I woke up this morning and realised I had forgotten something important! I forgot to live. Been so immersed in work, a mortgage and having baby routines over the last 3 years that the fun seems to have disappeared. A grey, dull life of careful planning, just ease the way through all the issues.
Aaaah – those single days – sleeping in (sigh), staying out late, eating at 9pm, making spur of the moment decisions to go out for the night, or weekend. Hehe, it was a sweet life. Wait – I am NOT complaining. Just realising that being a parent is more than paying a mortgage, providing clean clothes and a nutritious meal at 6p.m. every night. Trying to control absolutely every moment of the day is not only hard work, it is futile! Things will still happen. Time to get back to embracing change, to living on the unpredictable side of the fence. For in keeping everything so controlled I have done my child a disservice. If she doesn’t learn to “roll with the punches” she wont be so successful in adapting to change, and she wont be as capable at finding solutions to challenges. I became over protective.
These are huge goals for me to provide her with skills in. If she can adapt, if she can withstand adversity and failure, then she will be able to find success in whatever goals she chooses to set for herself. I think these are critical attributes for any entrepreneur (and we are all entrepreneurs in whatever we choose to do). I am driven to providing these skills to her because I know I lack the tenacity of overcoming failure myself. I am trying to find the way to work around the fear, around the feeling of disappointment at failing, a way to be less controlling, to be ok to lose money or reputation, and go with the flow more, but it is very frustrating, and keeping me back from my own entrepreneurial successes. Take a look at the great entrepreneurs of today – they are NOT afraid to fail. They have all failed a number of times before finding success. And they will all tell you that it was through their failures that they found success. Did you know that Walt Disney failed twice in businesses before being the household name he is today? He started the Iwers-Disney Commercial Artist Company, which fell after a very rocky start. Then he had Laugh-O-Grams which went out of business due to bankruptcy, mainly because he had studio costs, far too many staff and not enough revenue to pay everything.
- Donald Trump – has gone bankrupt how many times?
- Steve Jobs was fired by Apple Computers in 1985, the company he helped to create. He went on to acquire Pixar, made it a success, and then came back to reinvent Apple as a very successful consumer products business.
- Dean Kamen, the creator of the Segway Human Transporter, several successful biomedical device businesses, and holder of 440 patents, jokes that his biggest failure is “that I have too many to talk about.”
- Thomas Edison invented the electric light bulb, central power generation, and the phonograph, but failed in his effort to extract low-grade iron ore from sand. He brushed this off, and went on to many successful media and transportation businesses later in life.
Anyway, back to the topic.
Life is what teaches you to overcome failure, to embrace change and use it for positive. And it is these ups and downs that give life it’s colour, its vibrancy. By controlling life too closely, it becomes boringly stable, and that makes us fade away. Automatons just wandering through the day following the same old vanilla cookie recipe. No – stop – lets throw some chocolate chips in! Lets live on the edge, feel the heart pumping, let loose the rules of our society a little, open up the arms and explore that which is different, find some fun, have an adventure. And I am going to start right now. Tomorrow – no plans, we are getting in the car and just going somewhere for the day. See what happens, find solutions on the run. Makes my heart race in anticipation! Oh my – I might just start to feel alive!
Long term – time to take more risks, take less notice of cultural and community expectations and do what is right for US as a family. Oh – and plan a holiday or 2 that do NOT include a family visit (as have all trips since our honeymoon in 2005). Disneyland – we cant wait to raid the mortgage and come see you in a couple of years!
So, I am off to start living in technicolour again – how about you?
Of course, it begs the question – why not stay in a luxe hotel??????? Because we are camping daaaaaaaaahlink, CAMPING like the plebs. Slumming it in style!
When I was a kid we took our version of glamping (a 4 person tent which had a separate sleeping area – sooooooo la-di-dah for the day), whacked it up in the camp grounds at Wilson’s Prom, and dined on gas barbecued food for each meal. No fridge apart from a little esky, topped daily with ice, no tv, loo or sink (we had a washing up bucket and the local amenities block). It was fun – we got to know the neighbours, we played for hours whilst the parents drank cask wine and laughed a lot.
How soft have we become that such trials are beyond us. Our cavemen great great great (etc) grandaddies would be horrified.
I’ve decided to invent a couple of new crazes to harden people back up – so please, check out the delightful experiences below and send you bookings to firstname.lastname@example.org. Act quick – places are going fast! Have your credit card ready.
Experience 1 – Nanping
You get to stay with nan and pop for 3 nights and do all the chores the old-fashioned way ‘cos they don’t have new-fangled contraptions like washing machines and powered mowers – also doubles as a get fit experience.
Experience 2 – Gramping
You are given some sticks, palm fronds, instructions and a stone, and left on a deserted island for 7 luxurious days and nights. A totally sustainable holiday! Green Camping at it’s best. Also can be utilised as a weight loss experience or training week for Survivor TV series.
Experience 3 – Stramping
We saved the best for last. Live on the streets of New York for 5 fun-filled nights! We kit you out with a newspaper and shopping cart and off you go exploring back alleys and park benches. Also doubles as an Entrepeneurs’ Survival experience.
And no – this is not able disrespecting street wanderers – it is about commenting on how hard their lives are – so please – no angry comments!