6. Live in the Moment “I never think of the future – it comes soon enough.”
The Sea of Galilee, the Mt of Jericho, even canyoneering in the French Alps are all spontaneous things that happened as the result to little or no planning. It’s great to do a certain amount of planning, but some of my greatest memories happened by being completely spontaneous. I learned that in life, it’s great to have a plan, but to not be completely rigid in that plan, and to stay open to other possibilities.
7. Create Value “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.”
Sometimes I think we lose what it really means to provide a service, make a significant difference, and actually help someone without expecting anything in return. My older brother (who I will brag on for a moment here) has lived by this principle, and as a result he has more to show for it in his life than anyone else I know. A successful businessman, an active member of the community, a loving husband, and five beautiful loving children. If you want more in life, help more people get what they want. The universe has a way of paying back the debt. What you sow, that too ye shall reap.
8. Don’t be repetitive “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Man I feel like I’ve been through the ringer sometimes, until I realized that maybe it’s because I had to learn that lesson before I could move on. Little by little I am learning to do things a bit differently and I am finding much better results in life.
9. Knowledge Comes From Experience “Information is not knowledge. The only source of knowledge is experience.”
The “University of Life” has taught me far more than anything I ever studied in a college text book. A broken engagement, a failed business, (with piles of debt to pay off from that business) and many other wrong turns on the journey through life. Upon returning home, many have asked if I thought about returning back to school, but I would much rather spend the twenty or thirty thousand dollars continuing to travel and learning more lessons from the world instead.
10. Learn the Rules and Then Play Better “You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”
I’m rather competitive and I don’t like losing, but all of the lessons I have learned have taught me simply that I’ve been playing by the wrong rules. As soon as you realize that and change the rules, life suddenly becomes so much easier. It almost doesn’t feel like a fair match to the rest of the competition anymore. One of my favorite ideas behind this comes from the classic novel by Florence Shovel Shinn, The Game of Life and How to Play It. If you know the rules, you’re much more likely to win the game.
My last trip ended in Egypt, which coincidentally was the same place where the hero in The Alchemistends his journey. I had been struggling for some time in deciding when to come home, and wanted to keep traveling as I hadn’t reached my goal of thirty countries yet, but for some reason I felt that my family needed me back home. After my own strange series of dreams, I cancelled a trip through Thailand, Africa and India and booked a return ticket home instead, just in time for my grandmother to pass away and for my father to become very ill.
Throughout my travels I had been searching for this concept of “home,” yet it took actually coming “home” for me to realize that home is not a place, it is a feeling, and can be felt and reached no matter where you are in the world. I will always have the wings to travel and don’t think I will ever grow tired of learning about new cultures and sharing in exciting adventures, but I finally realized that the “roots” I was searching for existed inside of me all along.
So what are some of the lessons you have learned, either through your own travels or through life? Please feel free to comment below. Also, as this book was the catalyst for my travels, I would highly recommend it for an inspiring read.