In 2009, Ridlon and I were sitting in our hot tub discussing the desire to travel around the world.
We didn’t mean travel the world, we were already doing that. We wanted to travel around it, a full circumnavigation. We discussed the how and the why and the where and the means and the timing, the whole kit and caboodle. We put together a plan to make it happen. We threw it out to the universe, whether knowingly or not. Then we went on to the next idea, the next plan, the next strategy.
The idea smoldered under the ashes of life and nothing happened for the next several years. However, the universe had taken hold of our dream and it would eventually come to pass.
The idea of throwing something out to the universe and letting the universe provide is not new. It’s one of the foundations of The Secret and in many religious circles it’s akin to “putting it in God’s hands”. Many people roll their eyes at that and say, “yeah, right and it will magically appear” and they are right. It won’t, that’s the missing piece.
It will not magically appear. But if your desire is strong enough, the idea sits in a corner of your mind like a serotinous pine cone waiting for a fire of the highest temperature to burst the seed open and germinate. You subconsciously open your mind to seek out opportunities and lead yourself in the direction of the goal. The key here is that it is you yourself who make it happen.
This has happened many times in my life and often, until I sit back and think it through, I haven’t realize it. As a youth, I always had the dichotomy of wanting to live both in the mountains and on the ocean. Now, I have a beautiful home in the mountains and spend most of my life traveling the world leading divers to the most incredible dive destinations. That dream came true. It happened by following my desires and building the life I wanted only subconsciously realizing it. Each small decision I made moved me in the direction of the overall goal. It wasn’t overwhelming because I didn’t completely reveal it even to myself.
But here’s the thing. It wasn’t instantaneous and that’s a huge point. I don’t sit back at home and wish for a million dollars, do nothing and it appears in the mail next week. It’s a process, often a long one. I have come to understand that the dreams that come true are those that I want strongly and relentlessly. If there is doubt in my mind, I most likely self sabotage.
So, today we returned from the most astonishing journey of our life…
a 26 day, around the world odyssey by private jet. It was a job that we were sought out to do. I hadn’t really given it much thought about how it came about until this morning.
I was finding homes for some of the souvenirs we had accumulated on the journey when I noticed two books on the shelf. One was The Practical Nomad, How to Travel Around the World. I smiled at the irony of my eye closing in on this, picked if off the shelf and settled in to browse through it. I recalled I had bought this book many years before and this had been a dream for sometime. The other book was The World Awaits, How to Travel Far and Well. Between these two volumes, there offered more than 800 pages of travel advice on everything from planning an itinerary to budgeting.
A few epiphanies occurred.
First, that the idea of this trip, at the time of incubation was lofty. These books are comprehensive, so comprehensive, in fact, that I now know why I never read them completely. It would be overwhelming to plan an around the world trip one page at a time like this. The details would have sent me running. No discredit to the authors, the answers are here as a great encyclopedic resource but overwhelming as a whole.
The second epiphany, and the biggest, is that I easily could write these books. It’s not a statement of ego, simply of experience. Life is an accumulation of experiences and if you spend your life in pursuit of one thing, after decades of pursuit, you find yourself suddenly the expert and wonder how you arrived at the place.
So, the desire to travel around the world was a once lofty goal and now a completed one. The actual doing of the goal came as the accumulation of a lifetime of learning to the point where someone else actually asked us to lead the trip, perhaps someone who knew more about me and my talents than I did myself.
As I skim through the books, I notice my asterisks in the margins and the sentences I underlined. I chuckle at my naivety and cherish how far I’ve come without realizing it.
With the goal complete, it begs the question of what’s next?
I wonder what else I’ve thrown out to the universe that I am secretly pursuing and it sends me downstairs to find my vision board. Every year on New Year’s Eve, we review our year and look through our vision boards at what we’ve accomplished and what’s still out there. The vision board is our way of throwing an idea to the universe, by physically manifesting the goal in words and pictures on a board and putting it in front of our minds. Often we find at the end of the year, or of two years or five, that we’ve accomplished a goal and that it simply looked a different way.
This is one of our guiding principles, “It Doesn’t Always Look the Way you Think it’s Going to”. We certainly didn’t expect our around the world journey to be on a private jet, nor to be paid to do it but that’s the way it turned out, fortunately for us!
Our lives are our own destiny. We ARE the captains of our fate. Every decision we make in our life moves us towards what we ultimately desire, whether we are conscious of it or not.
Today was one of those days where I realized just how many decisions I had made to move towards this ultimate desire.
I don’t know exactly what’s next, though there are a gazillion thoughts at hand. One will take hold in my mind as the most important. However, in perusing The World Awaits, I noticed that I had underlined Bhutan as a desired destination all those years ago. Last week on the last leg of our Around the World journey, the owner of the company came seeking our advice on destinations for the 2016 ATW trip which he has asked us to lead. In the end, Bhutan, was one of our suggestions and one that made the final cut.
Funny thing, desire….
I fiercely believe our dreams can become reality with relentless pursuit at the subconscious level. We move ourselves along our own path at a speed which aligns with our ultimate needs.
People often tell me I’m lucky to live the way I live. I only believe in luck if defined as where preparation meets opportunity. And opportunity arises when the mind is open to grasp it when it comes by, when the mind is subconsciously searching for it.
Define your dreams, move forward with purpose and a relentless passion and be open for opportunity. You will get what you seek.
See you in Bhutan.