Lordy…Lordy guess who’s 40?
Missy has been waiting for this day for awhile since she’s 2 ½ years older. She thought it would never come but I’m officially in my fourth decade. Several of my friends have asked me how 40 is, and I’m pleased to say I’m truly happier and more content than ever.
I feel like I know myself better than ever and have done quite a bit of work in that area in the last 2 years. Part of it has really been digging into what makes me happy and what I was meant to do here.
The picture I posted is part of a quote from Joseph Campbell.
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.”
Campbell was a mythology expert and author of the Hero with 1,000 faces, studying the “Hero’s Journey” and how in a multitude of cultures this hero’s story is played out over and over again.
I ‘found’ that door coincidentally in the restaurant a group of Mavericks commandeered following part of my birthday celebration. It’s a great piece of art and it showed up just as I’ve been studying Campbell’s material more intently. (I wrote a little bit about the Hero’s journey in the last post about the 22 excuses for playing small.) I always love when things like this happen into my life just at the right time or wherever my attention has been. There’s certainly something more going on than we realize.
And that’s partly what I want to share a bit about here…
If we go back to the focus of attention I was just talking about – goal setting for many people is focused attention on their intended course. You’ve probably been taught all sorts of things about goal setting. Throughout the last 20 or so years when I became a student of success traits, I’ve tried a lot of different experiments. I remember my first time being really exposed to goal setting was at a Brian Tracy seminar. I think I was probably 22 or so at the time and Brian had us write out our 10 most important goals we truly wanted. I can’t remember all 10, but I remember one of the goals was buying a Mercedes SLK.
Interestingly enough I misplaced that workbook and found it a few years later. I think something like 7 out of 10 of the goals were hit, though the more interesting thing was, most were even “better”. For example, I had made more income and I ended up getting a much cooler Mercedes – SL55 AMG.
Seeing how that came together, I then changed up how I wrote my goals to add the words “or better”, “or sooner”, “or more” thus giving myself more flexibility around what I was working toward.
The New Way to Better Goal Setting
But most recently I really feel like I have an even better method that strikes to the heart of what I really, really want.
A few years back in my journal I wrote out what my ideal day was like when I was 40. I wrote out some specifics about net worth, the car I was driving, what I was doing that day, etc. Trying to really capture my ideal, perfect day for when I was 40. A few weeks before my birthday I went back and found that entry and at first glance I didn’t really hit that many of the specific goals.
I told Missy about the entry and after seeing what I wrote, she asked if I was upset that it wasn’t quite here. I thought about it and said, ‘no’. And that’s because the essence of the goals were there and even exceeded.
For instance, instead of driving a specific car – I would rather figure out what is the essence behind the car I want. It’s about having joy and satisfaction from driving it, and something that reflects a bit of my fun-loving spirit. So instead of writing I want a Fisker Karma as I had indicated, it’s leaving it open but focused on those previous criteria. (Interestingly enough I wouldn’t want a Fisker on my 40th with all the issues they had.)
And the dollar amount I wrote in my journal was I wanted $2M in profits coming in from various business ventures per year. But what’s the real essence behind that? It’s the freedom to work on what you want, with whom you please and on what gets you excited!
I don’t need 2 million a year to have that and you wouldn’t either. I already have the essence of that goal. It’s just about creating enough freedom from passive income or designing your business to support your most important contributions.
A few more specific items included the dollar amounts of giving, number of young entrepreneurs and start-ups we’ve helped, and a Maverick gala. Sometimes those goals that still match up your deep passion are coming. It’s just not in the right time but like a train coming down the tracks – you know it’s coming. For instance, I didn’t hit the $5M in charity contributions in my goals, but we are at over $1.2M and growing so the momentum is building. And once again the essence is there with or without the specific dollar amount.
The requests most of us make are for things (better car, bigger house, etc.). Those are not at the same level as requests that come from your heart and a deeper place.
“Learning to receive is learning to ask for the essence of what you want, rather than the form” – Sanaya Roma, author “Living with Joy”
Each year on my birthday I usually make a list of accomplishments from the previous year. In my journal, I wrote that in the previous year (my 39th) I had gone up into space on Virgin Galactic. Well…that timing is not of my own doing so it’s still happening and I can continue savoring the anticipation.
Coincidentally, Virgin Galactic threw a 400+ person party on my 40th birthday. They had a big ‘Behind the Hanger Doors’ event in Mojave right on September 25th so a perfect excuse to take my birthday on the road.
