In Episode 272, Trev and AJ take a look back at the first quarter of of 2017, making time to unpack what’s working, what’s not, and what’s next in their personal and professional lives. From finances to career to relationships, they let their guiding words for 2017—vulnerability and rebirth, respectively—open up key insights, crystalize lessons learned, and offer next steps in awareness and intention.
We’ve noticed a shift over the years—both in how we approach our creative careers, and also in how we approach our personal lives: our relationships, our spirituality, our finances, our health.
When we first started the podcast, the main motivation was to have a decent excuse to sit down with the people we wanted to talk to, to find out what’s working for them, and then, to, basically, replicate what they’re doing. To discover what those things we should be doing are. Over time, we began to notice something else, too: the people who enjoy success in this industry (and other industries, too), all embody a core set of principles—they all share a similar general life and work philosophy.
A key part of that philosophy, we’re learning (and perhaps this is also the result of simply getting older) is that life, success, and personal fulfillment don’t usually stem from the doing part of living; they’re natural byproducts of the being part. I like to think of this way: rather than strive to read more books, practice, instead, being a person who embodies a lifelong commitment to learning.
One approach is about the activity, and with a focus on activities comes all sorts of baggage—all sorts how questions, what questions, where and when and why questions.
The other approach is far more effortless—it’s a philosophy, plain and simple. Rather than asking myself: Did you fulfilled your daily reading quota for the day? I might instead ask myself: What have I learned today? What discovery could my curiosity be leading me to right now, in this moment?
When people use the words “paradigm shift” to describe an epiphany, I think this is the kind of thing they’re talking about. It’s a concept that can be difficult to put into words—or even taught—because it has to be experienced to be understood. And, fortunately, there’s no shortcut. Going from the I-gotta-do-my-reading-today person to the what-can-I-learn-today person takes commitment and practice. But over time, we can indeed shape and train our minds, our spirits, our habits—and, as a result, reengineer the entire trajectory of our lives.
It all starts with awareness and intention. Fair warning: it probably won’t look very sexy. The journey will be riddled with stumbles, mistakes, pitfalls, and I-should-have-done-this-instead face palm moments. But when built on a core philosophy of learning, every experience can be a gift. Every breath can be a revelation.
That’s what these review episodes are all about. They’re a conversation about the practice of awareness, about intentionality, and about commitment. They’re a meditation on what rebirth and vulnerability look and feel like, and a renewed commitment to the long game: to courage, to authenticity, and to constant reinvention.
All of which serves and informs The Work.
We sincerely hope you enjoy the episode.
Satisfaction Over Optimization,
Also Mentioned In Episode 272:
- Free Listening Day: April 11th, 2017
- Mr. Money Mustache (blog)
- Pete Adeney WDS Keynote (26 mins)
- Log into the Membership for Trev and AJ’s Full 2017 Q1 Review Documents
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