Call it a law of attraction, dumb luck, or whatever you want to label it. One year ago I set the intention of getting paid to travel the world and that’s exactly what I’ve been able to experience over the past year.
As I sit in my apartment in Costa Rica, after 10 months on the road, I’m taking the time to reflect on some of the decisions that brought me to where I am today and why I’m thrilled for what tomorrow will bring.
The Safe Mindset
One year ago I was following the typical “American Dream” life path.
I had graduated from Fordham University business school, a prestigious private University and I had my fancy $200k diploma to show for it.
I’m very grateful for the education, experiences, and relationships I formed over my four years there.
After graduating from an expensive business school, the next step on the “American Dream” path is to get a job with a prestigious company that you can be proud to flaunt at family gatherings and with random strangers at the bar.
Check — I locked down a job with Morgan Stanley, a Fortune 500 company that I was happy to name drop any chance I could.
My Wall Street job gave me the resources to live in the heart of New York City with my two best friends (hi Pat & Sam!). As a 21-year-old, I lived on the 31st floor of a luxury high-rise, bought whatever my heart desired, and lived the Manhattan lifestyle I always wanted.
Up until this point, my life has been going very much according to plan.
I felt satisfied.
I felt settled.
Ultimately, I felt SAFE.
What Follows a Safe Mindset
What’s next on this life plan?
Work at this fancy sounding job for 40 years spending about 30% of my life doing what I actually desired (weekends and 4 weeks vacation)
This is what Tim Ferriss calls the Deferred Life Plan.
When I saw the potential future that was in store by taking the “safe” path and saw how unappealing it looked (work 40 years, spend 30% of that time doing what you want, then be free to pursue what you want when you’re too old to live the adventurous life you’ve always desired) I decided to make a move towards the road less traveled.
I decided to take a sharp, but permanent detour towards living a life I desire ALL the time. I made a decision to take the road less traveled.
The Two Paths
On one side I had the “safe” path:
The belief that a multinational company provided a sense of job security for one of its tens of thousands of dispensable employees.
On the other side I had the “might be sorry” path:
Doing something that went against the conventional life plan. Something outside the scope of getting a job, working for 30 years and retiring when the best years of your life are gone.
After seeing the tired, unhealthy, and lifeless expressions on my managers who were 20 years into the role I had, it was an easy decision.
Taking a Risk with The ‘Sorry’ Mindset
I took the decision to flip that empty platitude (“Better safe than sorry”) on its head and venture down the path that isn’t “safe” and take the risk at maybe being sorry.
Because of that decision I’ve been able to live one of the best years of my life. Traveling the world, meeting life-long friends from all walks of life, and working with some of the most inspiring people I could ever ask for.
I don’t expect everyone to have the same experience I had if they venture down the road less traveled.
But sometimes the “safe” path is the riskiest bet you can make. There’s a tremendous amount of risk with playing it safe all the time. The risk that your time and life will pass you by.
Take control of your decisions, actions, and life. Take a risk — maybe you’ll be sorry, or maybe you’ll live a life of excitement and adventure.
Personally, I’ll err on the side of the lessons I’ll learn from possibly being sorry, then the regret of playing it safe my whole life.