Oct. 13, 2010
Total Distance for Trip: approx. 123 miles
Current Location: Philadelphia
I’m still hanging out in Philly for my extended pit-stop. I keep having exciting moments of clarity while I’m here. Apparently, “Philadelphia” is Greek for “City of Brotherly Love,” but for me, it has been a city of enlightenment!
Today’s Moment of Clarity: A Great Life is not One of Sacrifice; it’s an Adventure!
This quest to carry a message of liberation to American youth has taken on a bit of a strange tone lately. It did so because of my own ego! I started to think of the journey as a great sacrifice, and it’s not too hard to imagine why: If it’s a sacrifice, I must be some kind of hero… I’d rather be an example of what could be. Rather than sacrifice, The Freedom Skater’s message ought to be one of joy and liberation in life. That is what I must strive to create.
I was speaking to a good friend of mine last night, Drew, and talking to him really got my focus back where it needs to be. I started to remember that the enemy that I’m trying to beat is not so much an ominous monster as a mindset of degeneration. I’m attacking disillusionment head-on by saying that life can have as much purpose as we choose, and it will be as exhilarating as we make it to be. As many of you know, one of my favorite authors is Tim Ferriss. In his remarkable book, The Four Hour Work Week, he proposes that the opposite of happiness is not sadness! The two emotions can actually be quite closely linked. He claims that the opposite of happiness is boredom! That always stuck with me, and I think it’s because it implies that the meaning of life will not be found in the destination, but in the journey that get’s us there. When we choose to be interested enough in our daily lives to make them exciting, unpredictable, and fresh, we show that we have chosen that life itself actually means something to us as we live it. Could the question of meaning and purpose in life be so easily answered? I say: Why not?
So where am I going with this? The past few days have reminded me of something extraordinary: My life is not meant to be a sacrificial example. Believing that I am a “sacrifice” is egotistical and points toward a mindset of arrogance. It’s as if I was saying, “Look at the loss and pain I endured to carry this message to you.” That’s dumb. My life is meant to be an example of a man on fire with passion, conviction, and most of all, a love for life itself! It is meant to be so, because I choose for it to be. The attitude I will strive to carry through this journey is one of adventure, excitement, and life. For me, the greatest adventure is found in connection with new and interesting people. Life is an infinite sea of faces, but each face is a doorway to an undiscovered country, continent, and world. We are not islands onto ourselves: We are an extraordinary network of entire worlds. I want the exploration of your world to be a highlight in my expedition. I only hope that I will bring as much adventure into your life as you bring to me.
The doorway to this grand adventure I call life is open to those who can see it. I invite you to come a long with me on this greatest of expeditions. I can only imagine the interesting things we will find as we walk through. “Reality” is just the lens through which you see the world; I hope you will try on many pairs of glasses!
- Austin S.