Medellin, Antioquia, Colombia

November 22, 2015

Happy First Year!

One year ago, I stepped onto a Hainan Air flight bound for Phuket, Thailand.

Everything I owned was in my bag or the cargo hold. I spoke no Thai - the only clues I had were a Google translate printout of “I am allergic to peanuts. If I eat peanuts or peanut oil, I will die”.

I'd intentionally kept myself in the dark about the place I was going, the language, the culture, and the people. I simply knew my address, that I'd have a cab at the airport to take me to my new home, and that somehow, I would figure it out.

I've lived in ten cities and four countries since, and passed through a half-dozen more. I've learned basic Thai and Spanish, and had the wonderful privilege of having my world cracked open time and time again by different cultures, and the valid and entirely novel ways people understand the world.

Reflection is one of the most powerful tools we have to guide us toward our authentic, amazing lives.

So, for the next couple of weeks, I'm going to look back over the past year - for you, and for me - and dig up what I've found (and forgotten) over the year.

But today, I want to invite you to try something. It's an exercise I often give to the people I coach, and it's one I do myself every six months.

It's simple, powerful, and reveals the things we really value. Ready? Let's go.

Imagine you woke up tomorrow to your phone ringing. You answer it, and are told that you've come into twenty million dollars, no strings attached. You get the details, start to process the shock, and get off the phone.

Thirty seconds later your phone rings again. This time it's your doctor, telling you that you have ten years left to live, due to a rare and incurable condition. She's empathetic, but spells it out for you. You get off the phone.

Right now, make two lists.

List 1. What would you do?

List 2. What would you stop doing?

 

When you've finished up, feel free to put those lists somewhere you'll run into them from time to time. These are the things you really care about. Allow them to impact the hours, days, and weeks that lay in front of you.

Have a wonderful week, filled with the stuff that really matters.

-Steven

p.s. The best thing I saw all week was this piece about Brandon Marshall. He's a wide reciever in the NFL. He's also a person who deals with borderline personality disorder, and an amazing human being.

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