that is my life. How did all of that happen you ask?
I began by asking myself three simple questions:
1) Am I happy in my life?
2) Considering the answer was no, I then asked myself: Am I prepared to do anything it will take to make my dream my reality?
3) Will I educate myself, associate myself with others in this realm and do absolutely anything I need to do, regardless of how difficult or how long it will take?
Fortunately the answer was YES to all of the questions above. I knew what I wanted and I was committed to doing anything I needed to do to arrive at my end goal. Sounds too easy, right? It was... and it wasn't. It was, because I knew the meaning of patience. I understood the concept of hard work. I had learned what it was like to fall on my face and hit rock bottom and most importantly I had the ability to visualize myself living this goal. Was I prepared for how hard it actually was? Absolutely not! But I was resilient and relentless. Today, I'm living the rewards of eight years or hard work.
If I had one piece of advice for most of the population in the west, it would be this: don't ever settle for anything less that what your authentic you needs to be happy and fulfilled. Whatever makes the most sense to you, do it. Find a way. Whatever means the most to you. Aim for it and never stop. Whatever will lead you to the moment when you're happiest, do it. Falling down will make you stronger. Conquering any fear you may have will only empower you.
I meet so many people that fear the loss of control, that fear the unknown, or can't part with their existing salary in the job they hate. Others use their family as a reason or convince themselves that "perhaps someday it will happen." Well let me tell you this "someday is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you."
I'm not saying jeopardize your security, I'm saying take a leap of faith and invest in your life and your happiness. Your friends and family will thank you because you will be a much happier human being. You could be living everything you've ever dreamed and it all begins with life-design, knowing what you want and being willing to do anything it takes to make it happen.
Dream it. Believe it. Achieve it.
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