Adventure, life lessons, and amazing experiences happened to this man through his travels. Here’s what he learned.
Spiritual growth and living in the moment—this is what I thought road trips were all about, but I never thought long-term success would be the main lesson learned. But in the past five days, I have gawked at the Golden Gate Bridge, driven through Portland, and rode a bike across the waterfront north of Seattle. This need for gratification when seeing new things has added a lot of unnecessary challenges in my life, but these challenges taught me about the importance of small daily tasks.
With competition in the world rising, it is important we remember to focus on our small daily tasks. The person who adjusts their daily schedule to this knowledge will be, ten years from now, way ahead. Let me tell you why.
Shift In Priorities
Instead of money, delicious food, and entertainment being at the forefront of my mind–the only things that mattered were getting clean, feeding myself, and seeing beautiful parts of the world. Unlike my life before the road, I had to do these things and do them efficiently–but something was missing.
I was alone.
Despite discovering gems of the world, I realized that the moment could not be shared. My memories began to lose importance. Then it all made sense. The reason I wanted to see these beautiful places and travel was because of the opinion of my future self. I want him to look back and be proud of who we became. Why does this matter to an entrepreneur?
Success is essential to feeling fulfilled with our lives, but our successes come from the grind of finishing our smalls tasks every day and traveling showed me how.
Developing Essential Daily Habits
To see something interesting every day, you have to plan for it. Food, water, and the act of charging my camera batteries became necessary habits. I developed a routine to cope with my situation. It may seem obvious, but this mentality is like that of successful entrepreneurs.
Tim Ferris, a successful author, investor, and entrepreneur—meditates, drinks his uniques mix of aged pu-erh and green tea, and writes a short list of things to do for the day—every morning. Why? By focusing on completing small tasks, he can produce best-seller books, a successful investment portfolio, and an amazing blog read by millions.
He sets his mind and body into a prime condition for the day ahead, and his morning routine initiates this process. Tony Robbins, Warren Buffett, Benjamin Franklin, and many others have chosen a morning routine to achieve the same effect.
Don’t Do Big Things
Kelly Clarkson became a huge star from American Idol. J.K. Rowling wrote the most successful book series ever from her first published book. Success infuses romantic thoughts into our heads—like the overnight success. Examples like these could be found everywhere, but that’s because they forget to mention the backstory of how those people found success.
Maria Popova, the owner of brain pickings.org—a blog that posts insightfully annotated readings of good books, quoted Debbi Millman, “Expect anything worthwhile to take a long time.” Adding in her own flavor, Maria also said, “The flower doesn’t go from bud to blossom in one spritely burst and yet, as a culture, we’re disinterested in the tedium of the blossoming.”
A writer doesn’t sit down and think, “I’m going to write this whole book.” They think, “time to get my daily word count in,” and if that daily word count is 1000 words a day, a 300 page book should take 90 days to write — not including research, editing, and publishing. It is in the small things that we become successful.
It’s Not Just About Success
Following our passions is important, but we can become too obsessive. As I previously said, despite doing the things I wanted to do—there was no one to share this experience. Being happy with ourselves is important, but the same counts for the people we care about. If we ignore them in exchange for working every hour of every day—success doesn’t matter. Try popping up a bottle of wine and partying by yourself—it gets old.
Our social experience is important in enforcing the lifestyles we create. The people we know, their moods, and opinions of us can affect our ability to create meaningful work. According to American entrepreneur Jim Rohn, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Nurturing your friendships is pivotal in optimizing your work life. Having your mind clear from social issues will make your work life more productive. Our work lives and social lives work to build each other.
What Is Long-Term Thinking, Really? How is it relevant to success?
So when I traveled up the west coast, I realized what long-term thinking means.
By excelling every day at our daily tasks, we set ourselves up to excel in our larger goals, and then careers, and when that final day comes we can think— it was a great ride.
Or maybe someone will invent the solution to immortality proving me completely wrong. Either way, little tasks over time produce large outcomes that define who we are professionally and even personally.
Why else would Gary Vaynerchuk release over 100 episodes of the #AskGaryVee show for free?
Photo: Flickr/ Kerri Lee Smith