“Make every day meaningful. Time is finite. We have such a short time here on Earth to make a positive difference. You can spend your time sitting around waiting for someone else to do something, or you can man up and make things happen. Get up and do something meaningful. Shake off your fears and what others are going to think about you.” – something I wrote to myself
This week Alyssa and I did interviews on Fox and Friends Morning Show, CNN, Huffington Post, and others. It was my first time on national television, and a bit nerve racking. It was kind of like sitting in the locker room before a big game and you were experiencing the good kind of nerves. Except this locker room was a green room that served free food and coffee.
It’s really humbling that our message resonates with people, for whatever reason. Whether it be that they are in a job they don’t love, or perhaps they’re in an hourly wage job and doing their best to make a better life for themselves, if somehow our story helps with that, it makes me feel good.
My goal as a writer is to always be honest and transparent as possible, so now that we’ve outwardly portrayed some form of success, I want to share with you a journal entry I wrote on May 10th of this year, just two weeks before leaving for our journey.
I was afraid nobody would care about what we were doing, I was scared I was making the wrong decision. I was scared that I wouldn’t finish the trip. I was writing to convince myself that imperfect action is better than no action at all. Writing helps me to clarify my thoughts, so the following is written from me directly to me.
Thankfully, I decided to act anyway. Here are my raw thoughts.
Saturday, May 10, 2014
What stresses men out is not failure, but lack of a clear direction in which to fail. In the same sense, it’s better to fail by action than to fail by default, or the lack of action.
I’m scared about a lot of things in life. But the man who has clarity to make mistakes faster, can then alter his course and change his judgment. However, if he continues to put off making decisions until the time is “perfect” or all the stars are aligned, he will surely still fail and then he might not have the time to correct his course.
What I’m learning is that if you have the power to make a decision, make a decision. Don’t put off action just because you are unsure. Mistakes are acceptable. Not acting on something important because you aren’t sure of what is going to work out is a sure fire way of failing, so just jump in anyway. It’s okay to not be perfect. People respond to realness.
Do great work, pour yourself in constantly day after day, and don’t be afraid to lengthen your strides and pace it out for the long haul. Just remember there is a difference between running the marathon and not even stepping up to the race because you’re scared you may lose track along the way.
Is the goal even to win? It’s important to know. If the goal is to win, then you should know before you start the race. If you are just here to run the race, that is important to know also. You can even race just to be “accomplished.” Everyone has a different reason for running the race of life, as long as you know the reason before stepping up to the starting line.
What is the reason for my own adventure? I want to do work that matters. This is a project I believe can have a huge impact on many people, so I’m doing it. Simple as that.
Do I want to win? Well, maybe. What does winning mean? To me, winning means enjoying the process. If I enjoy the majority of the work I put in, not meaning that it isn’t hard, but I do feel fulfilled and NOT WORRIED about the process. If I can do work and not worry about the result, then that is a success to me. If I can go all in, and others enjoy it, that is what is success to me. It can be a documentary, blog, series… I really don’t care, as long as it’s authentic, me, and I enjoy it.
Make every day meaningful. Time is finite. We have such a short time here on Earth to make a positive difference. You can spend your time sitting around waiting for someone else to do something, or you can man up and make things happen. Get up and do something meaningful. Shake off your fears and what others are going to think about you and what others have said.
You will finish Hourly America. You will publish 50 blogs, one after every job. You will meet people, take risks, go out of your comfort zone, and do work that inspires millions of people. You will.
As of this morning, I’ve worked 31 jobs across America and been on the road for nearly 5 months. I’ve lost a fridge, a vehicle, a fuel pump, and had a near death experience while inhaling too much of a gas leak. I’ve faced obstacles, but I overcame them. I’ve grown my relationship with my wife, and hand in hand experienced the greatest adventure of my life. I’ve met hundreds of American workers who have shared their heart and lives with me. I’ve shared tears with people I’ve met on the road, and as they looked at me, they told me the work I’m doing was inspiring them to keep going.
I did all this, and spent a lot of time being scared in the process. But that’s just it, if I wouldn’t have acted then I never would have been able to make any kind of difference. Life isn’t about being fearless, it’s about being able to act bravely in the face of fear.
Have a wonderful and adventurous day,