Paris, Île-de-France, France

July 10, 2016

Bad Surprises and Good Opportunities

Last week, as I’d just arrived in Paris, I wrote you about my every-two-years process of finding direction, deciding who I wanted to become, and making a plan.

Then this week, as I started that process, something unexpected happened. The startup I was working for ran out of money. Just like that. Throughout these travels, I’ve paid my way via a mix of my coaching work, writing, and working as a programmer.

Suddenly, a big part of my cash flow was gone, and a huge chunk of my day was empty.

But I’ve noticed something funny in my life: almost every time some big terrible event happens, opportunity comes right after it.

The worst day of my life - a day when I was 18 in which I got fired from a graveyard shift at a shitty copy store in Tucson, Arizona, got kicked out of my apartment, and suddenly found myself with no job, money, or place to stay - is what set me on the path to be living in San Diego and working at the University of California, just four months later.

Bad news is funny that way.

As I walked around Paris this week, I let myself adjust to this new reality, and looked for the opportunity that I knew should be there somewhere.

And, one afternoon, as I turned a random corner, I found it waiting.

What if I just went for it, and tried to make Ink and Feet my life?

The idea had been rolling around my head for months, but I felt like there was still more planning, more getting-ready, more think-through-how-this-works I wanted to do before making the jump.

But like the best things in life - falling in love, traveling somewhere new, having a kid or getting a pet - we’re never really ready.

We just jump.

So, I’m jumping.

Committing to figuring out how I can make Ink and Feet my full-time living.

And because we don’t do bullshitting here, I’ll be honest with you - it feels terrifying.

The what-if-instead-we’s swirl in my head, and all the shouty find a safer road and let’s just go get a boring job that pays well voices say their piece. Loudly.

But it also feels right.

I’ve told the people I coach when they’ve wrestled with similar struggles - if you’re going to bet on something - bet on yourself. Bet on your life. You only get one - and whatever it is you really want to do your life - do it.

And right next to the fear, I also feel tremendous excitement about the possibilities.

Being able to travel and live places further off the beaten path. Writing better, more in-depth articles about the things that matter. Starting a series of interviews, and telling deep stories from the places I live. Making courses that help each of us find and live our most authentic lives.

I have the time now to make these real - and I’m going to do it.

And of course, as they take shape and come out, I’ll make sure to tell you, so you can check them out!

There's a lot I don't know about the future - but one thing I’m sure of is that this letter will keep on being the letter.

Being able to write to you every week has become a pillar of my life, and one of my favorite parts of my week. (Hopefully it’s a nice little part of your Sunday mornings, too!)

Hearing back from you on what’s happening in your world, the things you’re thinking, and what’s inspiring you gives me insights and perspectives I’d never have otherwise, and ones I really, really value.

You know, when I got here, for reasons I couldn’t quite explain, Paris felt like coming home. A kind of denouement.

But this morning, with coffee still hot on my kitchen table and nothing but possibilities ahead, it feels like something altogether different - a beginning.

We’re just getting started. :)

Have a wonderful, wonderful week.

-Steven

p.s. Especially with the rough week we’ve had as humankind - particularly in the US, UK, and Iraq - I wanted to share a best thing this week that reminded me that we’re also capable doing of collective, wonderful things together - and that we do those things, too.

Here’s a video of the Juno spacecraft, and a collective effort from all over the globe. Enjoy. :)

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