Richard Branson had factored into my journal entry about my 40th but it appeared in a bigger way than what I thought about. I wrote “In a few weeks the family is going to Necker Island again with Maverick members and Richard. It’s become a yearly tradition since 2011 when they first came. I was just reminded of the trip because Richard sent over a wonderful surprise gift for my birthday.”
Once again we’re blessed to be heading out to Necker with the whole family in March 2014, and it has become a family tradition. Richard did send over a surprise birthday gift in a personal video that was pretty funny. But even better, I got to see him on my birthday for the Virgin Galactic event and roughly a week later on Safari with Richard in South Africa. Amazing!
(I’ll have some interesting recaps from South Africa in another post.)
Sophia (who heads up our incredible events for Maverick) and my wife, Missy, had their hand in quite a few surprises lined up for me in LA. I actually like surprises since I’m frequently involved in planning them for others and for Maverick members – so I enjoyed not prying and letting it play out.
The first night we arrived late in LA, Missy and I joined an old high school friend of hers in his yoga studio for kirtan chanting. If you’re around the LA area or Santa Monica drop into Govindas’ Bhakti Yoga Shala studio.
If you’ve never done kirtan – it’s worth trying. Essentially a wonderful experience of sacred singing, repeating and chanting with tremendous group energy. Afterwards, we went to dinner at a delicious restaurant in Santa Monica, Tar & Roses. The pork chicarones on the menu is frickin’ amazing! I’ve been working on mindful eating to really savor each flavor, texture and scent of my meals. I don’t always do it since sometimes we’re just too busy and wolf down our meals without thinking, but at times when I do pay attention I enjoy my food so much more.
This dish really deserved it. Yes, it was that good that it deserves a picture here:
Using the little mini wooden skewers with cubes of pork, just the right amount of crispiness and moistness. Then the black mission fig to add the sweetness and a pickled pearl onion. Like I said amazing! Even Missy, who doesn’t like pork, enjoyed this dish.
The next morning more of the surprises started up. Sophia had arranged for about 35 or so different Maverick members and friends to show up at various times during the day and for different parts of the event. I first saw Robert Hirsch waiting for me in the lobby with my first scavenger hunt clue. And then heading out to the parking lot was Sara Roy and our video biographer, Alex. Something’s up – but I’m playing along.
We have to battle LA traffic to head from Beverly Hills to Santa Monica for our first set of clues taking us to the 3rd Street Promenade. Anytime there’s a Maverick(esque) event you don’t know who is a random bystander, an actor or willing participant. I got a great impromptu ‘Happy Birthday’ song and dance from (I think) a maintenance guy strolling along. But that kind of interesting stuff frequently happens to me.
One of my favorite missions was to convince a bartender to hand off the reigns of the tap and let someone from our group tend bar for a bit. I was pouring some of the poorest pours I’d see in quite a bit. Lots of foam and not much beer, definitely one of those “don’t quit your day job moments”. I was giving out free drinks to the 4 patrons there at lunch on me and one guy wouldn’t take a free Goose Island beer because I asked him to honk like a goose first. He paid and quickly got out of there.
We got bonus points if there was something a bit unusual or daring as part of this mission, so I laid out on the bar for an upside down beer swill from the tap. Elegant!
After a bit more mischief we ended up on the Santa Monica pier awaiting the next rendezvous. We played a few carnival games to pass the time and I have no idea what I’d do with a gigantic stuffed animal, but they are so compelling to play for.
As I was tossing rings onto the jugs, a small contingent of ‘things’ in all-green, head-to-toe spandex suits comes out from the corner.
You can just see parents immediately grab their children’s’ hands and usher them away from these crazies. They kidnapped me and took me down below the boardwalk where a big group of Mavericks were waiting to celebrate with me.
That night more surprise guests showed up for dinner and then we moved into a private library room for drinks and a video. Sophia has compiled together 40 well wishes from friends, family and colleagues. Watching these videos made me realize how much of an impact I’d had on so many different people. It was actually a bit overwhelming and humbling. Really moving. In fact, one of my buddies came up to me afterwards and said, “I need to really start living my life the way you do – you are an inspiration to me.”
Having a video like that was one of the most meaningful things I could receive. And the other gifts had thought behind them too. I don’t need big things – I’m more interested in the why behind them.
Really I’ve been enjoying the feeling of love like this…
At 40 my life has become one big adventure, and that’s way it should be. Life reveals itself through whimsy and play, if we let it. And everything seems to happen in the perfect time. As I mentioned, I’m more content and happier than ever. I really understand myself on a deeper level, and I’m ready to enter the next chapter of my life. I’m hoping many of you will be on that journey with me, to uncover our biggest contribution yet, in an interconnected Destiny of Greatness.